EU equality ruling to hit young female drivers

Caroline Cassidy

We're all for equality but a new EU ruling could mean British taxpayers end up forking out almost £1 billion more than at present. If EU plans go ahead following tomorrow's ruling, assessing insurance premiums or pensions payouts on the basis of gender will be illegal.

Young female drivers hit by EU ruling
Young female drivers hit by EU ruling

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That means that not only will young female drivers' insurance premiums rise but pensions payouts for men look likely to decrease by up eight per cent.

Think-tank Open Europe has estimated that insurance companies will be forced to raise £936 million to cover the "uncertainty" as a result of the ruling... and as ever, it's the taxpayer that will foot the bill.

For the average 17-year-old woman driver, that could mean an extra £4,300 paid in insurance premiums by the age of 26 and in some cases that figure could even hit £9,300.

In 2004, an EU directive meant that insurers were able to offer better prices to certain drivers as long as the statistics provided good reason.

But last year it was suggested that this was incompatible with EU sex discrimination laws.

Stephen Booth of Open Europe told the Daily Mail: "Giving EU judges free rein to rewrite laws that the UK government has signed up to in good faith can cause damaging and unforeseen consequences.

"That these judges would magically rule that young women should pay more in the name of equality is simply perverse. Instead of making prices fairer between men and women, this ruling would increase costs for consumers taken as a whole."

However, while young female drivers are likely to pay more for their car insurance, young men (traditionally the highest risk category with exorbitant insurance costs to pay), could be paying around 10 per cent less in premiums.

What do you think? Are gender-based insurance prices discriminatory? Your comments below please...