Gender deadline approaches

Motorhome and campervan insurance providers will be getting increasingly edgy as December 21st steadily approaches.

That is the date when motor insurance companies can no longer use gender as a factor when determining the price of a premium and although plans will be in place, a possible negative reaction by the UK motoring population to the difference it makes to the cost of purchasing insurance has left all those concerned in the vehicle insurance business nervous. The European Commission say they are only bringing motor insurance in line with other industries but the fact of the matter is that males are far more likely to be involved in a motoring accident and to be convicted of a driving offence than females.

In fact the figures are so convincing it is hard to believe them. According to Department for Transport (DfT) figures for 2011 males were involved in twice as many accidents as females (169,506 to 77,583) and were responsible for 92% of driving convictions. A figure that rises to 98% when dangerous driving convictions are considered in isolation. Little wonder then that motor insurance companies claim that gender is a legitimate way of determining the cost of a policy.

Figures supplied by the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) show an average policy price for an 18 year old female as £2,700 while that of an 18 year old male comes in at £4,400, no wonder more and more ladies now say “Vive La Difference”! It is a problem insurers have got to resolve if they don’t want customers to leave them in droves and Graeme Trudghill, BIBA’s Associate Director, acknowledged the problem but gave this advice to customers “There are dozens of factors affecting ratings. You can’t change your gender or your age but you can change things like the engine size of the car you drive, its value and its security. You may also be able to change what you use the car for. Insurers will give discount for restricted use. New measures are being used to assess the risk a driver presents, including looking at their credit rating. One way a young female – or male – driver can bring down the cost of a premium is to install a “black box” that monitors their driving.”

However the pricing of a policy is resolved it would appear that the motor insurance industry may once again get the blame for an increase in the cost of cover. Only time will tell.

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