Tuesday, March 1, 2011...8:51 pm

Why older drivers need to worry about ECJ insurance ruling

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Today’s European Court of Justice ruling that insurance companies may not charge differential rates to men and women has hit the headlines. The ruling will probably mean that women will now have to pay more for their car insurance (and possibly men pay less – though insurers will be more likely to hike premiums than reduce them).
But no mention in the media of the obvious next development in this. If discrimination by gender is to be illegal, then surely any other discrimination will be illegal too. Like age.
Women are charged lower insurance premiums because they are safer drivers. But older, and thus more experienced, drivers are also safer than boy racers.
Age discrimination is now banned in the workplace. It’s a safe bet that any discrimination ruling by the ECJ will be extended to age at some point, so older drivers will no longer be able to get discounted rates.
What will this all mean? Either that insurance companies begin to charge the same premium for everyone, regardless of risk (so more expensive for the cautious, maybe cheaper for the careless). Or possibly that insurance companies will price insurance contracts solely on individual driving record. As a comment on BBC News suggested this evening, that might make premiums more expensive anyway, as they will be more work to process.
As the price of oil spikes thanks to Middle East unrest, drivers can look forward to relentlessly rising costs. Terrific news.

1 Comment

  • Christ Freelance, I feel even more miserable now than I did on Friday when I realised that I had put £70 of petrol into my car in a week and yet had barely ventured out of South Leicestershire.
    I saw a lovely card in Smith’s yesterday featuring a car smashed up in an accident. The driver was saying to the Rescue Vehicle “Never mind the bloody car, is the petrol alright?” Too true.

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