March 4, 2011

Adjectival qualifications normally precede the nouns to which they relate in English. Not so with knights errant (see this week’s Bankstone story), boys wonder or indeed boy racers.

Boy racer is a loaded ‘folk devil’ tag with which few if any boy racers would willingly associate themselves, preferring more anodyne handles such as Darren, Wayne or ‘custom car enthusiast.’

But whatever boy racers may choose to call themselves, insurers – according to Insurance Times – may soon be calling them simply uninsurable.

With Euro do-gooders bent on banning sex discrimination – and seemingly succeeding in so doing – IT reckons motor insurance providers may be less than keen to cover young males at all-new unisex rates.

The evidence cited by IT for this bold assertion is a chapter in a recent ABI briefing paper headed “The impact of a ban on the use of gender in insurance pricing” which suggests that:

“A motor insurer may simply consider the risk of insuring young males with high-performance cars too great, in which case it may pull back and not write this insurance” and that “if it is not allowed to use gender in the underwriting decision, [an insurer] may need to go further and remove the offering for both young males and females.”

Which inevitably raises the what-next spectre of restrictions on age discrimination following on from the newly confirmed ban on discrimination (or underwriting as it used to be called) that disadvantages members of one sex or, conversely, favours members of another other (some would say the other).

“A less extreme response,” the ABI paper suggests, “would be for insurers to impose certain other restrictions on the policy, such as requiring a higher excess for all young drivers.” An excess equivalent to the vehicle’s total replacement value ought to do it.


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