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It’s been talked about for months, but the date for the new E.U. rules on banning the use of gender as a factor in insurance premiums is here. Known in the industry as ‘G Day’ , it sees the legal enforcement of the so-called ‘Gender Directive’ from the EU which in boring reality is called: Council Directive 2004/113/EC.
This enshrined the principle of complete gender equality, but until a European Court ruling heard in Germany in March, insurance companies priced policies differently for men and women – although the directive itself was pretty clear:
“In order to ensure equal treatment between men and women, the use of sex as an actuarial factor should not result in differences in individuals’ premiums and benefits”
As insurance is based on various risk factors, this is pretty important stuff. The evidence is pretty startling. According to Home Office figures, men account for 9 times more motoring offences than women – making up no less than 97% of all dangerous driving offences and 94% of all death by driving convictions.
Pricing risk is at the very heart of what insurance does and we think this ruling flies in the face of common sense – joining the ‘straight bananas’ ruling (which was actually ditched by the EU some years ago) as examples where political motivations seem to override common sense.
The upshot? Women can expect to pay anything between 10% and 40% more for their car insurance from December 21st. Conversely, young men may see their premiums fall by a small amount. There is no doubt, however, that it is women who will feel the effects of this measure the most – a move designed to eliminate discrimination will, in effect, discriminate against women.