Premiums soar as gender ruling kicks in

An unhappy female driver
Norma felt that the sex ruling had really spoiled Black Friday... but at least it's not the end of the world
"It is clear now that female drivers are going to bear the brunt of the EU gender ruling"'s head of motor insurance Scott Kelly
  • | by Sean Davies

The portents have come true and the world - if it continues to exist - will never be the same after 21 December, 2012.

The Mayans predicted it centuries ago, the druids have gathered at Stonehenge… Even the much-derided party-goers of Cardiff's St Mary Street know that something is afoot, speaking darkly of 'Black Friday'.

Call us harbingers of doom if you like, but we've been warning you of a wind so mighty that it will lay low the mountains of the insurance world for blooming ages now.

That's right, the European Union's horsemen of the apocalypse have rolled into town and let loose their dreaded gender directive, meaning that insurers can no longer take SEX (gender would be another way of putting it) into account when calculating premiums.

That doesn't sound so bad, you might think. Kinda fair and equal, you may muse.

Well, unfortunately, the likely effect is set to be an overall rise in insurance premiums for both men and women.

Car insurance is expected to be the area most affected, but look out for impacts on all motor insurance areas, plus on life insurance and the pensions industry.

There've been more predictions about what'll happen than tabloid headlines about the 'SEX rule', but we're now getting the cold, clinical facts to back up the projections.

As suspected, women drivers are being hit the hardest - especially young women - whilst young male drivers are one of the few groups to benefit.'s Gender Watch study has analysed over 10 million car insurance quotes since January 2011, and the figures show that the average best price for female car insurance has gone up from £748 on 1 November, 2012 to £932 on 19 December, 2012.

Male premiums are virtually unchanged for the same period.

The average best price for 17- and 18-year-old females has risen 32% from £1,910 at the start of November this year to £2,523.

Male 17- and 18-year-old premiums have decreased by 10% over the same period from £3,855 to £3,460.

"It is clear now that female drivers are going to bear the brunt of the EU gender ruling," said's head of motor insurance Scott Kelly.

"The average female driver will see the best price for their car insurance rise by 25% at renewal, while male rates will be largely unchanged.

"Young female drivers will be hit even harder with premium increases of around £600.

"It is going to take a while for the full picture to emerge as a number of providers have chosen to exit certain markets temporarily.

"However, telematics-based policies seem to be competing well with standard insurance policies during the transition to gender neutral pricing and it is likely that more young drivers will be drawn towards a policy that is based on driver behaviour in future."