On the 21st December, 2012 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gender ruling came into force in the UK. The ECJ is the highest court of the European Union and its decisions over-rule UK law. The regulation made it unlawful for insurance companies to consider the gender of their customers when calculating car insurance premiums and forced them to treat male and female customers equally. It was designed to equalise car insurance costs across the genders, but has it had this effect?
The Effects of the ECJ Gender Ruling
It was expected that the cost of insuring a car would rise by as much as 30% for female drivers once the ECJ gender ruling became effective. However, a recent survey by Money Supermarket in conjunction with DriversEdgeUK has revealed that the average cost of insurance for women drivers has actually fallen by nearly 2%. However, it is the cost of young driver car insurance where the most startling findings were exposed, with teenage female drivers now paying 22% more for their car insurance than they were prior to the ECJ ruling. On the other hand, male teenage motorists are now paying just over 11% less since the change occurred.
This raises some difficult questions. As male drivers get caught speeding more often and tend to commit more drink- and drug-driving offences than their female counterparts, isn’t it only fair that they pay a bit more for their insurance? Why should females pay more when they are the safer drivers? On the other hand, should all male motorists be punished for the recklessness of a minority of male drivers?
What the Survey Found
Females are still receiving cheaper premiums on average, with male drivers paying £490 and women only £416.
Since the ECJ ruling came into effect, the average cost of insurance has fallen for both men and women, with drops of 7.2% and 1.9% respectively.
For male drivers in the 17 to 19 years age bracket, the average insurance cost has fallen by £184, or 11.2%. For female drivers in the same age bracket, premiums have gone up £231, which is an increase of 22.1%.
9.2% of MoneySupermarket’s male customers had a conviction for speeding on their record whereas only 6.8% of female customers had been caught speeding in the past. And 0.67% of male customers had a conviction for drink- or drug-driving compared with 0.27% of females.
The survey also revealed that the biggest distractions for female drivers are their passengers. Men admitted to being distracted mostly by what is happening at the side of the road, with 40% of men confessing to this.
One of the most surprising findings from this survey is that since December 21st, 2012, car insurance premiums, on average, have fallen for both genders. What is perhaps even more shocking is the demographic that is bearing the brunt of this fall teenage female drivers. For this group, the ECJ ruling, which was designed to help out female drivers, has in fact punished them with increased premiums of £231 on average.