Many British drivers have experienced the rare event of insurance premiums dropping this year, with the news that the average policy now costs 6.2 per cent less than it did this time last year. However, it's not all good news, especially for women drivers who have been negatively affected by the same EU gender ruling that has seen men's car insurance dropping month on month to reduce the gender gap.
A push for gender equality is usually a cause for celebration, and indeed the majority of male drivers will continue to see their premiums drop until December 2012. However, many women drivers are less thrilled at the prospect of paying more each month, with an average increase of 11.4 per cent compared to last year, which will result in an estimated £362 extra per year once the changes come into full effect.
Car insurance premiums have traditionally been lower for women, who are perceived to be at lower risk of dangerous driving behaviour and other factors that would put them at risk of making a claim on their policies. But the new ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) states that insurance providers can no longer discriminate based on a customer's gender, something that many female drivers feel is not an accurate reflection of the statistics that women are involved in fewer crashes and serious road accidents than men.
The demographic that has benefited the most from this new ruling is young male drivers under the age of 21, who have always been the most heavily penalised due to their comparative lack of experience and higher risk of being involved in road accidents. By contrast, young women drivers in the same age group will be the worst affected by the change. The age group with the lowest premiums is still drivers aged 45 to 55, with both genders being viewed as less likely to be involved in accidents and often being able to make use of no claims bonuses to reduce the cost of their premiums.
At present, car insurance for women is still cheaper than that of men, but the figures should be relatively equal by the time December comes around and insurance companies are forced to comply with the new ruling. Rather than make an abrupt change at the end of the year however, most insurers have taken the approach of gradual increases and reductions to level the playing field.
Jesse Wallace writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.