Comment on the ruling from The European Court of Justice

Commenting on the ruling from The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the legality of using gender to calculate insurance premiums, Julie Owens, Insurance Expert, at said:

"With the European Court of Justice ruling that discriminating by gender will be deemed unlawful when calculating insurance premiums, effective from December 2012, we will now see a fundamental and significant change to the UK insurance market. This move will be detrimental to UK consumers, and in the case of car insurance, premiums for female drivers will certainly increase sharply as a result. In addition, with record price increases to car insurance premiums, the ruling means it is likely many more motorists will be forced off the road, or even worse, be more tempted to drive without any cover at all.

"We have already witnessed a sharp rise in the cost of car insurance premiums to date, and recent analysis has shown premiums are rising by 44 pence per day on average. Currently, men pay an average of 30 per cent more than women* however the figures show the cost of premiums for female drivers has already been rising at a faster rate than for men, especially among the younger generations. Over the last year, premiums for a woman aged between 17 and 25 have risen by 34 per cent on average to £1,002 or by 70 pence per day. This is in comparison to a 12 per cent increase for men of the same age. 
"The ruling will no doubt hit female drivers the hardest. Although the ruling doesn’t come into force until December 2012 it is likely we will see a convergence in pricing over the next 18 months. If your car insurance is due for renewal in the next couple of months then you should shop around and buy your new cover as soon as possible. On average, using can save you £280 on your car insurance policy, which is a significant saving at a time when the cost of motoring is becoming more expensive."


Notes to editors:
*Based on over 3 million car insurance quotes from January 1st 2011 - February 9th 2011
Average premiums
Male drivers (all) £1,231.57
Female driver (all) £864.37
Percentage difference = 29.8 (30%)

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