EU Equality Rule 'Will Up Premiums by One Third'

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Downes

CONSUMERS are facing increases of up to 30pc when a ban on insurers charging men and women different rates comes into force next year, Europe's main insurers' lobby, the CEA, has said.

Women will be hit hardest by the change.

The Irish Insurance Federation thinks some premiums will rise here for both sexes but its spokesman, Mike Kemp, said that the most significant result of the new EU law would be further discouraging people from taking out life assurance.

Women will be hardest hit by the change as they will have to pay the price for the statistically more accident-prone and reckless male driver, the CEA said.

Women will have to pay 30pc and 11pc more respectively for term life insurance and motor insurance, while men face a 5 per cent drop in annuity income, the CEA said, citing a study commissioned in Germany.

Annuities are contracts that pay a regular income for the remainder of the policyholder's life in return for a lump sum paid on retirement.

'The ban on gender insurance pricing may have a number of potential unintended negative consequences for consumers, insurance markets, and society more generally,' CEA director general Michaela Koller said. …