February 5, 2010

Insurers are bracing themselves for a regular tsunami of claims from women driving well (or possibly not so well) into retirement. So claims lefty rag The Guardian, at any rate.

Whilst the usually quoted stats paint a fairly damning picture of male drivers and their prang propensity, old dears could soon be causing carnage up and down the land.

The Grauniad claims to have laid its hands on top-secret insurer data which exclusively reveals that, from somewhere between the ages of 50 and 60, women are more of a problem than men.

As all that testosterone ebbs away, men calm down nicely. But as for older women… Let’s just quote The Gaurdain and claim boldly that “Some insurers are now demanding that women from the age of 75 pay 50% more for their car insurance than men, and, from 80, 100% more.”

Just changing the applicant’s name from Mrs to Mr apparently saves 53% on a 75-year-old’s motor insurance quote – although this may not work if you do it half-way through getting a phone quote.

AA director Douglas Simon told the paper that “women in their 70s and 80s are proportionately much more likely to be involved in a collision than men of the same age.”

Should we be afraid? Well, the number of women still driving over the age of 70 has risen from just 4% in 1976 to 36% today. So, yes, we probably should.

The most dangerous time is dusk ‘til dawn, when optically challenged older females are prone to pilot their Micras without the aid of viable visual data.

Aside from undiagnosed blind-as-bat-ness, another problem, AA Simon claims, is that elderly women let their husbands do the driving for years and then get back behind the wheel when hubby dies or becomes incapable.

Esher’s Adrian Webb is unSure what’s going on: “It could be that cognitive ability deteriorates faster [in women], or that they’re simply more nervous. But in truth we don’t really know.”

Disturbingly, Aviva claim to receive frequent calls from sons and daughters saying things like “Please don’t renew her insurance – she’s going to kill someone.” But the insurer claims it cannot act on such tip offs.


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