Cheap car insurance and sex discrimination
In March 2011, the European Court of Justice decided the basis for calculating car insurance rates was discriminating on the ground of sex. From December 2012, the insurance industry throughout Europe must switch to rates that eliminate inequalities between men and women. In theory, we should all applaud everything that makes people more equal. Why should men pay more and women pay less just because of their sex? Except, of course, that's not the basis on which insurance works. Let's take a simple fact. Twenty-five times more men are convicted of dangerous driving than women. This translates into significantly higher claims being made by men. Since the premium rates are based on the driver's safety record, men tend to pay more than women. But not any more! It's estimated that there will be a swing in the balance of payments so that women will pay about £900 million a year more and men about £600 million less. In terms of road safety, the Treasury believes this will increase the number of accidents a year. The reasoning is simple. If the boy racers will pay less to insure high-powered vehicles, they can afford to buy more horsepower. Put men into faster cars and they are more likely to crash. So, 2012 is the last year in which women will, on average, pay significantly less than men of the same age. No matter how well women drive, no matter they might never have made a claim, the renewal next year will potentially come as a shock. Although estimates vary, women can expect to see average car insurance rates increase by between 20 and 25%. Ignoring the politics of this subsidy for the bad driving of men, this means women must take more care than usual for the first renewal after December 2012. For now, you can assume a cheap car insurance rate from most companies given a safe driving record. Come 2013, shopping around comes to the fore. It must start with searches using this and similar sites. You need the maximum number of quotes from as many different companies as possible to find the most affordable policy. It may be worth looking for the companies offering a specialisation in insurance for women and comparing their rates with the companies having the largest number of policyholders which spreads the risk among the most drivers. This assumes the new laws due this year will allow women-only insurance policies.
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