European Court of Justice: Gender Ruling

A consumer group complaint to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently has led to a ruling that means insurers cannot charge different amounts on the basis of gender (gender discrimination).

Although this has just happened the law will not come into force throughout the EU till 21st December 2012.

Of course, more equality and fairness is a great thing and should be law in all areas (such as equal pay between genders for doing the same job) but some people are not happy…

After reading an article on the ruling in the Guardian (online) there seems to be more people against this ruling than those who support it, the reason being is that it is suggested (and most likely correct in their assumption) that the price of car insurance will increase significantly for woman. People are using that argument to justify gender discrimination. So it seems discrimination is OK, as long as it means prices stay down.

It seems to have completely gone over peoples heads that the fact that insurance companies are ripping us off is a separate issue altogether. We should support equality and at the same time fight against these companies who are extorting money from us.

What if it was found that, for example, white people were more likely to be in a car accident than non whites so as the insurance industry works on risk assessments then they could charge white people more? There would be uproar! Yet somehow this is what is/was happening, the same principal being applied to gender, as men get charged more (or women get charged less) it’s OK!

The author of the Guardian article also, in what I can only see as typical UK ‘EU bashing’ accuses the ECJ of trivialising human rights! Despite the fact that it was not a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and that this was brought to the ECJ’s attention by a consumer group, not the EU itself just because it’s bored. Maybe said does admit though that jurisdiction of the ECJ and the ECHR is not always very clear.

Some of the responses have been the usual nonsense of “we must leave the EU”, why? Because they make rulings that discrimination is unacceptable? What kind of world do these people want to live in?

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4 responses to “European Court of Justice: Gender Ruling

  1. “It seems to have completely gone over peoples heads that the fact that insurance companies are ripping us off is a separate issue altogether”

    Please can you tell me how Insurance Companies are ripping us off when most of them have been paying out £1.20 for every £1.00 they take in Motor Insurance Premiums due to fraud, exaggerated injury claims and ambulance chancing law firms.

    Insurance premiums are based on statistics not discrimination.

  2. Insurance companies are ripping people off by charging large sums of money then doing their best not to pay out when an accident happens.
    Insurance companies pay employees who do assessments and get rewarded in bonuses if they don’t pay out (I have family in the industry).

    The figure you state, I believe comes from the FSA and is in regards to car insurance specifically and no, “most of them” have not been paying out £1.20 for every £1.00.

    “Insurance premiums are based on statistics not discrimination.”
    Insurance premiums are based on statistics, those statistics are then used in a discriminatory way against certain consumers. It seems the ECJ agrees with me.

  3. Please can you explain why you feal feamale insurance risk should pay the same as a male insurance risk when the expected claims pay out is lower and why a females should subsidise males? If it was the other way round would you feel the same?

    Does this mean you want to remove age rating on insurance to, so we all pay the same rate regardless of age? I am sure the young drivers out there would love this but how many older drivers would want to pay higher premiums?

    I agree not all insurers have been paying out £1.20 for every £1.00 some have paid out even more!! Maybe if you understood the fundimentals of risk assessment you would understand.

  4. “Please can you explain why you feal feamale insurance risk should pay the same as a male insurance risk when the expected claims pay out is lower and why a females should subsidise males? If it was the other way round would you feel the same?”

    I feel males and females should be charged the same because they should not be able to differentiate between people on the grounds of someone’s race, age, gender, religion, height, weight, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
    For the same reason, if it was the other way round yes I would feel the same. I am a non driver so this doesn’t actually effect me.

    “Does this mean you want to remove age rating on insurance to, so we all pay the same rate regardless of age? I am sure the young drivers out there would love this but how many older drivers would want to pay higher premiums?”

    Yes indeed it does for the same reason as I stated in the previous answer. Old people are notoriously bad drivers (I believe they have to get re-take their driving test after a certain age).

    “I agree not all insurers have been paying out £1.20 for every £1.00 some have paid out even more!! Maybe if you understood the fundimentals of risk assessment you would understand.”

    There is a difference between not understanding risk assessment and not agreeing with risk assessment (on the grounds of discrimination), don’t confuse the two.

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