Thursday, March 8, 2012

Are Women better drivers ?


When the All India Motor Tariff ruled the roost, the factors for rating were only the usage, cubic capacity of the car and the zone that the car was to ply.  The model make, type of body  etc., were only extraneous factors collected but did not come in to play.   In some markets, there are various parameters that go into rating which could including the driving record, deductible, model, make, colour of vehicle, location and area of operation, type of driving (business, pleasure or rarely used), garaging, how much the vehicle would be driven or the mileage done, age of the driver, gender, whether a student,  the safety features installed in the vehicle, membership of associations etc.,

More women are driving across the City – there is some notion that women are mild mannered and better drivers on wheels – there is also the common notion that whenever a woman is involved in an accident, on-lookers tend to say that it was her lack of knowledge of driving that caused the accident ! – there are some women who venture out on bikes also !

But whatever it be -  Millions of women drivers could have to pay an extra £362 a year for their car insurance after a recent  ruling by European judges.  The increase follows a decision that men cannot be charged more for their policies.   The ruling, described by some critics as ‘madness’, means that from December 21 women drivers – although generally safer – will no longer be able to access cheaper car insurance rates because of their gender.  Daily Mail reports that analysis by Labour found that women could end up paying an extra £362 a year, around £30 a month. A Treasury analysis revealed that women of all ages would see their premiums increase by up to 24 per cent on average.

In contrast,  Young men would see theirs fall on average by 9 per cent.  Insurance experts warned that younger women will be hit particularly badly as they will end up having to pay the same premiums as ‘boy racers’.  Policies with more than one named driver will be adversely affected if the main policy holder is a woman.   When a man is the main driver and a woman the ‘named’ driver, premiums are likely to come down. The changes will be forced through without Parliament having the chance to fight the ruling by the European Court of Justice.   It is further stated that  Labour wants to see every insurance company being forced to offer drivers at least one black box  product.

The boxes allow motorists to prove how safe they are by recording how they drive. Those who drive carefully or don’t drive at night could benefit from cheaper premiums.
For long,  discrimination in setting insurance rates was  permitted under EU equal treatment rules allowing the market to base the price of a financial product on the statistical likelihood of a person having an accident, falling ill or dying. Now with the gender bias ban, women will perhaps need to find different ways to prove they are safe at the wheel. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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