Car Insurance rockets up for women Apr04

Subject: Car Insurance Rockets up for Women


ANNUAL car insurance premiums for women will rise by up to 500 pounds following a vote in the European Parliament this week, despite opposition from Conservative MEPs.


Although women are regarded as safer drivers by the insurance industry because they tend to drive shorter distances, have lower annual mileages and drive more slowly, the EU proposals approved in Strasbourg this week will make it illegal for companies to take into account differences between men and women as drivers when setting premiums.


The Association of British Insurers has said that the plans could put women's premiums up by as much as 500.


Bashir Khanbhai Conservative Euro-MP for the Eastern Region, who voted against the plans said:


 "Unfair discrimination should be banned, but this is completely over the top. The car insurance industry is in business to offer cover on the basis of risk of specific drivers with respect to gender, age, profession, type of vehicle, value of vehicle and geographic location. To exclude one of these factors will distort pricing, and disadvantage women who currently enjoy lower rates. Women will now have to pay up to 500 more a year for car insurance as a result of these unnecessary laws."