Young female car drivers are likely to see their premiums go up as new EU legislation kicked in from the third week of 2012. And it’s not only car drivers who will face higher premiums under the sex equality rules – life insurance costs will rise too.
Insurance companies have traditionally used the gender of the car driver as one of the factors when deciding on the premium to charge. The EU has declared this to be unfair, as males are usually regarded as higher risk than females and have been paying higher premiums . Younger males have more accidents, and make more insurance claims.
Now, assuming all other things are equal, such as type of car, location, mileage covered in a year etc, the male will have to be offered the same price as a female, in other words there must be no difference based on the sex of the driver.
This of course means that many females will find their motor insurance rates going up at their next renewal date.
If you are a young woman, what should you do? First of all, shop around. Loyalty can be misplaced when it comes to insurance, as some companies will increase premiums for existing policy holders way out of proportion. While some of the increase might be due to the new legislation, don’t blindly accept that you are paying more solely because of it.
Do what you should always do at each renewal date, shop around. Use the Internet and use price comparison websites, and try one or two insurance companies who don’t use comparison sites also. You might be pleasantly surprised at the savings you could make by searching for better deals.
How about having a so-called black box fitted to your car to see how careful a driver you are? Otherwise known as telematics, this allows an insurance company to offer you a personalised quote based on how you drive.
The small black box is fitted out of sight, perhaps under the bonnet, or underneath the dashboard. GPS will be able to feedback how hard you accelerate, how harsh you brake, or corner. The better you drive, the more likely you are to have an accident, thus your insurance will be lower than the average. Bear in mind though that not all insurance companies offer telematics, so you will have to work out whether the one you are thinking of going with will be lower even with a reduction for your careful driving than another company who don’t use the black box system.
Some price comparison websites now include details of those insurers who have the option of having a black box fitted.
So, there is no escaping the EU sex equality rules, but for most people there are ways of minimizing the effects of the changes.