Do you Drive Like a Girl?

Published:
24 January 2013
Topic:
News,Insurance,Motoring,Car,Car Insurance

It's been just over a month since the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gender directive kicked in and banned insurers from using gender as factor when calculating insurance premiums.

As predicted, the main result of this has been a rise in premium prices for young women drivers. But MoneySupermarket has negotiated a special deal that could help both male and female drivers could get around the ruling.

Called Drive Like a Girl, the plan uses 'black box' technology to help you demonstrate you're a safe and considerate driver - and that you're deserving of lower premiums as a result.

Here's why it's needed and how it works...

Why Drive Like a Girl?

Until the ECJ ruling took effect on December 21, 2012, female drivers generally paid less for car insurance than their male peers simply because, statistically, they are less likely to be involved in an accident or make a claim.

This data has always underpinned how premiums are calculated - it's also the reason why younger drivers pay more for their cover than safer, older motorists. But, since the ruling came into force and made the statistics relating to gender effectively redundant, insurers have had to look at other ways to differentiate drivers.

This is where 'telematics' comes into its own. The 'black box' tracking and performance analysis technology means insurers can base premiums primarily on actual driver behaviour rather than non-specific, impersonal demographics.

Drive Like a Girl is a car insurance solution developed by Insure the Box, the well-established provider over half of all UK telematics policies.

Like most telematics policies, Drive Like a Girl is aimed at young drivers aged between 17 and 25, and requires a telematics 'in-tele-box' to be installed in the car. This monitors the driver's behaviour and driving patterns to assess whether they are eligible for a reduction in their premium.

The box records information about driving style, including speeds driven, acceleration, braking, time of day driven and routes taken, and each journey is rated, with the driver able to check their score online at any time via a secure portal.

How does Drive Like a Girl differ from other telematics policies?

Although the basics of the policy are essentially the same as other telematics schemes, Drive Like a Girl differs in a number of ways - most notably, there is no annual mileage limit, and drivers can qualify for lower premiums after just three months. Also, discounts are given in the form of a refund for those who pay up front or lower monthly payments for those who pay in instalments.

Anyone who maintains a good score throughout the year could then be eligible for further savings at renewal.

If you're wondering, 'driving like a girl' actually involves no rapid acceleration or harsh braking, and no speeding around corners. Extra points can be earned by not driving at night, when driving conditions are deemed more hazardous.

The in-car box also acts as an accident alert and will contact the customer services team if the box registers a sudden jolt, as experienced in a collision. They, in turn, will either call the driver involved to assess the situation or send for the emergency services if necessary.

The in-tele-box can also be used as a tracking device if the car is stolen.

Other benefits include 'get you home' cover, which helps drivers and their passengers get home after an accident, and mis-fuelling cover for anyone who puts the wrong fuel in (putting diesel in a petrol engine and driving off can do serious damage to the engine).

Policies also come with up to 30 days' driving in the EU and personal accident cover up to £7,500.

As mentioned, the policy is open to men (or 'boys') as well as women, but there's a definite girly twist as 'handbag cover' is provided for up to £250 - with a handbag being defined as a bag held in the hand or hung from the shoulder and used for carrying small personal articles and money. So man-bags should also qualify!

Will it help drivers affected by the ECJ gender directive?

Since the new rules on gender discrimination took effect, young women are paying around 20% more for cover than before. However, because insurance prices have been falling anyway, through a combination of increased competition (it really does pay to shop around) and greater fraud prevention prices are only actually 7% higher than in December 2011.

A MoneySupermarket case study has shown that telematics policies can help to bring down costs even further provided that drivers adhere to the rules of the road - so even boy racers can benefit... so long as they Drive Like a Girl.

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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Les Roberts

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