FEMALE DRIVERS MAY face considerable increases in their car insurance premiums after December this year thanks to European Commission guidelines on gender discrimination.
The guidelines, published in January, mean that from 21 December, insurers will not be allowed to take gender into account when calculating premiums and benefits.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Miriam O’Neill of AA Ireland said the new directives are “unfair and harsh”, particularly on young female drivers who could see their premiums soar as much as 50 per cent.
“This will definitely have an impact on young female drivers even though it’s well known that young male drivers are the highest risk,” she said.
Young male drivers, on the other hand, are in luck as their premiums will be mixed with those of female drivers and charged equally.
O’Neill said the new rules are not “distinguishing between quality” of drivers as young men have a considerably higher risk of crashing their car.
“Quite a shock”
In the next few weeks people will begin to receive their insurance renewal notices and will start to realise the effects of the new rules.
“It will be quite a shock for a lot of people as people might have only a vague awareness of it now,” O’Neill said. “I think the responsibility now lies with insurers themselves to make customers aware of the changes.”
While young female drivers will see their premiums rise, the Commission’s directives will have a knock on effect on parent’s pockets as well. Parents who have adult children as named drivers will see their sons saving them money on insurance and their daughters costing them.
AA Ireland said it has been working “behind the scenes” in preparation for 21 December and aims to soften the blow for drivers.
“We’re definitely looking at proposals for young drivers to moderate the effect, particularly for female drivers,” O’Neill said. “Drivers should also shop around to make sure they get the best deal and look for group schemes to join.”
“By and large drivers will be shopping around more and more which will put pressure on insurance companies to provide good deals,” she said.
Read: Insurers’ index shows Waterford drivers get cheapest premiums>
AXA pilots ‘big brother’-style car scheme>