Insurance change brings unwelcome gift for young women drivers
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Insurers delivered an unwelcome Christmas present to young women
drivers in Kent today - soaring premiums.
Gift-wrapped in Brussels, a ruling by the European Court of
Justice prevents companies from using gender as a yardstick in
Even though young women have a better driving record than young
men, they are set to face swingeing increases from today.
The youngest could see premiums rise by as much as a third, a
massive hike on already astronomical premiums for new drivers.
Historically, young women have paid premiums as much as 40%
cheaper than male counterparts because young men are 10 times more
likely to be killed or seriously injured in a car crash than those
aged 35 or over and more than twice as likely as young women to
suffer a serious collision.
The decision has been denounced as unfair.
But the AA said it was not bad news for everyone, as men were
set to benefit from the change, with reductions for young men of up
Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said, "Not everyone
will see such big changes. In many respects, insurers are stepping
into the unknown.
"While the gender directive is patently unfair, given the widely
different claims patterns between young men and young women, it has
led insurers to re-assess how they take other aspects of risk into
account – such as age, occupation and post-code, as well as the
model of car driven.”
He claimed that premiums were falling and insurers were looking
at other measures affecting cost such as whiplash injury
He said that in some cases, new gender-neutral premiums would be
lower than the average quotes before the change. Student nurses –
90% of whom are female – can expect their premiums to remain the
same or in some cases fall, he claimed.
The change could persuade more young driver to use "telematics"
recording driving behaviour, with good technique rewarded with