MOST women are unaware that they are set to pay more for life insurance from the end of December, a new survey has found.
At the moment women pay a quarter less than men for life cover – but the price is set to shoot up by the end of the year.
Women have traditionally paid much less for life insurance than men because they live longer, and so insurers often don't have to pay out before the term of the insurance policy runs out.
From December, an EU ruling will not allow insurers to charge different rates to men and women. Women will also lose out when it comes to motor insurance.
As many as 200,000 women are facing motor insurance increases of up to €300-a-year.
Insurers have already started to push up motor premiums for females, ahead of new rules banning gender discrimination due to take effect in December.
Increases of between 10pc and 45pc are being imposed on women drivers between the ages of 17 and 30, with lower rises for older women.
Now a new survey commissioned by Irish Life has found that two-thirds of women do not know they are about to lose one of their great price advantages over men.
Women typically pay 25pc less for life insurance, but any woman taking out a new policy after December 21 faces having to pay the same premium as a man.
Irish Life said that a woman typically pays €37 a month at the moment for €200,000 cover for a 25-year term. A man pays €10 a month more.
The change in pricing is a result of a European Court ruling, which held that having different pricing for insurance policies based on gender was discriminatory.
This means the practice of charging women up to 25pc less for life insurance policies will come to an end, according to Irish Life.
The cost of cover now will depend on your age, health and the level and type of cover.
Declan O'Neill of Irish Life said that the life insurance industry across Europe was preparing to introduce equal pricing for men and women from December 21, and that the traditional discount that women have enjoyed for life insurance compared to male customers will disappear.
"This change has come from the European Court of Justice and the impact is likely to mean that prices for life insurance for women will rise much closer to those available for men.
"However, over the next few weeks women still have the opportunity to enjoy discounts of up to 25pc compared to their male counterparts. So I'd encourage women to act now to buy cover before December 21."