Car insurance for women used to be far cheaper than it was for men – find out why and how it all changed
Traditionally, car insurance for women was a lot cheaper than it was for men. This is down to the fact that women drivers have statistically fewer accidents and make fewer claims, enabling insurers to reward them with lower premiums.
However, a ruling made by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) now means that insurers cannot take gender into account when calculating the cost of insurance.
The new law, which came into place on 21 December 2012, is bad news for women drivers, who will almost certainly see increases to the cost of their car insurance.
What the ruling means for women’s car insurance
According to the AA, young female drivers used to pay premiums up to 50% cheaper than their male peers. However, the ECJ ruling means that in order to ‘even out’ insurance rates, women will see a sharp rise in their insurance costs.
This is partly down to the fact that women – especially female drivers under the age of 25 – will effectively have to pay premiums that reflect the risk of their male counterparts, with young male drivers statistically more likely to be involved in accidents.
Recent stats from the AA showed that a female driver aged between 17 and 22 pays a typical premium of £2,057, compared with more than £3,000 for men in the same age bracket. The insurance industry predicts that prices for young women will rise by an average of 25% during 2013, adding £531 to a policy for a woman aged between 17 and 22.
The insurance industry appears unconvinced about the new law. Maggie Craig of the Association of British Insurers, which represents the majority of insurance providers, feels that the ruling “… ignores the fact that taking a person’s gender into account, where relevant to the risk, enables men and women alike to get a more accurate price for their insurance.”
Getting cheaper car insurance
While there’s plenty of debate over whether the ruling is fair or not, it’s key to remember that it doesn’t necessarily signal the end of all cheap car insurance for women, with many experienced and older female drivers less affected.
One factor likely to have a big effect on the price of your car insurance is the type of car you drive, with the car’s speed, security features, and value all playing a big part – read our guide to the cheapest cars to insure to find out which cars attract the cheapest insurance premiums.
You can also cut car insurance costs by adding a named driver to the insurance policy, especially if they’re older and more experienced on road. Furthermore, adding extra security features, such as an alarm or immobiliser, can often help you get cheaper cover.