So what effect did the EU Gender Directive have on car insurance premiums?
You all think that next Wednesday is a big day don’t you, but you are forgetting that tomorrow, 21st December, sees the first anniversary of the implementation of the EU Gender Directive, and we’ve all been desperate to see how that has impacted our premiums over the last 12 months.
In case you have been living under a rock, the EU Gender Directive made it illegal for insurers in the UK to ‘discriminate’ against men by charging them more for things like car insurance purely down to the fact that they are men. Instead, gender should be ignored when calculating premiums to make sure no one is getting a bum deal. Fears were, of course, that this would also mean that no-one would get a good deal, with many predicting that female premiums would rise rather than male premiums falling.
So what is the reality? Well, comparison-type Go Compare have looked at all their car insurance data (all 7 million quotes of it) and concluded that actually, premiums haven’t gone up at all, and have actually lower this year than they were last year for most people. Of course, women’s premiums have fallen by less than men’s premiums, but then they were lower to start with. Seems like the EU may actually have done us a favour after all.
The figures show that the overall reduction in premiums from 2012 to 2103 for men and women is £146, with the average premium coming in at £820, compared with £966 in November 2012. It is only women aged between 17 and 20 who have seen a rise in their premiums, and that was only £9 (£1,706 in November 2013 compared with £1,697 in November 2012). Young men of the same age have seen the biggest drop in the prices quoted, with the average premium now coming in at £2,358, compared with £3,293 - a reduction of £936. But still fairly eye-watering.
Women overall have seen an average drop in premiums of £59, down to £719, compared with £778 in November 2012. Women aged 45-49 are the biggest female losers, with a reduction of £138. Men have seen a much larger overall drop of £205, with the average price in November 2013 being £890 compared to £1095 in November 2012, but men aged 65 and over have seen the smallest drop in prices with premiums dropping by only £26.
Gocompare.com's head of motoring, Scott Kelly, said: "The gender directive certainly shook up the car insurance market this year. No one was entirely sure how prices and products would be affected when it first came in last December, but with the exception of young female drivers, these reductions in premiums will be very welcome indeed.”
So raise a glass of sherry to the EU this year. Provided it’s produced in Spain, of course…