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Gender equalisation car insurance policy comes into effect today

The EU guidelines on gender equality mean female drivers will see a rise in their premiums while male drivers stand to make savings in their insurance.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

NEW EUROPEAN COMMISSION rules on gender discrimination come into effect today meaning female drivers may face considerable hikes in their car insurance premiums.

The guidelines which were published in January say insurers can no longer take gender into account when calculating premiums. This will raise premiums for female drivers who previously had lower rates because they have a better track record on the roads than their male counterparts.

Male drivers are in luck as the gender equalisation rules mean insurers can no longer charge them higher premiums just because they’re men.

A typical pricing analysis from Chill Insurance shows the current differential between male and female risks, for a standard 1.4 litre vehicle, with a 30 year old driver, living in Dublin, holding a full licence with a three year no claims bonus, is approximately €100.

The differential between a 29-year-old man and woman in Cork city, driving a 2006 1.0 litre car, with nine years no claims bonus, is approximately 18 per cent, which translates to a current price differential in the region of €200.

For young drivers worried about rising motor costs, Chill has these money saving tips:

  • Join a parent’s insurance as a named driver; get a safety record and avail of discounts on ‘own name’ insurance, based on named drivers records and driving experience.
  • Having a full license reduces car insurance, based on named driver records and driving experience.
  • Choose a lower value car with a small engine; less powerful, less expensive cars are cheaper to insure.
  • Opt for a higher ‘voluntary excess’ (what you pay if there is a claim) as this can lower policy costs, and may suit safe, competent drivers, rather than young inexperienced drivers.
  • Ideally, pay premiums in full on taking out a policy, as monthly interest rates can be high.
  • Don’t pay extra for windscreen cover, breakdown assistance, additional drivers etc if you don’t need them.  Check what your policy covers.
  • Third party fire and theft insurance is cheaper than fully comprehensive, and is an option for low-value cars and safe, ‘low-mileage’ drivers; but do remember that damage to your car is not covered other than for fire or theft
  • Shop around. Don’t just accept the first quote you get and use price comparison sites to find the best deal. Some companies offer additional discounts on more than one policy; so look at including car cover for other family members, or home or life insurance, with the same company.

Related: ‘Unisex’ insurance will be mandatory in Ireland>

More: Car insurance premiums for female drivers set to soar after December>

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