11202017

Motor insurance cost ‘widens between sexes’

Cars

Men are being quoted more than women for vehicle insurance and the gap is widening, a price comparison site has claimed.

The differential was wider than four years ago, despite European rules that prevent gender being considered as a factor when setting premiums.

Men were now quoted 27% more than women for the cheapest deals, according to Comparethemarket.

In January 2013, the month after the rules came in, the gap was 20%.

Insurers used to consider gender owing, for example, to the difference between the sexes in life expectancy and the likelihood of road accidents.

At the end of 2012, following a court ruling, the rules were changed so insurers were banned from taking the gender of their customers into account when setting their insurance premiums.

Other factors can be considered which, according to Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), can affect average quotes for men and women.

“Factors including type of car, number of miles driven, driving record and claims experience will all impact on the cost of cover. Men and women are likely to drive different types of vehicle, do different mileage, and these variations, not gender pricing, will reflect in premiums,” he said.

“Also, across the board, average motor insurance premiums continue to rise – up 11% over last year – due to increasing costs, including higher Insurance Premium Tax and rising vehicle repair bills.”

Graeme Trudgill, executive director of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, said that numerous factors ranging from the number of claims to a customer’s credit score could affect premiums.

John Miles, of Comparethemarket, also pointed out the higher likelihood of men driving commercial vehicles than women, and that such vehicles posed a higher risk.

The comparison website said that, when comparing the average of the five cheapest deals between June and August 2017, the average car insurance policy for a man was £821 compared with £649 for a woman – a gap of nearly 27%.

In January 2013, the average policy for a male driver cost £592 compared with £494 for women – a difference of almost 20%, it said.

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