European insurance stops using gender to determine rates

Gender Insurance RatingAccording to the main insurers’ lobby in Europe, the CEA, a new regulation will be causing european insurance customers to have to pay up to 30 percent more for their coverage.

The regulation stops insurance companies from being able to charge different rates for men and women, and it will come into effect in 2012. On average, women will face the largest increases.

According to the CEA, which was discussing the findings of research commissioned by the GDV, a German insurance industry association, women will on average be paying 30 percent more for term life insurance and 11 percent more for auto insurance. On the other hand, men will see an annuity income decrease of 5 percent.

Michaela Koller, the director general of the CEA released a statement that said that “The ban on gender insurance pricing may have a number of potential unintended negative consequences for consumers, insurance markets, and society more generally.”

In March, the top court in Europe decided that the practice by insurance companies of charging women and men different insurance premiums based on their gender was a discriminatory act, requiring the insurers to use a “unisex” strategy beginning in December 2012.

The insurance industry in Europe has strongly spoken out against this ruling, saying that they are justified charging men and women different prices as their risk profiles are different.

At the moment, women typically pay lower premiums for auto insurance coverage because they have a statistically lower chance of being involved in a collision. However, their annuity payments are lower because they have a longer life expectancy on average.

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