It’s fairly common knowledge that women tend to live longer than men. In fact, the Office for National Statistics has been conducting surveys for years and a boy baby born in current times can expect to live to 77.7 and a girl baby is expected to live to the ripe old age of 81.9
Apparently however, the gap has come down over the last 27 years from 6 years to 4.2 year which suggests men are taking better care of their health but there is still a clear gap.
For this reason, women actually pay slightly less for life insurance and that makes perfect sense.
But it could all be about to change.
The European Court of Justice is about to make a ruling over the legality of this ‘gender pricing’ (although it’s not really based on gender it’s based on life expectancy).
In September 2010 the Advocate General of the ECJ adjudicated that this differential pricing contravened the fundamental principle of equal treatment on the basis of gender which is enshrined in the Treaty on European Union.
The final written judgement will be published on 1st March.
So what does this mean?
Will insurance companies lower the price of cover for men to make it fair? Or will they increase the cover for women?
If I was a ‘business’ I know which one I’d do (not to mention that prices are based on a very thorough analysis of statistical information so it wouldn’t make sense to reduce the cost of cover for men).
It is uncertain if the ruling will bring about an immediate change or if the ECJ will allow insurers time to fall in line.
This is very unlikely to have any affect on existing policies but it could affect applications that are being processed and it will definitely impact new policy prices.
Is this right?
Statistically (based on provable facts) women live longer so surely they should be considered lower risk?
Is this really a gender issue?
I don’t really know much about how insurance is priced in the rest of Europe but I’d be interested to hear a woman’s opinion on this matter…
Either way, it could mean women have just 7 days to get covered before the price goes up…!?