Could Brexit End EU’s Ban on Cheaper Women’s Car Insurance?
In December 2012, the European Court of Justice ruled that insurance companies could no longer offer cheaper insurance rates to female drivers, despite statistical evidence that they have fewer accidents than men.
However, British insurers are now speculating that the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union following June’s referendum could bring an end to the EU gender directive.
Car insurers were forced to adapt their pricing when the EU ruled that their practice of using gender as part of the calculation for premiums was discriminatory. The industry argued that men and women had different risk profiles and statistics bore this out, but to no avail.
For some women, the unisex approach meant it was no longer as easy to get cheaper car insurance, despite being safer drivers. In effect they are shouldering some of the cost of insurance claims made by and against young men.
While some insurers believe it could be relatively simple to revert back to the old system in a post-Brexit world, others aren’t so certain that anything will change. The AA has said it doubts the rules will be overturned, “given that the industry has now adapted well to the new ruling and there would be a significant cost to insurers to do so”.
To a certain extent, some insurers are already getting around the EU gender directive via a loophole that enables them to take a person’s job into account when calculating premiums. Whilst occupation isn’t entirely accurate as a predictor of gender, some jobs are more commonly undertaken by women and can be rated as a lower risk.
As with all predictions in the aftermath of Brexit, nothing is certain and only time will determine if the UK government is prepared to back-track on EU legislation.