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Shock in store for women drivers

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Written by:
03/10/2012
Female motorists are unaware of the impact looming European legislation could have on their insurance premiums, according to price comparison site Gocompare.com.

Three quarters of female drivers polled said they either haven’t heard of or don’t understand EU legislation which could potentially result in their motor insurance premiums doubling from December this year. 

Almost half believed that the European Court of Justice (ECJ)’s gender ruling will either result in lower car insurance premiums or have no impact on them.

The industry anticipates premium hikes which could catch cash-strapped consumers unawares.

As of the 21st of December this year, insurers will no longer be able to take a person’s gender into consideration when calculating their car insurance premiums.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ)’s ruling means that insurers will, for the first time ever, remove one of the key considerations when deciding on the premium that a person has to pay: their gender.

Scott Kelly, Gocompare.com’s head of motor, said: “It’s quite alarming to see how many female drivers are unaware about the gender ruling. But it doesn’t have to be bad news for everyone.

“After the age of 35, the difference between men and women’s insurance premiums isn’t influenced as heavily by gender – other things like driving experience, claims and where they live become more important.”

As it stands, men, in particularly younger men, cost more to insure than women because statistics show that claims from younger men are likely to be more frequent and more expensive to settle.

Research shows that men currently pay around 41% more for their cover, with younger men paying nearly 94% more than their female counterparts.

When asked how female motorists will go about trying to keep their premiums down, there were several answers from adding an older person to the policy to choosing a higher excess.

Some have pointed to taking out a telematics policy – this would mean having a black box fitted to your vehicle which would, among other things, measure speed, breaking and cornering, and would base a policyholder’s premium on this data.

Kelly added: “Telematics insurance, which involves having a GPS-enabled box fitted to your car, is like having an insurance broker sat in the car with you, checking how you drive, giving you tips on how to drive better.

“The information is used to accurately adjust your premium at renewal, or in the case of some products such as insurethebox, give you free bonus miles as reward.

“These types of products may not appeal to everyone, but for young or inexperienced drivers, who often pay the most for their car insurance and are likely to see the biggest premium increases after 21 December, it can be a good way of proving to their insurer that their driving deserves to be rewarded with a cheaper premium.”

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