Ladies car insurance
There has never been a more hotly contested argument between men and women than the one that rages almost constantly around the noble automobile.
It basically hinges upon which of the two genders handles this machine with the greatest skill. And who is to be the judge?
The simple truth is that the insurance companies have generally made quite a good fist of judging it and detailed statistical comparison has consequently been made over several decades.
Which does not necessarily enlighten us as who the better drivers are, but it most certainly does indicate which of the two sexes tend to cost the insurance companies the greater amount of money in accident claims.
Like it or not, it is overwhelmingly men. Not so much in the matter of the number of accidents resulting in claims, but more thanks to the fact that when a man does decide to have an accident, he tends to have a bigger and more expensive one. It is also the case that men tend to cover more miles annually than women, which effectively stacks up the odds in favour of an accident.
And it is naive to pretend that insurance is not a game of odds. It is why his policy has always been more expensive than hers and why he has always grumbled that ladies car insurance carries such a significant discount,
Which in turn has always fuelled the next debate. Why is it that ladies car insurance is cheap compared to mens – surely that is sexist?
Well, there was a time when the sexist argument carried no weight at all in this discourse. The facts were the facts and they were held to be irrefutable. Thus the norm, particularly in the UK, was that the average quote for a ladies car insurance policy carried a commensurate automatic discount, provided better levels of cover and (particularly when shopping online) a woman could expect to find cheap and comprehensive cover far more easily in comparison with a man of the same age and status seeking a quote for a similar vehicle.
This is a situation which rightly or wrongly is set to change. It was only a matter of time before the sexual discrimination argument found itself before the European Court of Justice and in 2011 irrespective of the demonstrable facts, it ruled in favour of male equality before what it considered to be the unfairly punitive practices of the insurance companies. Several sources speculate that men can expect to see premiums fall by around 10 per cent, while women could see hikes of as much as 25 per cent.
Insurance companies have until the end of 2012 to implement the changes ordered by the court, meanwhile there is no doubt that the drivergender war will continue – unabated.