"Don't decoy, avoid, or make void the topic. Cuz that ain't gonna stop it," sang Salt & Pepper in their 1991 hit 'Let's Talk About Sex.'
Of course, Salt, Pepper and DJ Spinderella weren't explicitly referring to the ECJ's epochal European Court of Justice ruling on gender in car insurance. But they may as well have been.
We’ve been banging on about it for some time now. If you’re not au fait with its implications, come closer, and let the Money Shot elaborate…
Way back in the heady days of early 2011, a man from Belgium took action against a firm which he reckoned were discriminating against him by giving him a more expensive car insurance policy than a woman.
In a move which would cause even the most continentally minded person to get all Nigel Farage, the judge in the case decided to rule that a person’s sex shouldn’t play a part when working this out – negating all the stuff like hard statistical evidence and all that.
In fact, black box insurance merchant Wunelli tracked the journeys of 19,000 drivers over the course of 40 million journeys and 154 million miles over the past four years and found out that women break the speed limit less, brake less suddenly and avoid danger after dark by driving considerably less often at night than men. We booted up Dr Compario’s patented steam-based statistical conflatulator and found out that this makes women up to a FIFTH safer than men.
In theory, the ruling should mean that men’s car insurance will end up being much cheaper. But fellas across the country should put the champagne – bought with the money they could potentially save next time their policy comes up for renewal of course – on ice for now.
Because while car insurance for women is going to get a lot more expensive for women – about 25% for all the younger ladies ‘in the place’, according to insurance oracle the ABI – it’s only due to get about 10% cheaper for men. And factor in the fact that blokes aren’t going to be able to get any savings from adding a ‘safer’ woman to their policy anymore, and there isn’t really much cause to celebrate.
So, rather than a knockout blow for equality, the ECJ ruling on gender looks like it’s another reason to hand over even more money to insurers for many.
But, before you burst into tears, put your car up for sale on Autotrader and buy a bus pass, there are a few things you can consider.
If you are a woman (when did you check last?) you can dodge the premium increases and get another year’s worth of relatively cheap driving by getting your policy before December 21 – some insurers are QUITE LITERALLY falling over themselves to get trade in through the doors now, although prices have started to even out a bit. Having said that, you may lose a year's worth of no claims discount action, and there may be a policy cancellation fee too.
Another one is to get a black box policy. At this point, it’s probably a wise idea to read on with this on in the background. It helps a lot, we can assure you.
Ahem. Black box insurance policies will allow your insurer to actually monitor your driving habits – so, in theory, you can prove that you’re a safe case, if you can handle the idea of your driving being scrutinised carefully. Of course, there’s little point in having one of these fitted if you continue to bomb around your local ring round with giddy abandon.
So, there you have it –whether you’re of the opinion that it’s a much-needed blow for parity between the sexes or a thoughtless mooning in the face of common sense, hopefully it won’t end up costing you too much money.
NEWS IN BRIEF
The Co-op has launched a ‘protected’ Christmas savings scheme. (Which means that that your cash probably all end up getting lost in a messy scenario like the Farepak debacle of six years ago)
Unfortunately-named shadow chancellor Ed Balls has called for the fuel duty escalator to be postponed.
Essential Travel is the first travel insurance company to make wearing a helmet compulsory for skiing and snowboarders – if they don’t, they’ll invalidate their policy if they’re injured.
Global Uberbank HSBC is under investigation for holding the accounts of lots of ne’er-do-wells and undesirables – including drug dealers and gun runners.
A former NatWest employee has lifted the lid on PPI mis-selling techniques. It makes for shocking, if depressing, reading.
ON COVERED MAG THIS WEEK
Outrageous home insurance claims? You want to read about them and we’ve got them.
Oh no! It’s the first Christmas article on Covered Mag of the year. But fear not – reading this could actually make the Christmas shopping a less financially crippling experience.
Dave Jenkins wades into the great cover debate as he shows you how to prepare your caravan for winter.
A theme park has opened in Korea with a novel theme – toilets.
The Restroom Cultural Park in Suwon boasts a museum dsiplaying commodes from the annals of history – including Roman bogs, continental bedpans and ancient Far Eastern flushing numbers.
Not only this, but it features a 'sculpture garden' depicting all manner of squatting figures.
The promotional material for the park definitely does not bill the park as “a s#1t day out”, although it really ought to.