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Insurance ruling makes no sense

By the end of this year, women who take out new car insurance policies will have to pay over 10pc more than at present.

Meanwhile, life insurance premiums for women may rise by as much as one-third.

While the women pay more, the men will pay less -- but not much less, possibly by way of a cut between 3pc and 4pc.

This rather bizarre situation arises from a European Union ruling which itself was based on a questionable definition of equality.

The logic, if one can call it logic, is that men and women should pay similar rates. At present, the gap is substantial.

A 21-year-old man could pay €1,632 a year, a woman the same age only €885 for a similar car.

But it takes no great wisdom to spot a flaw. Women, famously, are safer drivers. Should not premiums be determined on the basis of relative risk? In that event, women would pay much less than men. Who can call that unfair?

As matters stand, an expert study tells us that premiums for young women could rise between 11pc and 25pc.

But men will not profit by a similar margin. It seems fair to conclude that there is something amiss with the arithmetic.

The European Commission says it will watch closely for unjustified rises.

Perhaps it should also look at its own ideas of what is logical.