Insurance Changes in Europe

insurance21 December 2012 sees the introduction of the EU ban of taking gender into consideration when setting insurance premiums. Regardless of whether you agree with the ruling or not, the result will be important changes in pricing.

Spain will be one of the countries most heavily affected (along with Britain and Ireland), as in these countries it is more usual to see gender-based policy pricing. Insurance companies are keeping quiet at the moment about exactly what they’re going to do, but we suspect many of them will be jumping up and down with glee at the prospect of levelling rates at the current higher rate (male or female) rather than averaging as many customers would expect.

So, even though hard data is hard to come by, these are a few tips to think about to avoid nasty surprises in 2013.

–       Women who are due to renew their car insurance in the few weeks after the 21 Dec change should find out as soon as possible what their renewal cost will be as it may be cheaper to cancel now and start a new policy (but check for any cancellation fee). This is specially the case for women drivers under 40 with no claims on their policy (over the age of 40 men’s and women’s car insurance tends to be similarly priced).

–       Men will probably get worse rates on annuities, experts suggest thinking about taking out a pension before 21 Dec.

–       Women who until now paid lower premiums on life insurance will see the cost increase, however as women also received lower annuities than men (due to longer life expectancy) their pensions will have to increase. Consider taking out a fixed-premium plan now before prices increase.

–       Health insurance. Depending on age, premiums vary either a little or a lot between sexes and type of policy. If you have been thinking about health insurance, check the male & female rates today. If your gender has a lower rate now you should think about taking out a policy before 21 Dec. as prices will most likely rise. Otherwise we suggest you wait as prices may drop slightly.

Remember:

1. December 21 is the deadline by which changes must have been implemented, so some insurance companies may already be introducing their new pricing structures.

2. If your birthday is between now and 21 Dec, this could affect the cost of your insurance too.