As many of you may know, back on the 21st December 2012, the European Union gender directive came into force. This meant that the likes of car insurance companies were no longer able to charge a man more for such cover than for a woman who had the exact same personal details i.e. age, address, occupation, driving history, make and model of car, convictions, annual mileage and required the same level of cover etc.
Well, apparently, research carried out by Dr Stephen McDonald of the Newcastle University Business School makes for interesting reading. It reveals that there is no direct discrimination between “identical” male and females but it has found that there may be some indirect discrimination.
The research involved looking at the cost of car insurance over a 24-month period up to November 2013 for men and women aged 21, 25, 40 and 55, driving either a Fiat 500, Vauxhall Vectra or Ford Focus and six occupations. These occupations were civil engineers, plumbers, dental nurses, social workers, solicitors and sports and leisure assistants.
The reason that these occupations were selected was because most civil engineers and plumbers are men, most dental nurses and social workers are women and solicitors and sports and leisure assistants tend to be a broad mix of men and women.
Apparently, it was discovered, following the EU gender directive coming into force in late 2012, car insurance premiums for men and women were the same. However, the cost of such premiums was found to be higher for young males of 21 years of age that were working as civil engineers or plumbers which are male dominated occupations but lower for young females of 21 years of age that were working as dental nurses and social workers which are female dominated occupations.
In fact, civil engineers that were 21 years of age saw premiums increase by about 13% but dental nurses that were 21 years of age saw premiums drop by about 10%. Premiums for older drivers were not affected by occupation. The type of cars did not play any part in the possibility of indirect discrimination.
We are sure that you will agree this research is interesting and your comments are most welcome.