As of this Friday an EU ruling on gender comes into force meaning that insurance companies will no longer be allowed to vary premiums according to a customer’s sex. This may mean that women that have taken out car insurance could find themselves paying up to five hundred pounds more per year. Furthermore, the insurance industry has predicted that car insurance prices for young women will rise by up to twenty five per cent, and prices for older female drivers could rise by twenty per cent.
However, some insurance companies have still not confirmed how much more they are planning on charging their female customers once the law comes into effect. Ian Hughes, chief executive of the market research for Consumer Intelligence, said “The car insurance market is in chaos at the moment. Of those that have changed prices, some have put premiums up; others have cut them – but our overall analysis of gender-neutral insurers shows that women are so far looking at a typical 12% increase.”
Insurance companies are also planning on reducing the length of time that a quote is valid due to the new ruling. Currently, once an insurer gives a customer a potential quote it is valid for an average of ninety days. Now companies are reducing the length of time to thirty days to prevent people trying to get cheap insurance quotes that will be valid until next March. Other companies have reduced the length of time their quotes are valid to only fourteen days, with others are saying that any quote they give will become invalid after this Friday.
Some car insurance companies are now trying to find new ways for their female customers to keep their payments down, including introducing telematics (also referred to as a ‘black box’) policies. These policies mean that the car is equipped with a ‘black box’ that records how the car is driven and lets insurers tailor the cost of cover for each driver depending on how responsibly they drive.
Women drivers have been advised to talk to their car insurance providers in order to find out how much their premiums will rise by after this Friday, and whether it would be more beneficial to try and look for a different type of policy.