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Women drivers feel the pinch ahead of gender neutrality insurance shakeup

The days of gender inequality are coming to a close – at least, where car insurance is concerned. New neutrality rules coming into effect on December 21st 2012 mean women will have to pay exactly the same amount on their car insurance as men.

On Friday, women will start to pay more for their car insurance. If the world doesn't end, that is.
On Friday, women will start to pay more for their car insurance. If the world doesn’t end, that is.

Historically, men – particularly younger men – have paid more for their insurance than their ovary-toting counterparts, because they are statistically more likely to have accidents. However the EU has ruled that insurance companies can no longer take a person’s gender into account when calculating how much to charge them.

Reports suggest insurance quotes for womenfolk have already begun to increase, with some policy prices having jumped by as much as 15 per cent. That’s an additional £114 on top of the £748 average from six weeks ago, according to comparison website and purveyor of annoying adverts Gocompare.com.

HM Treasury figures estimate that, once the change is in, insurance prices will increase as much as 24 per cent from £1,247 to £1,546 for those aged between 17 and 25. 26- to 30-year-olds are forecasted to pay 18 per cent more than they do now (from £711 to £839), while 31- to 35-year-olds may pay an extra 10 per cent (from £534 to £587). 41- to 45-year-olds are relatively unaffected, with a forecasted 1 per cent increase — an extra £6 per year on the £631 average.

Gocompare.com has been tracking insurance prices for both sexes over the last 23 months and has noticed a significant change in prices only in the last few weeks. However, the company also claims that the majority of insurers are leaving full gender equalisation until the last minute, so there may still be time for shop around for a new policy.

Thankfully, young women still have some tools at their disposal to reduce their insurance premiums. Selecting an insurance policy that includes a ‘black box’ telematics system, which tracks where and how you drive, is one option, although the lack of freedom to hoon about under the proverbial radar will be a turn-off for some.

Not that the fairer sex should be too upset at the news – if the Mayans are correct, a few quid more on our premiums will be the last of our worries come December 21st.

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