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Women's Car Insurance Premiums Set to Increase due to EU Equal Rights Ruling....

(53 Posts)
mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Oct-12 00:28:55

We've been having a small but interesting conversation about this recent EU ruling that comes into play in December on this thread in Money Matters


The EU has ruled that women having discounted premiums, (based on statistical evidence which proves that women are safer drivers/claim less) should not continue in the name of Gender Equality.

There hasn't been a great deal about it in the press but it's a huge issue which is rocking the insurance world.

What are your views on women having to pay higher premiums because their gender is now deemed irrelevant?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 05-Oct-12 00:33:31

I think there was a fair amount in the press when it first was proposed a few months ago. Premiums will be equalised on the basis of gender though can still vary with age, mileage, engine size etc.

I think it is fair enough as a consequence of equal rights-related legislation.

mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Oct-12 00:41:52

But if it's statistically proven that women claim less etc it really doesn't seem fair that they are being penalised in the name of equal rights.

Equal rights is a wonderful thing, but there's a few things that it isn't necessarily relevant to. If something is quantifiable and can be defined as a 'truth', then is it right to nix it in the name of Equal Rights?

ie: In a scientific test with a study group of men and a study group of women- the findings would not be disregarded on the basis of them being different sexes as it's entirely relevant to their investigation.

mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Oct-12 00:42:39

It's also not a proposal, it's been put through by the EU and will come into action in December in the UK. Our parliament can't oppose it.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 05-Oct-12 00:46:28

Yes I know it isn't a proposal at this stage, just that when it was previously in the press a few months ago it may have been when it was at the proposal stsge or first reading stage or whatever.

If Statistics supported that black people claimed more than white, or that Jewish people more than Buddhists, would it be OK to charge differently on those bases?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 05-Oct-12 00:56:47

Here's some coverage from march this year:

mrscumberbatch Fri 05-Oct-12 01:17:35

Sorry, just wanted to clarify.

As for the race/religion charges- No because religion doesn't have any bearing on your driving ability.

Men and women can't be equal in everything, the only way for it to happen would be for every man to grow a vagina and every woman to gain a penis.
It's widely acknowledged that there are innate differences in the brains of each sex. By not taking this information into consideration, would it not be penalising women?

I understand your argument, but this legislation doesn't sit right with me. It's an industry dependent on ratings, data and risk factors.

By discounting this risk factor, I feel it wouldn't be a huge leap to cry 'Age discrimination' towards premiums for elderly drivers. Even though there is proven statistics showing that they are a higher risk rating.

And where does it lead from there?

Are we moving towards a 'blanket' fee for insurance? With the lowest risks subsidising the highest?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 05-Oct-12 01:24:36

But if statistics showed that there was (and Tbh I don't know what they show), would it be acceptable to price differently.

The age point has been discussed but is currently ok on the basis that over a lifetime a driver will benefit from different age related premiums (highest aged 17, decreasing then presumably increasing above a certain age)

By the way it isn't acknowledged by me or many on this board that there are innate differences in male and female brains. That argument plus the statistics argument you use above could combine to say that eg more places on engineering courses should be offered to men as a matter of policy. I wouldn't agree with that and I expect you wouldn't either.

Must try and sleep now !

Uppercut Fri 05-Oct-12 02:45:45

By definition, equal rights don't work in anyone's favour. In this particular case they just make everything uniformly shit.

Ironic, eh?

Shriek Fri 05-Oct-12 08:03:40

Actuaries are in the job of risk assessing only and they do all the statistical analysis proving that women are a safer risk, so to penalise them in this way (under the auspices of discrimination) is in fact 'positive discrimination'.

It undermines the whole premise of insurance, that the lower the risk the less the premium. If one were to say, 'oh she can have it cheaper cos she's a lady and she looks nice', thats sexism.... but there are wild variations in risks acrossgeographical locations also, do we then say that the lower risks areas (say for flooding/subsidence) must pay hiked premiums to avoid being racist! ... in insurance it is only based on statistical analysis. certain parts of the world attract higher insurance/reinsurance costs (thats not considered racism). If you go on holiday to a place where there is religious war, thats not considered to be dissing religion, paying higher premiums. No actuary would consider it right to just give away a discount without good reason, as where's the profit! If a group of retired folk have special discount, as they have enjoyed for many years, and the police, etc.... these can be considered as 'isms' too, if risk assessed on gender are sexism. Its positively discriminating.

No, in this area, young men are 25 times more likely than a woman to have a driving conviction, 10 times more likely to have have accident, and twice as likely to make a claim as a woman (according to the article). So those are solid rating factors, and will affect premiums, and rightly so, the burden of the premium should lay with the highest risk. What about skiing insurance (through the roof, for the same reason - high risk, many accidents, repatriation costs, foreign medical bills). Nobody sticks a finger up in the air and makes a decision on the wind direction!.. its rigorous, statistically based analysis, and if woman can't benefit from the benefits of being a safer driver then the world, and sorry to say it, but feminism also, has gone mad.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 05-Oct-12 08:05:25

'It's widely acknowledged that there are innate differences in the brains of each sex.'

No, it isn't.

I think this is fair enough, TBH. The only reason we have stats on the distribution of accidents between men and women is because we persist in using gender as the most important category. No-one would even collect data on the correlation between religion and accidents. We don't know there's no correlation - we just don't collect the data.

senua Fri 05-Oct-12 08:25:30

Are we moving towards a 'blanket' fee for insurance? With the lowest risks subsidising the highest?

Erm, isn't that the basic idea, the raison d'etre of insurance? confused

I'm not too happy about paying more for insurance but I don't think that you can argue against it. To say that all women are a better insurance risk than all men does sound sexist.
The basic premium is only a start point: we can all do our own statistical adjustments to get a fairer premium. It's called a No Claims Discount, in case you had forgotten.

It's pretty poor form if we only agree with feminism when it goes in our favour.

Shriek Fri 05-Oct-12 08:34:31

Any insurance risks being spread across a big enough book of business will give profit, even the high risk ones (in which case the risk is 'spread').... but, the insurance company actuaries analyse their own data, on many 'factors', and cannot afford to give away premium discount to drivers that make higher claims, or they wouldn't be in business. As a rating factor women (yes, in general! - cos that happens sometimes - as an average - nobody is saying 'all' wo/men).... but these are facts, not just some idea of 'I think women might be a better risk'.... and who's disagreeing with it on the basis of '...agree... when it goes in our favour' thats not the basis of the discussion here atall, but facts and figures.

Shriek Fri 05-Oct-12 08:35:41

I understand that MP's here are urging Insurance Companies to adopt a necessarily flexible approach to the hard line EU directive, which is positive discrimination

Shriek Fri 05-Oct-12 09:06:50


'It's widely acknowledged that there are innate differences in the brains of each sex.'

No, it isn't.

On what basis do you disagree with the statement above?

For instance, Testosterone affects development, spec. early formation of regions of the CNS (which plays a part in behaviour and motivation).

Baby/child development is plotted weekly then monthly/annually on every child development records showing the different rates of growth and development, including the outward behaviour of developmental stages, which reflect brain development.

They are not the same biologically.... but 'equal' is a judgement.

OneMoreChap Fri 05-Oct-12 09:18:30

Raising insurance premiums for women
Cutting men's salary for equal pay.

All ways those in authority have of making everyone's life awful grin.

I think it's silly, what's happening, but that's the way governments see Equal Rights.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 05-Oct-12 09:24:30

shriek - I didn't say I disagreed, I said it wasn't widely acknowledged. wink

If you reckon it's widely acknowledged, it's up to you to point to the evidence.

The blessed Saint Cordelia of Fine tends to be my watchword here, though.

It's not possible to separate brain development in babies into 'nature effects' and 'nurture effects' - nor indeed to study the effects of testosterone on developing human brains - with any simplicity, because we don't perform potentially damaging experiments on babies. We can't manufacture a control group.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 05-Oct-12 09:32:04

The thing is, there may well be statistical differences between any groups of people you care to identify (religion,race,sexual orientation etc). No-one would suggest we start to collect data on those and use it as a basis for different treatment if it turned out to be statistically significant.

Actuarial analysis is just taking one for Team Equality, in this case.

EmmelineGoulden Fri 05-Oct-12 09:46:35

It is very frustrating that young men are the ones who get legal redress against insurance companies when women are more generally disadvantaged by the methods insurance companies use. But I don't see the point in trying to fight the idea insurance products should generally be sex blind, we should be embracing that and pushing to have it applied to all insurance products. Long term I think this ruling could be good news for women because it sets the stage for us to fight for equal pension annuities etc.

Shriek Fri 05-Oct-12 09:51:48

You stated 'No it isn't', in direct disagreement with the 'widely acknowledged statement, with no supporting information.

.... and yes, it is possible to study the effects, as a direct result of manipulation of testosterone levels, or for instance alchohol altering female behaviour for be more sexual and involved in fights, and there are naturally occurring studies of the effects of testosterone deprivation on behaviour, etc.. etc...

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 05-Oct-12 09:54:40

I did indeed - because I do disagree, but I also disagree that it is 'widely acknowledged'. By whom?

You're the one claiming support of a consensus, not me.

It's not possible to study these things with simplicity.

You cannot make a control group from human infants. It's not considered moral.

You're citing examples that might provide interesting, suggestive outcomes - but my point is, these will only ever be tentative. That's the nature of the discipline if you study the cognition of human beings (barring future developments in the science, of course).

Shriek Fri 05-Oct-12 10:10:04

TheDoctrineofSnatch - Actuaries do collect data on this stuff all the time becuase it is statistically significant and use it to 'rate' factors involved in arriving at an insurance premium. Isurance is inherently 'ist', setting parameters around high and low risk factors, based on actual risk... age, sex, etc.

Shriek Fri 05-Oct-12 10:12:48

I didn't state 'it is widely acknowledged'... there is no supporting information given for either it being widely acknowledged or not... so neither has demonstated anything in support of those statements.

I am quoting from actual research.... and you?

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 05-Oct-12 10:18:18

I quoted 'It's widely acknowledged that there are innate differences in the brains of each sex.'

MrsC posted this, and you jumped in to tell me I needed to provide evidence for my disagreement.

I don't.

If you want to claim there's a consensus, it's up to you to demonstrate it.

I get that you're referring to (not quoting) actual research. I'm just commenting on the limitations of that research.

I suspect we are not so very far apart in our actual positions, btw - I agree research in this area is fascinating stuff. It's just, it is worth being aware that the results you get from studying, say, the effects of testosterone on human brains is not going to provide the same order of evidence as a test where you can use a control group.

TerraNotSoFirma Fri 05-Oct-12 10:24:26

I think it's right enough, insurance should be equal for all to begin with, then premiums adjusted in direct relation to the individuals driving skills, or lack thereof.

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