November 15, 2012

With just a few weeks left for insurance providers to wring the last few drops of PR juice from the impending implementation on the EU Gander Directive, this week’s papers have been awash with stats-led stories on this well-worn topic.

USwitch and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) both made a decent last-ditch fist of a final-gasp stab at inciting consumer panic by revealing a) that 25% of all UK females will become ex-motorists because they can no longer afford their new higher premiums and b) that a predicted 25% premium hike will take 25% of all UK females completely by surprise.

From 21 December, as 75% of people are perfectly well aware, UK insurers will be legally obliged to discriminate against women (who hardly ever have accidents) by treating them exactly the same as men (who do it all the time). US Witch claim in their press release that this will leave 13% of ladyfolk unable to drive (legally) because they can’t afford their increased premiums and another 11% unable to drive (at all) because they will be forced to sell their cars – and so, presumably, will also stop buying motor insurance.

With 25% fewer women buying car insurance, insurers’ will be left with a significantly riskier pool of motorists to insure and will shortly need to put rates up across the board by, say, 12.5%. This will clearly take the shine off all those rate cuts to which male motorists are looking forward. It will also raise rates again for Britain’s cash-strapped motor ladies, forcing still more of them off the road and thus forcing insurers to increase rates again to reflect their increasingly male, increasingly risky risk pool.

It doesn’t take a genius to see where the unintended consequences of the Eeeeuh Gander Directive will inevitably lead. Sooner or later all motorists will be male (or, in rare cases, freakishly solvent or car crazy females). Comedy parking videos on YouTube will soon be a thing of the past. Shame really.


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