The Rising Cost of Women’s Car Insurance
Last year saw a land mark ruling on gender equality by the European Court of Justice against gender discrimination in the insurance industry. Traditionally women drivers have been able to benefit from cheaper car insurance, based on the fact that statistically they are safer drivers.
This car crash piece of legislation is now taking effect across Europe and UK and women are beginning to feel the full effects. The average increase is anticipated to be £362 – according to research conducted by the AA. Averages are deceptive figures at the best of times and in the case of car insurance this is very much the case.
Age is a significant factor in the car insurance industry, with younger drivers subject to much higher premiums, regardless of their gender. The equality ruling will affect young women drivers most significantly but, how will it affect the people in real terms?
Back to those averages; young male drivers can expect to pay around £3,163 per year once they have passed their test. Their female counterparts have previously benefited from much lower averages of around £1,799, which is still a high enough.
As these are averages, there are plenty of drivers paying more. Of course, the effect of the ruling will not be to bring down the average insurance for young male drivers, but increase the premium for young women. Effectively, in this case, equality means that young women will gain the right to pay for the dangerous, careless and risky driving of an extremely small proportion of young male drivers.
Ultimately it is a small proportion of these drivers who create the risk factor in this age group. Young men who are safe drivers have for years suffered at the hands of the few; the ruling simply means that young women will be joining them. There is an anticipated drop in premiums for young men of around nine per cent, which some commentators fear will enable them to buy higher powered, faster cars, increasing the risk in this already risky group.
While a number of ministers and opposition MPs are actively involved in trying to convince the government to address the situation facing women drivers, whether young or old, it seems unlikely that the government will be able to, or willing to, overrule the courts decision. The insurance industry itself is likely to be the source of help for drivers seeking better deals on their insurance and the Association of British Insurers has been at the forefront of the battle to avoid this situation.
Although many women will be affected by the ruling when it comes to renewing their premiums a good driving history and lack of claims may mitigate the increases for more experienced drivers. For the young, both male and female, there are some steps that can be taken to combat the rise and actively reduce premiums.
Extra Tuition and Black Box Technology
The first is simply to take an advanced driving course as soon as possible. The Pass Plus scheme will normally entitle you to a discount on your premium and these can be as much as 30 per cent. With anticipated rises of up to 24 per cent for most women, this may cancel out the hike for young female drivers.
Black Box insurance schemes are now becoming more widely available, these monitor your driving skills and offer insurance based on actually ability and safety – not age or gender. For many women these may be the best option to access a premium that reflects their ability.
Womens car insurance has traditionally been cheaper than that of men. Last year’s ECJ ruling has, however, changed all that. European car Insurance like that from tiger.co.uk that reflects an individual’s ability, is now the best option for saving on car insurance, regardless of your age and gender.