Men pay 25% more for car insurance despite EU gender-pricing ban
Men are still being charged more than women for car insurance, even though EU rules ban pricing based on gender.
On average, men pay around £170 more than women, according to a new study.
And the gap between prices for men and women has actually grown during the last four years, the Times reports.
Researchers found many insurers used stats that show men are more likely to be involved in an accident, even when the individual motorist concerned had an excellent driving record.
This gets around the EU directive, because it relies on statistics to price a policy and doesn’t fix a price based on gender alone.
More bad news for drivers
The findings are even more bad news for hard-pressed drivers who are already being hit by premiums that have rocketed by almost 15% in the past year. Those aged 50-plus are facing the biggest percentage rises, of 16.5%.
Over the past three years, premiums have gone up by around 38% – far ahead of inflation.
Recent rises have been blamed on changes to the way compensation claims for people involved in life-changing accidents are calculated. Changes to the formula mean that payouts are likely to be higher and insurance companies have used this as a reason (or excuse!) to ratchet up premiums.
The government has now said it will look again at the formula. Insurers have also blamed a hike in insurance tax for the rising premiums.
ASpokesmanSaid insurance expert Nic McBride said, "This is really an underhand way of getting around the EU rules and is bad news for male drivers.
"It’s true, though, that men generally are statistically more likely to have accidents, possibly because there are more of them on the road and because more of them drive business vehicles like vans.
"What it means, though, is that it’s more important than ever to shop around for car insurance.
"Companies will apply any statistics they can to measure risk and fix premiums, and they will often arrive at very different prices from each other. So always compare prices."
The research was carried out between June and August this year and found men were quoted £821 on average, compared with average quotes for women of £649.
So, the quotes for men averaged almost 27% more.
This was a rise from a difference of 19%, which was found by similar research just after the EU directive was introduced.
Sorry men, women are safer
A study by Privilege Insurance two years ago found that women are indeed safer drivers than men.
It found women were better in almost every aspect of driving, including observing speed limits, stopping at red lights and using indicators.
Women were also less likely to drive aggressively, to tailgate, cut into traffic, use a mobile hen driving or cause an obstruction.
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