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Women's Car insurance in the UK

The decision by the European Court of Justice to ban the consideration of gender when calculating insurance premiums has been seen by some people as a victory against discrimination, and by others as a huge blow against women which, they claim, will drive up premiums for all lady drivers. It is indeed a fact that on average, and I stress the terms 'on average', male drivers, particularly young ones, drive faster and more aggressively than females, and therefore have more accidents, and worse accidents, which means they the insurance companies have to pay out far more (and bigger) claims for their male clients. Psychiatrists have put forward theories that men are more naturally aggressive than women because of the way their brains are wired, and consequently it is only to be expected that they will drive in a more forceful way. I couldn't possibly comment on that.

Another thing to bear in mind is that on average premiums for females over the age of 60 were usually even higher than they are for males, everything else being equal! The justification that insurance companies have put forward for this anomaly is that a great number of ladies only drive a great deal after they have retired, because their husbands or some other males have done most of the driving for them in the past. How an attitude like this would be up to close scrutiny is debatable, but that is by the by; the fact is that it should now be illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against women in this age group.

Does this, then, mean that although ladies of retiring age may see a drop in premiums, younger female drivers will see insurance prices spiralling out of control, to the level of that charged to an average boy racer? This is not something that the insurance industry wishes to see happen, and they will now be looking carefully at their figures to see if there are ways of limiting or indeed cancelling out the effect of this ruling on premiums. What has to be borne in mind however is that whether we are born male or female is only one of the factors that car insurers use in assessing our risk factors when we get behind the wheel; of greater importance is our accident record (or, hopefully, lack of one), whether or not we have had convictions for motoring offences, our age, where the car is parked, and a whole host of other criteria. For this reason the best advice anyone can give any driver, whether male or female, young or old, novice or advanced, is to shop around. And the easiest way to do that is by using a good car insurance price comparison engine.

It has to be remembered of course that price is not the only consideration; and there have been a lot of criticisms of price comparison websites recently because it has been claimed that they encourage motorists to accept the lowest price, rather than the policy which benefits them the most. It is very important to bear in mind that every policy is different from every other one, and you may wish to look very carefully at the so-called 'small print' to make sure that a policy gives all the protection that you need, and as little as possible of the gimmicks that you may not need. Cover for a handbag and its contents may be extremely useful; but if that cover comes at a substantial price or masks other benefits which are missing and limited then it may not be such a bargain after all.

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