Saturday, 10 November 2012

Equal rights for women ... but also equal insurance premiums !

Generations of women have been fighting for equal rights and equal pay, so I can't help but think it's slightly ironic that one area in which they (we) HAVE managed to get equality is in insurance premiums. Yes, you've guessed it, it's not good news. A new EU ruling has made it illegal for women to take advantage of cheaper premiums for life and car insurance, as has been the case up until now.

Did you know?

- Car and life insurance has been cheaper for women. This will change next month thanks to an EU ruling, and women’s car insurance premiums are likely to rise.

- From 21 December it will be illegal to use gender as a basis for discriminating in the pricing of pension annuities and life insurance.

- Young males are 10 times more likely to be killed or injured than a driver aged over 35. This is the main reason why men pay around 40 % more for car insurance until the age of 40.

-  Research from suggests that this new ruling might see women’s life insurance premiums rise by as much as 21%.

- Government estimates suggest that women between the ages of 17 and 25 could see their car insurance costs increase by up to 24%.

- Unisex insurance rates will have virtually no impact on men and women above 40-45 as they are already treated as near identical risks at that age.

- Young men will benefit from these changes, with estimates that they will see 10% or more clipped off their premiums.

- Women get a small payback when they hit pensionable age. Currently women receive lower annuities than men because they live longer, but the ruling will mean women may have to be given higher pension incomes.

How can you prepare for the changes?

- Looking at motor insurance first – if you’re a woman, particularly a young woman, and your policy is due for renewal in the next few months, it’s definitely worth seeing if it’s more cost effective to renew early and have your policy locked in at the pre-gender equality rates for the next year. Remember to include any cancellation fees, refunds, loss of no claims bonus, etc.

- Black boxes, which can be fitted to cars to check how you’re driving, will help to reduce premiums if you drive carefully.

- Small cars are always cheaper than big ones, so consider downsizing.

- Fill in your proposal form accurately. If you’re a light user, say so. It will help your premiums.

- If you’ve got a variable rate policy, you may want to consider switching to a fixed one – just bear in mind that no-one knows for sure how the prices will be affected after the 21st December.

If all this talk of more money coming out of your monthly budget has depressed you, you might like to watch this tongue-in-cheek video  from the series Britain’s Worst Driver, showing Charlie DeFouncs dressing up as a woman to exploit the advantages of being a female driver !

I hope this manages to give you a few ideas of how to reduce the impact on your bank balance. You might like to check out for more advice and information.

Disclosure : This post is sponsored by SpreadItFast - but I hope it's interesting nevertheless !

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  1. Makes me very glad my renewal was in November, I've got as much extra benefit from it as I can, and (sadly) I'm rapidly approaching the age where it won't affect me anyway.

  2. Insurance has always been priced on risk, and I dont see why this should be allowed, be it life, car or medical insurance.
    If young males are more likely statistically to have an accident than these statistics should be paid for by the age/sex causing them.
    Smokers pay higher premiums for life insurance as do I as an asthmatic - so can I start a petition and a ruling through the European courts to say I should not be penalised just because I have an illness???
    Sorry this is one I do not agree with and dont see how it can have been made legal cos it goes against the very nature of how premiums are calculated.
    If you want to take it to the limit then you will find the under 40's will be saying next it is unfair as they pay more than the over 40's ....beurocracy gone mad imo

  3. I agree with Elaine, it should be based on risk, I dont think this is right that they are changing it!