In the face of the European Court of Justice’s upcoming ruling on the legality of considering gender when calculating car insurance rates, many motorists have begun to examine on how sexist it truly is for women to pay cheaper car insurance than their male counterparts.
March 1 is the date set for the European courts for its consideration of the legality of gender-specific pricing. If they find the practice discriminatory, they could ban car insurance companies from adjusting their prices based on the gender of the driver. Industry experts have stated that such a ruling could bring a catastrophic rise to the prices women pay for even discount car insurance in the UK.
Drivers in the UK do currently experience a vast difference in what they pay for the same cover. In an example where a 28 year old woman applied for comprehensive cover, she was quoted a premium of £618.43. However with all details remaining the same and only the gender switched, an identical male driver would be required to pay £690.37 for the same cover, a more than £70 difference.
Younger drivers have it even worse. Looks at two identical teenage drivers found differences of thousands of pounds in some instances. The reasoning behind these discrepancies are statistical; insurers have stated that women are statistically significantly less likely to be involved in a road traffic accident than men.
The AA claims that men cost around twice as much as their female counterparts among younger motorists on average. Proponents of the gender difference state that it is not discrimination that is the source of the higher premiums for men but simple maths.
Detractors argue however that it would be difficult to imagine insurers charging a particular ethnic group with higher rates if they was statistical evidence proving they were more accident-prone.