Insurers have until December 21st 2012 to remove gender based pricing.
Will this mean they have to ignore statistics just because they could be considered gender specific?
‘Statistically’ (based on factual evidence) women live longer and young men have more car accidents.
Will these facts have to be ignored?
If you’d like to pick the ruling to pieces and try to find out what the likely impact will be, you can find it here:
Search for Case Ref: C-236/09
When it comes to the provision of healthcare section (12) states: ‘differences between men and women in the provision of healthcare services, which result from the physical differences between men and women, do not relate to comparable situations and therefore, do not constitute discrimination’.
So why are life insurance companies worried?
It also states: ‘Direct discrimination occurs only when one person is treated less favourably, on grounds of sex, than another person in a comparable situation.’
That’s the bit that is probably scaring the car insurance companies.
Put a man and a woman in the same situation on the road and if one is more likely to have an accident than the other, the price of insurance can’t reflect this.
Section (19) states: ‘In some cases, sex is one but not necessarily the only determining factor in the assessment of risks insured. For contracts insuring those types of risks, Member States may decide to permit exemptions from the rule of unisex premiums and benefits, as long as they can ensure that underlying actuarial and statistical data on which the calculations are based, are reliable, regularly up-dated and available to the public.’
So if insurers can prove the statistics, they can still vary the price but they have to make the statistics public.
So all this really does is stop insurance companies generating one price based on the facts and then adding a bit extra just because of gender.
Sounds like a good thing to me!
Have they been upping prices just because of gender with no supporting facts?