EU gender ruling to take a third of females by surprise

CAR INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDED 14 nov 2012:

According to one new survey’s ¬†findings released this week, up to one out of every three female drivers don’t know their rates are set to increase soon.

It’s scarcely more than one month before the new gender-based ban on risk assessment comes into effect in the UK, changing the playing field and effectively eliminating cheap car insurance for women. While just over one out of every four drivers aren’t aware that car insurance rates will be changing as a result, the number of female drivers are closer to one out of every three at an astounding 29 per cent – despite the fact that women are likely to get the worse end of the new ruling, according to the AA.

21 December is the start date for the ruling, which makes it illegal to offer differing insurance rates to women just because of their gender. Women are statistically less likely to be involved in accidents, which has led to lower rates in general than their male counterparts, but the new legislation will now eliminate this boon because it has been labelled as ‘discriminatory’ despite the statistical fact backing it up.

As a result, female drivers are probably going to see their premiums go up after 21 December, and some – like younger women – could experience quite steep rate hikes. Young male drivers are especially risky drivers, according to statistical analysis, and young females can expect to see their premiums rocketing upwards by as much as 25 per cent, which is a marked difference from the roughly 40 per cent discount they receive in comparison to young males of a comparable age.

This misguided attempt to bring gender equality to the insurance industry runs in the face of calculating prices fairly by risk, said AA Insurance director Simon Douglas. With young men much more likely to get in to nasty prangs, it’s only fitting that they pay higher rates, especially since once these young male drivers gain experience and grow older, the gap between a man’s insurance quote and a woman’s becomes negligible, Mr Douglas added.

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