CAR INSURANCE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDED 26 Dec 2012:
It’s an unhappy Christmas for the nation’s female motorists, as this week was when the new EU gender discrimination regulation came into effect in the UK.
Thanks to new rules put forward by the European Courts of Justice, car insurance companies are no longer permitted to use gender differences as a basis for car insurance rates – despite the fact that it has been statistically proven for decades now that women are generally safer drivers than men. While it’s only been a few days since the rules have gone into effect and not even the most cutting-edge car insurance comparison websites have come forward with new research on how the EU gender directive has affected premium pricing so far, industry experts say the results could be increases as much as 40 per cent to the rates for some classes of female drivers.
It’s not just motor car insurance providers that are affected by these new rules, as any provider of life insurance is also no longer allowed to use gender differences as well. This means that men, who on average tend to not live quite as long as women, could see annuity payouts decrease by as much as £10,000 over the entirety of their life insurance policy in order to rectify the ‘discrimination’ of being paid an average of around 4 per cent more annuity income because of their shortened life expectancy.
With some 80 per cent of the annuities purchased in the UK by males, the amount of loss could be staggering, according to PricewaterhouseCooper’s pensions consulting head, Raj Mody. The comparatively small number of women who purchase annuities will benefit from this change, aded Mr Mody, seems cold comfort to the overwhelming majority of men left holding the bag in the name of gender equality.
As far as car insurance goes, young female drivers are the ones set to lose the most thanks to the general recklessness of their male counterparts. With the ‘boy racer’ stereotype backed up by decades of insurance data indicating that male motorists between the ages of 17 and 24 are absolute terrors on the UK’s roadways, any female in the same age range will be paying much more on her own premium now, just so the figures match.