Exmouth and Woodbury motorists speak out over changes to insurance premiums

MOTORISTS should not be charged different insurance premiums because of their gender.

That is the view of drivers from Exmouth and Woodbury who The Journal questioned following the European Court of Justice’s ruling last week.

The court’s decision means insurers cannot charge different rates to men and women – and, the cost of buying a pensions annuity will change.

Duncan Tranter, 42, from Brixington, thought it was ‘sexist’ that women were permitted to pay less than male drivers.

“Men shouldn’t have to pay more insurance. I agree with the (European Court of Justice) ruling,” he said.

Linda West, 61, from Woodbury, agreed. She felt men should be treated the same as women with insurance premiums.

“If in a family a woman drives and a man, why should they both pay different rates? It should be the same.”

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The European Court of Justice was ruling on a challenge by a Belgian consumer group, Test Achats.

It had argued that a current exemption for insurers contradicted the wider European principle of gender equality.

The move will come into effect from December 2012, although customers could see premiums alter in the interim.

Representatives of the insurance industry, however, have said they were disappointed with the decision.

Former school teacher, Pat Browne, from Woodbury, believed things should stay as they were at the moment.

Mr Browne, 65, who has daughters, said: “Some young female drivers are more careful behind the wheel than males.

“I have seen a lot of young men who, I wouldn’t say are careless, but seem to take more risks. They are certainly more adventurous in their driving.”

Mr Browne felt insurance companies could not deal with motorists on a per-individual basis as opposed to their gender.

“This can’t be done as these companies have to deal with thousands of people and have to put motorists in categories.”

The Association of British Insurers estimates that women drivers under 26 face a 25 per cent rise in car insurance rates, with a 10 per cent drop in rates for men within the same age group.

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