London MEP urges European Parliament to give women cheaper car insurance
Conservative Member of the European Parliament Marina Yannakoudakis raised objections today to a report tabled in the European Parliaments Womens Rights Committee on equal treatment between men and women in the field of insurance.
The report was drafted as a response to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling which banned insurers from applying different premiums according to customers gender. This will lead to womens car insurance premiums going up by an estimated 10-15%.
Marina, who is the Conservative Spokesman on Womens Rights, said: Women statistically represent a lower risk than men. As the price of premiums is calculated on the basis of risk, insurers should be allowed to take this into account.
The report fails to question the validity of the ECJs ruling. It focuses on how to deal with the social consequences of the decision rather than making any rational recommendations. We need a common-sense interpretation of EU rules on equality or we need to revise them.
I shall be submitting amendments to the report to ensure that women dont pay the price for equality with higher insurance premiums.
Note to editors:
Insurance premiums were previously exempt from anti-discrimination legislation, but on 1 March 2011 the European Court of Justice ruled that insurers would no longer be allowed to take the gender of their customers into account when setting premiums. The industry has been given until 21 December 2012 to prepare for the change. Link to ruling: http://bit.ly/vnDyHt
London Labour MEP Mary Honeyball welcomed the ruling, saying, The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has done its job admirably well by ruling that taking the gender of the insured individual into account as a risk factor in insurance contracts constitutes discrimination.
In response to Ms. Honeyballs reaction, Prime Minister David Cameron said, Some of the loony left is still alive and well in our country. Frankly, insurance premiums ought to reflect risk: http://bit.ly/rxW3yP
The European Parliament report on Transposition and application of Council Directive 2004/113/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services has been drafted by Zita Gurmai, a Socialist MEP from Hungary.