2012 was dubbed “G Day” by the motor insurance industry. It was the day that the grandly titled EU Gender Directive came into play. The day when insurers were no longer able to use someone’s gender as a rating factor when calculating premiums for car, life and some other types of insurance.
The view from Tiger.co.uk HQ is simple. Women drivers are statistically proven over decades of motoring history to be safer to insure than their male counterparts. Not because they have fewer accidents but because the accidents that women drivers have tend to cost less to fix. So to take away this rating factor from insurers and charging women, particularly young women, more for their car insurance
policies is unfair!
But EU political correctness has won the day and we are where we are. Let’s have a look at what the actual effect has been. Results from January’s Tiger Watch study
(that’s Tiger.co.uk’s very own monthly motor insurance price monitor) show that pricing for young women’s car insurance
has rocketed over the last month.
The 20 year old female driver profile on Tiger Watch
has seen motor insurance prices soar by over 21% compared to January 2012 rates. And the 25 year old female profile has seen premiums increase by nearly 15%. These increases are in contrast to pricing for male drivers, who have seen their prices drop by an average of about 9% compared to a year ago.
Insurers do appear to be trying to find ways around the EU Gender Directive by amending other rating factors such as occupations where there are higher incidences of women such as nursing. And others are encouraging women, particularly young women, to consider buying telematics-based insurance policies. These use a small box to relay actual driving behaviours (speed, braking, mileage and so on) back to the insurer, who then uses this information to calculate rates. Safer drivers (male or female) should qualify for cheaper motor insurance.
The latest of these telematics insurance products – new this week in fact - is a product called Drive Like A Girl. The premise is simple. If any driver, male or female, drives sensibly and safely, they could receive a rebate on their insurance premium after three months. Expect to see more products like this appearing over the next few months.