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Gender insurance ruling condemned


Thursday March 3rd 2011

A ruling preventing gender use in setting insurance premiums has been condemned as "a victory for boy racers" by an MEP.

The insurance industry itself has warned that the European Court decision was likely to mean higher motor premiums for women and lower pensions for men, and a possible rise in uninsured driving and insurance fraud.

Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim described the ruling as "a victory for boy racers and a major blow for both democracy and careful women drivers."

He said the figures showed young men have more accidents than women and this should be reflected in their premiums. "This ruling is utter madness. It is a setback for common sense," said Mr Karim.

The Association of British Insurers said it was disappointed by the decision, which the industry has spent the past decade fighting.

ABI acting director-general Maggie Craig said: "The judgment ignores the fact that taking a person's gender into account, where relevant to the risk, enables men and women alike to get a more accurate price for their insurance. Insurers will now study this judgment carefully to manage negative effects for customers."

The group said Car Insurance premiums would change and estimated that for annuities, men approaching retirement could face an 8% cut in rates, while those for women approaching retirement could rise by 6%.

Similarly for Life Insurance, men could see a 10% fall in costs, while women's rates could rise by as much as 20%.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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