Guide to women's car insurance
- Insurers can no longer legally offer women cheaper premiums because of their gender, but female-friendly insurers may find ways of targeting the customers they want
- Search multiple options using Gocompare.com to increase your chances of finding an insurer offering the right deal for you and use our other money-saving tips to keep down costs
- As women are statistically the safer drivers and the motorists of least risk to insurers, they may benefit most from telematics policies
The directive may have had the noble aim of removing gender discrimination, but when it came to the area of vehicle insurance this had an unfavourable impact on females.
For many years statistics have proved that women are safer drivers than men, that they're less likely to make a claim than a male and that claims they do make tend to be less expensive.
Such statistics particularly apply to the highest risk group of drivers that face the highest premium costs, young and inexperienced drivers.
These facts were traditionally reflected by insurers in their assessments of risk and the resultant prices they charged to motorists.
In short, women traditionally paid less for their car insurance, with premium savings most significant in the young driver category. The ECJ ruling effectively ended this and young women drivers in particular were subject to higher premiums as a result.
How insurers target women drivers now
Although insurers can no longer offer cheaper premiums to women just because of their gender, it's understandable that many will still want safer female drivers on their books.
One way they have attempted to do this is by producing advertising intended to appeal to women and offering added extras which they believe females will find appealing, things such as priority breakdown cover and (however patronising some may consider this!) handbag cover.
Of course, there's nothing to stop a man taking out a policy that's been targeted at a female market if he finds that the deal's right for him, or even if his priority is having adequate cover for a man-bag.
Research from Newcastle University Business School has suggested that another method some insurers may use to target the business of female customers is by weighting the importance of a job title in favour of female-friendly professions.
Your job is one of the many factors that insurers will take into account when calculating your premium and each company will have its own way of assessing a particular occupation - read more in our article on how your job affects your car insurance.
If an insurer is looking to attract more female customers it may, therefore, offer lower premiums to workers in jobs that statistics show are more likely to be done by women - such as social workers and dental nurses - and higher premiums to workers in jobs that are more likely to be done by men - such as civil engineers and construction workers.
How women can get around the ECJ ruling
As statistics show that women are safer drivers, it follows that there's a greater chance that they will benefit from telematics insurance policies.
These use a black box or a mobile phone app to monitor your driving and relate the premium you pay directly to your driving behaviour.
While such policies are traditionally thought to be of benefit to young, safe drivers, they have the potential to work for women in any age group.
If you search for car insurance through Gocompare.com, when you reach your results screen you'll see telematics options labelled and listed alongside more traditional policies, allowing you to compare and contrast the pros and cons of each.
Did you know...?
- Before the ECJ ruling, 21% of female drivers said a European court should have no right to dictate laws which affect how much they pay for their car insurance
Other ways to cut the cost of women's car insurance
Telematics aside, all our other tips for cutting the cost of car insurance apply equally to women and men.
Consider, for example, paying annually, limiting your mileage, increasing your excess and improving vehicle security.
But, above all, shop around for cover every time you renew - we compare the policies and prices of multiple insurance brands in one quick and easy search to help you find the right product at the right price.
By Sean Davies