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The EU Gender Directive- how will it affect you?

Published on 19/10/2012

You may have heard of the European Gender Directive with regards to your car insurance, but it could also affect other insurance premiums too. Here, we explain the implications that the Directive could have on UK consumers.

EU Gender Directive comes into play on December 21st

From the 21st December, also known as ‘G Day’ in the insurance world, insurers will no longer be able to offer different insurance rates on the basis of gender. It is not just the UK that will be affected- 26 European countries will also see premiums change as a result. So how will it affect your health insurance, income protection and life insurance quotes?

Income Protection

Income protection customers will see some of the biggest changes in premiums as a result of the Directive. At the moment, women pay as much as 50% more than men for income protection because they are more likely to take sick leave from work. The extent of the difference varies depending on other factors like age, policy term and occupation.

Whilst the exact premium changes are not yet known, it is widely expected that after 21st December 2012, men’s income protection premiums will increase and women’s will fall. Experts predict that men could end up paying up to 20% more on their premiums than they are at the moment.

If men wait to take out income protection, they could end up paying hundreds of pounds more for their insurance.

It will not be possible to secure gender specific premiums after G Day, but existing customers will continue to have premiums considered on a gender specific basis. Therefore if you are considering taking out cover, topping-up or amending your current policy, it is best to do so now and take advantage while rates are still low.

Life Insurance

Currently a healthy woman will typically pay less than a healthy man for life cover and possibly critical illness too, because they have a longer life expectancy then men.

But as a result of the EU Gender Directive and other market changes, some insurers are predicting a rise of up to 20% in life insurance premiums for women in the UK. It is also predicted by industry figures that men may see a premiums price hike at the end of the year.

Fixed premium plans that are already in place after G Day are unlikely to see a price rise. So if you have been putting off getting a life insurance policy, now is the time to make the most of cheaper premiums you'd pay for a policy beginning now.

Health Insurance

According to Health Insurance Magazine, Aviva and Pru Health are the only major health insurance providers that will be affected by the Directive.

The biggest impact will be on Aviva, since gender has been one of a number of factors that it uses to calculate the price of its Healthier Solutions and Speedy Diagnostics products. Aviva will impose gender neutral pricing on all new policies with a start date on or after 6 November, and existing policies will pick up gender renewal pricing on their next renewal date from 6 November.

Pru Health started introducing gender neutral pricing for new business in April 2011, but renewals will pick up gender neutral pricing for the first time on 21 December. Pru has said to Health Insurance Magazine that there will be a maximum price change of approximately 5%, with men seeing a slight increase and women a slight decrease in premiums.

Some insurers may not honour prices quoted before 21 December, so compare quotes for health insurance, life insurance and income protection insurance now or speak to one of our advisers to get the best deal.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Income ProtectionLife InsuranceHealth Insurance
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