Some women may face car insurance rises of up to £2,000 due to an EU ruling coming into force in less than three months.
Our Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis says you may be able to act now to beat it.
What’s the ruling?
On 21 December, the European Court of Justice gender equalisation ruling comes into effect. This means insurers can’t discriminate by offering different prices based on whether you’re a man or woman.
According to Gocompare, at the end of last month men on average paid 41% more than women, but from 21 December some young women could see their premiums rise by up to £2,000 compared to what they paid at the end of August.
No one knows for sure what will happen, if women’s prices were raised to men’s levels that would be enormous, but most insurance pundits predict things will meet somewhere in the middle (or a bit above it). So it’s likely that it’ll get cheaper for men and more expensive for women.
What can women do about this?
The younger you are, the more urgent this is as that’s where the biggest differences are. Under-35s are likely to see an impact, and under-25s a big impact.
If your renewal is due now - great. Ensure you get a cheap policy, then you have that price for a year. If your renewal date is closer to the gender equalisation, or after that date, there is a risk prices may rise rapidly during that time. Therefore it’s worth considering whether you can ditch your current policy and sign up for a new 12-month one now.
So see what you can find and then ask your current provider if you can leave. Many providers, if you haven’t claimed, will refund you for the part of the policy that’s unused. However they will probably charge an early exit fee – so this is a balance of how much you’ll save by switching. If you switch mid-term, it’s also worth bearing in mind you’re unlikely to get a no-claims bonus for that year.
There are no hard rules here, just a question of checking – and the sooner the better.
Some tips for getting a top deal
- If you’re looking for new car insurance, try combining a few of the big comparison sites to find the cheapest, as they don’t all search the same companies, so you get more quotes in not much more time.
- Then add in the biggies that comparison sites miss, just in case they win – these are Aviva, Direct Line and if you’ve more than one car in a family, Admiral MultiCar.
- If you’re a young driver, see if you can cut the cost by adding a second driver to your policy, even if they’ll rarely drive the car. As it reduces the average risk, it can cut your cost.
- Young drivers who are struggling to get cheap insurance using the techniques above could also try telematics, where you’re driving is monitored by a box in the car, and your insurance price reflects this. These include products from Coverbox, iKube, Co-op and the AA.
- Once you’ve found your cheapest deal, see if you can get cashback on it via a cashback website to reduce the cost.