Men still pay more for car insurance despite gender discrimination rules

Published by Adam Williams on 25 September 2017.
Last updated on 25 September 2017

Men typically pay £170 more a year for their car insurance policies than women, despite insurers being banned from discriminating based on gender.

The EU Gender Directive was introduced in December 2012 and made it illegal for insurance companies to gender discriminate. However, research conducted by price comparison site Compare the Market shows than men are still paying significantly more than women for car insurance.

Between June and August 2017 the average man was charged £821 for a car insurance policy, compared to £649 for the average woman.

Worse still, since the EU regulations were introduced, the gap between men and women’s premiums has actually increased.

In January 2013, the average car insurance premium for a male driver cost £592 compared to £494 for women – a difference of 20%. Today that price gap has increased to 27%.

John Miles, head of motor at Compare the Market, says the rules introduced by the EU Gender Directive have had little impact on drivers.

“This data shows how little difference the EU Gender Directive has had on insurance premiums, with providers still giving big discounts to women,” he says.

“This is likely due to a number of factors, such as statistically higher accident rates for men and more men than woman driving business and commercial vehicles – which are higher risk. The directive removed the ability of providers to give default discounts to women; however, the statistics and risk models used by insurers mean that the result is largely the same.”

Car insurance costs on the rise

Both sexes have seen car insurance costs increase year-on-year. Compare the Market says the average premium for all consumers stood at £740 between June and August. This is £42 higher than a year ago.

It says changes to the Ogden rate introduced in March 2017 have further increased insurance prices for both men and women.

However, it does predict insurance premiums will fall by around £23 on average if further changes to the Ogden rate are approved by the government. 

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