Car insurance: Men still paying more – 5 years after ruling 0

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Men are still routinely paying more than women for their car insurance, five years after a ruling aimed at ending discrimination by gender was passed by the EU.

The gender directive was passed to check insurers, who were automatically favouring women by discounting their premiums by hundreds of pounds. A industry trend had started to emerge that saw insurance companies, such as Sheila’s Wheels, aimed specifically at female drivers.

Despite the ruling, new data has been released that shows that even when automatic gender-specific pricing is removed, men are still paying more. This is because the majority of car insurance data continues to rate the majority of male drivers as a riskier proposition.

A study by price comparison website comparethemarket.com reveals the 2012 ruling has made little change to the difference in premiums paid by men and women.    

“This data shows how little difference the EU gender directive has had on insurance premiums,” said John Miles, of comparethemarket.com. “Providers are still giving big discounts to women.

“This is likely due to a number of factors, such as statistically higher accident rates for men and more men than women driving business and commercial vehicles – which are higher risk.

“The directive removed the ability of providers to give default discounts to women; however, the statistics and risk models used by insurers mean that the result is largely the same.”

The study, which took an average from the five cheapest premiums offered to customers found that the highest and lowest price was roughly £50 higher for men compared to women.

“For motor insurance, factors such as the type of car, number of miles driven, driving record and claims experience will all impact on the cost of cover,” he explained. “Men and women are likely to drive different types of vehicle, do different mileage, and these variations, not gender pricing, will reflect in premiums.

“Also, across the board, average motor insurance premiums continue to rise – up 11pc over last year – due to increasing costs, including higher Insurance Premium Tax and rising vehicle repair bills.”

The disparity aside, average car insurance prices are currently the highest they have ever been at £740 this quarter – £42 up from this time last year. Even the cheapest premiums have increased to £612 – £33 up on last year.

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