Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The law is an ass

Today's ruling by the European Court of Justice that insurance companies must not differentiate between men and women when setting prices for car insurance and other financial products is stupid and perverse.

Responsible young female drivers will have to pay more to cover irresponsible young male drivers, who are statistically twice as likely to have an accident. How is that fair? My student daughter, a careful driver already feeling the financial pinch of rising fuel prices, will see the cost of her car insurance soar by 20-25 per cent, a blow she can ill afford and one she does not deserve. And there'll be hundreds of thousands of young women like her.

I'm not an anti-European. And I believe that as a general principle we cannot expect to pick and choose which laws to obey and which not. But something is seriously wrong with the basis on which the European courts are making asinine judgements like this, and it needs taking in hand fast.


  1. The motor insurance sector can work round this. Basic premiums will go up particularly for young female drivers - but I would expect large carrots in the way of higher no claim discounts for drivers demonstrating good claims records and massively increased premiums (and maybe refusal to insure at all) for drivers who establish a bad track record for claims and motoring offences. Also larger excesses in return for a reduced premium could be on offer.

    In other words insurers can act retrospectively against bad drivers - it is only when they first cover a novice driver that they may not be aware of the magnitude of the risk they are taking on.

    Much more difficult to get round this ruling in respect of life assurance and pensions - the insurer only knows the extent of the risk they are taking with a life assurance policy when the punter dies and the policy pays out. Similarly with pensions - the punter has paid for it before it starts to pay out and the insurer doesn't know for how long they will be paying that pension.

  2. I could equally raise the stats that show for the amount of driving that women tend to do (satistically, they tend to do quite a bit less) women have an equal/higher milage-to-accident ratio. This shows that mile per mile, women are just as likely to have accidents as men.
    Hopefully this highlights how unfair and random the discrimination against good drivers of both sexes.

  3. It should be noted that ECJ interprets EU law, which can be changed if there is sufficient will on the part of national ministers.

  4. "This shows that mile per mile, women are just as likely to have accidents as men."

    However the average cost of a claim is significantly lower for women than for men in most age groups (information from Association of British Insurers website). It isn't just numbers of claims which have to be taken into account.

  5. Hmm, sounds to me like the ministers should do some noting, then.

  6. It's amazing how pathetically sexist chicks are when there's money in it for them, creepy.