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Men pay 27% more for car insurance despite EU gender rules

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
25/09/2017
Men pay an average of £170 more for their car insurance than women – this is despite EU rules which banned insurers from using gender for pricing policies.

Between June and August 2017, the average car insurance policy for a man was £821 compared with £649 for women.

The EU Gender Directive was implemented in December 2012 but research from comparison site comparethemarket found that the gap has widened nearly 8% since then.

In January 2013, the average policy for a male driver cost £591.70 compared to £493.88 for women – a difference of almost 20%, with the gap steadily widening over the past four years.

While women are still paying less for their car insurance, the gap between the cheapest premium and the average premium was wider for men than for women, suggesting that men stand to save more by shopping around.

Between June and August 2017, the difference between the cheapest and average policy for women was £101.21, while the difference between the cheapest and the average policy for men was £151.67.

John Miles, head of motor at comparethemarket, said: “This data shows how little difference the EU Gender Directive has had on insurance premiums, with providers still giving big discounts to women.

“This is likely due to a number of factors, such as statistically higher accident rates for men and more men than woman driving business and commercial vehicles – which are higher risk. The directive removed the ability of providers to give default discounts to women; however, the statistics and risk models used by insurers mean that the result is largely the same.”

Miles added that the past three years have been “relentless” for British drivers, with the average insurance premium rising by over 38% to £740.

“The past year has been particularly hard, with changes to Insurance Premium Tax and the personal injury discount, or ‘Ogden’, rate draining the pockets of motorists at a time that wage growth remains stagnant. Although the Ogden rate looks like it might be changed, some damage has already been done for drivers,” he said.

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