So what does everyone think about men and women having equal car insurance?

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  • So what does everyone think about men and women having equal car insurance?
  • mulv1976
    Member

    Had an email from moneysavingexpert today advising people to renew car insurance before the new eu rules come in making it illegal to discriminate between male and female car insurance.

    Now I’ve got nothing against women being charged less for premiums. After all, insurance is all about statistics and risk and there’s no doubting that women have less accidents. But where does it stop? Will the rules have to change for age discrimination too? In theory men’s premiums should come down to balance the increase in women’s but I doubt it will actually happen.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Or am I just opening a big can of worms 😉

    IHN
    Member

    It’s a pretty dumb piece of legislation. All insurance is based on an assessment of risk factors and, sometimes, gender is a factor.

    It’s more significant when it comes to the assessment of life expectancy in pensions/annuities and life assurance – women live longer, it’s a fact, but that cannot now be taken into consideration.

    gusamc
    Member

    Bit inconsistent given the age discrimination that is applied to car insurance….

    good point re pensions

    abandon ship – everybody first

    It’s a nonsense. As IHN said, insurance premiums are based on perceived risk. Like it or not gender (for motor insurance) plays a part in how great a risk you pose.

    If Insurance companies are not allowed to take into account risk factors then everyone everywhere regardless of age, gender, previous incidents, speeding tickets, engine capacity, location etc should all just pay the same flat rate otherwise it’s ‘discriminatory’

    xiphon
    Member

    If men are responsible for (hypothetical) 80% of accidents for 17-25 year olds, why should women drivers of that age category be penalised?

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    Can/do motor insurance companies ask for your ethnicity and use that to increase/decrease your quote?

    jfletch
    Member

    Can/do motor insurance companies ask for your ethnicity and use that to increase/decrease your quote?

    Is it a risk factor worthy of inclusion?

    Ethnicicty is also taken into account by proxy based on your address.

    But given the difference in risk between men and women being so cut and dry it seems mental to exclude it. It’s not prejudice if it’s true.

    xiphon
    Member

    I don’t ever recall being asked about ethnicity

    Joe
    Member

    Discriminating against people on basis of gender is utter nonsense and is much the same as discriminating against people based on ethnicity. I’m sure you could drum up some stats on differences between different ethnic groups if you tried.

    Everyone is young at some point in their lives…and most people experience being old…hence its not discriminatory.

    MrSalmon
    Member

    Discriminating against people on basis of gender is utter nonsense

    ‘Discrimination’ is a very loaded word though isn’t it? It’s not nonsense at all if you take it to mean ‘recognising that sometimes there are differences’.
    If you’re talking about women being paid less than men for the same job then yes, that’s nonsense.

    If you’re talking about, say, recognising that women live longer than men and taking that into account when you think about pensions then that’s not nonsense. And if women pose a statistically significant lower risk for insurance then taking that into account isn’t nonsense, since insurance is all about the probability of a claim being made.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    Ethnicicty is also taken into account by proxy based on your address.

    Really? Genuinely interested, if Trevor Macdonald moved house he’d stop being black?!

    It’s not prejudice if it’s true.

    Of course it is! It’s pre-judging an individual based on a characteristic that you’re applying to the whole gender/age group/race etc. It might be true at a statistical level, but that doesn’t mean that I am a more dnagerous driver than all women. Without prejudice though, insurance wouldn’t really work*. The alternative is that we all pay an ‘average rate’.

    *The black box things might help I suppose. But they’re not perfect, can’t detect how much attention you’re paying, or if you’re brushing cyclists/other cars with a cm to spare, straightlining RABs without indicating etc.

    Grimy
    Member

    I’m just not convinced women are better drivers. When I think about my friends and family, the women I know who actually drive have just as many accidents if not more, perticulaly my wife. I can’t find many stats that look at men and women per million miles say, and those that I can suggest that women have more accidents. I think the facts that less women drive, and those who do drive shorter distances, or sit in the passenger seat whilst their significant other drives the family round, makes the percentage of accidents that happen likely to involve a man, not because of his poor driving, but by the sheer amount of miles covered compared to women make it more likely. I may be wrong, but I can’t find any really good stats to prove the opposite in the last 20 mins 🙂

    IHN
    Member

    The alternative is that we all pay an ‘average rate’.

    We already do. We pay the same ‘average rate’ as everyone else that has the same risk factors as us.

    And it’s not prejudice; prejudice implies a decision is made before the facts are known. For insurance the facts are the risk factors that apply to you and they are known and applied to the judgment/calculation.

    Premier Icon hopkinsgm
    Subscriber

    …And if women pose a statistically significant lower risk for insurance then taking that into account isn’t nonsense, since insurance is all about the probability of a claim being made….

    There’s the small matter of the cost of the claim too. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the statistics suggest that women actually have *more* accidents in their cars, but are usually lower value claims.

    Also worth noting that no matter how skewed the statistics are, they’ll never be better than the raw data they were calculated from. Looking at the number of cars you see with damage to them, I would imagine that there’s an awful lot of incidents going unreported…

    Anyway, much as I dislike insurance companies, removing a valid risk factor from their calculations is stupid.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    Grimy – So that makes them a lower risk. Whether it’s exposure to danger or skill at avoiding danger doesn’t really matter. I assume the insurance company takes the miles covered into account when figuring out a quote.

    (IIRC…) I always thought women had slightly more crashes but they were low speed, cheap ones, parking prangs and the like. Men crash less often but tend to say “WATCH THIS” and then bounce off a few other cars on the way to wrapping themselves around a tree.

    xiphon
    Member

    bails – he’s implying if you had an address in Bradford, statistically you’d likely be a certain ethnicity.

    Based on other areas who have an equally high proportion of that ethnicity (Blackburn, for example), the insurers may place an equal risk level.

    So if there’s a high percentage of whiplash claims from Blackburn (BB1 postcode has notoriously high insurance premiums), the insurers may apply that statistic to Bradford – purely based on ethnicity.

    Although on paper they wouldn’t put it down to ethnicity, to avoid any legal issues…

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I’m just not convinced women are better drivers.

    It’s not about being better drivers, it’s about having (fewer) expensive crashes, and that’s the key.

    Yes women may be prone to parking knocks, silly shunts etc, but men are more likely to kill themselves and 3 mates whilst mowing down a load of disabled school kids, and that’s what really costs!

    I think it’s a daft piece of legislation – the evidence suggests men are more likely to crash, they should be able to use this info to price accordingly.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    IHN: It is prejudice. It has to be prejudiced otherwise they’d have to wait until after your year of cover, then send you a bill. The facts aren’t known when I take out cover in January 2013, they don’t know what damage I will/won’t do and what costs I will incur in the year.

    Essentially, we want the prejudice to be as detailed as possible. So I want them to know that I do a ‘safe’ job, I usually cycle to work and I live with a long term partner in a decent area, because that probably makes me a safer bet than a coke-fiend who frequently has to escape from the pimps and dealers he owes money too, who drives 300 miles a day.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’m sure I’d face discrimination if I wanted to get changed in the female changing rooms.

    The point is that there ARE some gender lines in society.

    Insurers could get around this easily enough though. It’s apparent from statistical analysis that people with testicles pose a higher risk. So they can just ask that on the insurance forms instead.

    EDIT actually it might be significantly more accurate to do a testosterone test when you apply for car insurance. I bet that’s a good predictor of big accident liability.

    IHN
    Member

    It has to be prejudiced otherwise they’d have to wait until after your year of cover, then send you a bill.

    The point of insurance is that it’s about what might happen, not what has happened. Otherwise there’s no business model – people aren’t going to buy a retrospective insurance policy in a year that they don’t crash.

    Plus, insurance is about pooled risk – essentially everyone says “if we all chip in, if any of us crash there’s money there to pay for it”. The companies take a judgement on who is more likely to crash and how much that crash is likely to cost and get those people to chip in more. Again, this needs the money up front.

    sbob
    Member

    Women are less of a risk as they drive fewer miles, have less expensive accidents and are far less likely to claim in the event of an accident.

    (I used to have a finger or two in the insurance pie)

    Discrimination is exactly what the insurance companies aren’t doing, as it isn’t unjust and is based on fact.

    Wait till they get round to age discrimination and we all have to pay an average amount.

    Premier Icon fabs
    Subscriber

    I think New Zealand and South Australia has it right – just include insurance with car registration/tax.

    samuri
    Member

    If you’re in love you’d be more inclined to dreaming or getting head off someone and yet I’ve never been asked that question.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    Only from Wiki, but: “Discrimination is the prejudicial, persecutory, or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on his or her membership – or perceived membership – in a certain group or category”

    Discrimination is exactly what the insurance companies aren’t doing, as it isn’t unjust and is based on fact.

    I’ve already said it, but insurance has to be done on prejudice, I’m not debating that, nor claiming that it’s wrong. But to say it’s not prejudice when they’re pre-judging my risk based on the fact that I am male, of a certain age, doing a certain job, living in a certain area means that they are using prejudice. They using my membership in certain groups and categories to charge me more or less than someone not in those groups.

    I could be 23, male, drive a Subaru and live in Boyracerville in Essex but be the most law abiding, capable, attentive, safest driver in the country. But the insurance company doesn’t know that so they have to use the knowledge they’ve already got and judge me based on other 23 year old male Subaru owning Essexites. That’s prejudice.

    loum
    Member

    Discrimination is exactly what the insurance companies aren’t doing, as it isn’t unjust and is based on fact.

    Absolute nonsense.
    “Facts” about the future?
    Insurance is based on percieved risk, itself based on estimated probabilities, based on past statistics.
    Statistical trends may be shown across large population samples, but only ever become “facts” as applied to indivual cases if the probability is known to be 100% or 0%.
    If “facts” were involved, there’d be no need for insurance against “possibilities”.

    Grimy
    Member

    I think New Zealand and South Australia has it right – just include insurance with car registration/tax.

    Since its a legal requirement, it seems right that the government take some responsibility over the industry. Perhaps if they ran car insurance like the NHS, we’d get much better value for money and less unscrupulous fat cats, ambulance chasers and rip off repair centres cashing in. They already own the driver and occupants repair facilities so surely that would cut costs 🙂

    joao3v16
    Member

    to say it’s not prejudice when they’re pre-judging my risk based on the fact that I am male, of a certain age, doing a certain job, living in a certain area means that they are using prejudice

    I suppose insurance needs to be based on some kind of criteria, but just imagine the uproar if the same principle was used for job applications or suchlike.

    Personally, I don’t think young drivers should automatically be charged a small fortune – there are many who are never involved in accidents (myself & two sisters for a start).

    Start ramping up premiums once an individual demonstrate they’re a dangerous idiot, don’t just assume they are purely because they haven’t finished their A-levels yet.

    Every motorist should start off paying a national average premium, that then rises or falls based on whether or not they turn out to be massive tools behind the wheel.

    bikebouy
    Member

    Yup MrsBouys insurance is with sheilas berts wheels, we’re waiting for the renewal quote..

    samuri
    Member

    My dad was an artist. He got charged a much higher rate as a result and yet never had a car accident.

    jfletch
    Member

    I suppose insurance needs to be based on some kind of criteria, but just imagine the uproar if the same principle was used for job applications or suchlike.

    That is ludicrous. There are better tools for working out whether someone will be good at a job than info about them such as where they live and age, and there is also no absolute measure of “being good at job”. So you can’t rank applicants based on stats.

    But you can with insurance, the measure being average cost of claims, and the risk factors being a member of a group where the cost of claims can be shown to be different to not being in that group.

    Age is used because a lot of accidents are caused by the young.
    Address is used becuase people who live in certain areas crash or have their cars stolen more than others
    Gender should be used because men crash more than women

    Race should not be used because there is nothing in the colour of our skin that makes us drive like dicks. I don’t know the stats but suppose Asian people have higher claims, this won’t be due to their skin but other factors such as Asian people are more likely to live in a certain area or have a certain type of car. But an Asian 25 yo male from a certain estate in Bradford will have the same risk as a White 25 yo male from the same estate. Just as a 55 yo white female doctor will have the same risk as a 55 yo asian femail doctor.

    I don’t know but I would hope insurance risk factors should show causation and nit just correlation. The causal link that diferentaiates men and women being the about of testosterone.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    The black box is a far better idea.

    jfletch
    Member

    The black box is a far better idea.

    Really? how so.

    Even if everyone had one from day one of driving the insurance company would only have a tiny amount of data on which to asses risk for each individual.

    Sure it can be used along side traditional methods but it will never replace stats.

    xiphon
    Member

    If several geographic regions have unusually high whiplash claims (All 7 occupants in a people-carrier), and there is a correlation with these areas having the same ethnic majority – then perhaps the insurers are right to assume it could be a cultural trend?

    Perhaps in their culture, it’s acceptable practice?

    Therefore the insurers have to compensate for this in their risk assessment.

    Yes, it’s racial profiling – but food for thought?

    AndyP
    Member

    All for it. Not being a woman or driving a car, it makes no difference to me. But somehow it has become acceptable to have women only classes at the gym, and show male nipples in adverts, so sexism has gone too far. Equality, brothers. We want to see more cans.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    joao3v16,

    put yourself in the shoes of an insurance company. There’s a statistical group of people over here who cost your company quite a lot of money, and a group of people over there that don’t. Would you rather have 10 more drivers from the first group on your books, or or 10 more from the second group?

    If I was selecting, I’d rather someone from the second group, and I’d offer a preferential premiums to attract them. These would be balanced against the premiums offered by other companies, so if I found that I was suddenly attracting way more of the risky end than the non-risky end than I’d like, I’d re-adjust to bring things into balance.

    If I found a subgroup of the risky group that was much less risky than the rest, identifiable somehow (affiliation with dungeons and dragons club, or something) I could offer discounts to them, and snaffle the better risks away from the less scientific companies, leaving them with a riskier book on average.

    joao3v16
    Member

    Gender should be used because men crash more than women

    Ah, I see now … is this why the C of E has just ‘voted’ agsinst womenist bishops or whatever it was – they’re statistically awful/dangerous at the job, therefore it’s only right they’re not allowed to do it. Or are we not supposed to suggest that?

    😀

    Regarding the car insurance, I suspect the industry are loving the new EU thingy cos it means they can rake in hundreds of millions more £££ without paying out anything additional (female drivers won’t suddenly become more of a risk), and they’ll do all they can not to reduce male premiums.

    Cynical? Moi?

    As a licensee I pay higher than the average rate yet I run a Conference venue and am very far removed from the process of selling/consuming alcohol.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Political Correctness gone mad. The insurance companies will just use it as an excuse to put up women’s premiums.

    FWIW I think the US has a very good system where there is a state insurance provider in each state – this sets a benchmark for the legally required cover and keeps the private companies in check and prevents over charging.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Difficult, isn’t it.

    It’s prejudice of a sort. You’re being pre-judged by the insurance companies based on demographic information; age, sex, location, choice of vehicle. There’s not really much of an alternative though, unless you’d be happy to pay a massively larger premium to allow teenage boys to drive Imprezas.

    Funny how insurance is a special case, though. A transport terminus wouldn’t get away with their security guards paying closer attention to brown gentlemen with rucksacks, for example. But it’s only the same thing really, you’re gauging perceived risk based on demographic stereotyping.

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