Gender neutral insurance policies introduced

Insurance policies taken out from 21 December 2012 will no longer take gender into account as a risk factor. This follows an EU-wide gender equality ruling and means that women are facing higher insurance premiums, rather than men benefitting from significantly lower premiums. The changes follow a ruling by the European Court of Justice from March 2011.

The ruling comes despite insurance data showing that female drivers tend to be lower risk, particularly among younger people. It’s not all bad news, though – older drivers should see relatively little change in the price of their policies, and young males should get a slightly lower quote after 21 December.

Unfortunately, women under the age of around 40 will likely end up with increased premiums. Gareth Kloet, head of car insurance at comparison site Confused.com, said: “...the EU ruling means that the cost of car insurance and life insurance for women in the short term will go up. The Treasury has said that for young women car insurance could go up as much as 24%.”

“At the same time, the cost of car insurance and life insurance for men will come down, because the risk is being shared over a larger pool of people which isn’t being divided by a gender gap. It’s an unjust situation that companies such as Confused.com are trying to put right by introducing state-of-the-art, in-‐car technology, such as a telematics apps that judge drivers on their individual skills and competence rather than their gender.”

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, states that young men are 10 times more likely to be involved in a serious accident than the over 35s – and more relevantly, they're more than twice as likely to be involved in a major collision than women of the same age. He said: “Calculating premiums based on that risk is fair and it works, but it has been abandoned in favour of gender equality.”

 

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