independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Charlie Weston: Drive for equality is most unfair on the fairer sex

IT is enough to drive miss crazy. Young female drivers are seeing the cost of insuring their cars jump by up to €300 to satisfy a mad EU directive.

The gender directive is supposed to ban insurance pricing on the grounds of sex.

Instead, it is actually introducing a whole new set of costs for women and many of them will see that as discrimination.

At present women pay less for motor cover than men because statistics show that, although they have as many accidents as men, they tend to be less costly than the ones men are involved in.

This means that women are safer drivers and are cheaper to insure.

When we open our newspapers on a Monday morning there is invariably a report about an accident, usually fatal, over the weekend. More often than not the driver and the occupants of the car are men.

But despite that, the new rules on gender discrimination are actually going to punish females.

This is because insurers are set to hike the premiums for women under 30, while leaving men's as they are.

Of course, it is open to insurance companies to cut the costs for men, while slightly hiking premiums for women.

The evidence from AonInsure.ie shows that is not what is happening. Women are being asked to bear the burden of the new regime.

This is particularly the case for those under the age of 30 where the current gap between the premiums charged is largest.

This has prompted claims of profiteering by insurers.

Not so, says the Irish Insurance Federation. Motor cover is competitive and cheap here compared with the UK.

Well, tell that to a 28-year-old woman with a full licence and no penalty points and a full no-claims bonus. She doesn't care about what it costs in Britain because she has to buy insurance here, and is distinctly unimpressed at huge rises in her premiums.

Whatever way you look at it, the whole thing is most unfair on the fairer sex.

Irish Independent

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