Playing the odds

Insurance companies are like bookies, they figure out a set of odds on a set of circumstances happening and give you a quote based on the likelihood of your failing to avoid those circumstances. After that it’s up to you whether you figure the cost is worth it, even with car insurance it’s the same for all it’s supposed to be mandatory to have it, some people (particularly those who are not good a good bet at avoiding accidents) will choose not to take out the insurance, after all, they are rarely caught and if they are, the fine they get is usually less than their premium.

Well, that used to be the way the system worked until the equality industry got involved…

Mail.

Millions of women drivers could have to pay an extra £362 a year for their car insurance after a ruling by European judges, it emerged yesterday.
The increase follows a decision that men cannot be charged more for their policies even though they are more likely to have a serious crash.
The ruling, described by critics as ‘madness’, means that from December 21 women drivers – although generally safer – will no longer be able to access cheaper car insurance rates because of their gender.
Labour transport spokesman John Woodcock said female drivers face an ‘insurance timebomb’ and called on ministers to curb the impact of the ruling.

First off, this judgement happened on Labours watch, their record on ameliorating ECJ rulings is precisely nil, all that they are doing in this case is using it as a stick to blame and beat the government with (as I’m sure the Tories would have done if the positions were reversed)

Insurance experts warned that younger women will be hit particularly badly as they will end up having to pay the same premiums as ‘boy racers’.
A woman under the age of 22 pays around £1,682 in car insurance while a young man is charged an average of £2,750.
This is because men under 22 are ten times more likely to have a serious crash, 25 times more likely to commit a driving offence and twice as likely to make an insurance claim.
Policies with more than one named driver will be adversely affected if the main policy holder is a woman.
When a man is the main driver and a woman the ‘named’ driver, premiums are likely to come down. The changes will be forced through without Parliament having the chance to fight the ruling by the European Court of Justice.

As you can see, it was all pretty much about odds, statistically women are safer drivers (lets not go down the path of better) in that they have fewer accidents. That meant to insurance companies they were a better risk overall compared to men so could be charged less, it was all about risk after all.

Instead because some idiot consumer group based in Belgium brought a case before the ECJ insurance groups are no longer allowed to play the odds (by giving a good quote) based on gender. As Douglas Carswell put it “Three weeks ago the Prime Minister held a meeting for the insurance industry at Downing Street. But because we are not prepared to do anything about Europe, we can do absolutely nothing about this madness.”

Again and again foreign judges are interfering with the way we live our lives, yes I know the ECJ isn’t the EU, however it is still allowed to interfere in the laws of this land without taking into account our wishes, after all, what might work for one country may not work for another, but they put a blanket ruling in anyway.

The EU, the ECJ, the HRA, all interfering in our rights, all without a squeak of protest other than the odd bit of media mention and various bloggers plugging away.

When will our politicians start representing us and tell them where to get off or we’ll leave?

Don’t hold your breath on that one, they are traitors and panderers to the grand European dream.

13 comments for “Playing the odds

  1. March 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I wrote about this last year here. Unusually, I am in agreement with the ECJ on this one. Yes, women generally have lower insurance claims than men (more accidents but less severe, if I remember correctly). But that says nothing about the likelihood of an individual to make a claim. You only have to change the parameter to one of race to see what I mean. (Black people in general have more accidents than white, therefore all black people must pay higher premiums. Just an illustration; no idea if that is true or not.) Why should the behaviour of other men influence what I have to pay for my insurance?

    The only fair way to set insurance premiums is to start everyone off on the same (perhaps high) premium, and then reduce it according to individual claims record. Man or woman, black or white, good or bad postcode.

    • Mudplugger
      March 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      Strange as it may seem, there is a substantially higher incidence of whiplash injury claims amongst those of Asian origin than any other group. (Whether this has any relation to actual incidences of whiplash injury is another matter.)

      But, taking that as a documented fact, we should expect good underwriters to take account of that when quoting for vehicle policies, increasing that group’s premiums substantially. I shall await that purely commercial decision with interest, but without holding my breath.

      • March 8, 2012 at 7:01 am

        Is that ‘of Asian origin’ the real meaning of the word ‘Asian’, or it’s bastardised modern usage (to avoid having to say ‘Pakistani’)?

        • Mudplugger
          March 8, 2012 at 8:40 am

          It’s a fair cop !

    • March 8, 2012 at 6:59 am

      I like the sound of Richard’s ‘individualist’ policy!

  2. John
    March 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    But surely the good news is that Britain’s millions of overcharged men drivers can now see a proportionate reduction in thier premiums?

    Since we’re talking about betting, who wants to take a bet that the Motor Insurance industry will just increase women’s rates up to match mens’ premiums and pocket the difference?

    Who wants to take a further bet to ensure that the Government will do absolutely nothing to force insurers to redistribute these premiums?

    You watch it happen…

    • March 8, 2012 at 7:02 am

      I fear John’s right. This means no-one wins. Except the insurance firms, of course!

      • Maaarrghk!
        March 12, 2012 at 5:20 am

        My thoughts exactly John. Car insurance in the UK has always been a license to print money.

  3. March 7, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    “But surely the good news is that Britain’s millions of overcharged men drivers can now see a proportionate reduction in thier premiums?”

    I like a person with a sense of humour.

  4. March 8, 2012 at 8:14 am

    yes I know the ECJ isn’t the EU

    Technical point – yes it is. The European Court of Justice is the one which interprets the EU treaties – currently the Lisbon treaty. That’s the court which ruled (as if it wasn’t obvious) that the Treaty of Rome took precedence over national law, and it said that in 1963 so it was a flat lie in 1972 when Heath and others claimed that this would not strike out national law.

    “The European Court of Justice (ECJ) says in a statement: “The rule of unisex premiums and benefits will apply with effect from 21 December 2012. Directive 2004/113/EC1 prohibits all discrimination based on sex in the access to and supply of goods and services.”

    The sex discrimination case was brought in the narrow context of a commercial question about supply of goods or services but since the EU had enlarged its original scope to include not just the countries keeping each other’s market open and not cheating, but questions such as Justice, it has gradually claimed authority to hear cases which were never, ever dreamed of before.

    This has created a situation where the ECJ is ruling in areas we might previously have thought of as a Human Rights (ECtHR) issue.

    Both courts have been doing a complicated dance to try to avoid giving contradictory rulings; the Lisbon treaty made ECtHR rulings binding in a way which they were not before. It appears that if push comes to shove, the ECtHR is the superior court meaning that its rulings must take precedence, but it isn’t an administrative line of authority; cases don’t appeal to the ECtHR from the ECJ.

    • March 8, 2012 at 10:08 am

      I must get my eyes tested. There’s a problem for certain single-sex hotels which are relying on excusals in national legislation to allow them to operate different rules from b&bs run by Christians.

      Directive 2004/113/EC1 prohibits all discrimination based on sex in the access to and supply of goods and services.”

      Wonder what the EHRC will make of that?

  5. Chuckles
    March 8, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Being the naive sort, I always believed the maths.
    i.e. that insurance was all about getting the pool of subscribers large enough that the actuarial calcs applied, and that all this stuff about ‘tailoring the policy to you’, and ‘the right postcode’ was just marketing fluff and hype to charge the gullible marks more.
    Silly me, this is the UK, that would never happen.

  6. March 8, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Instead because some idiot consumer group based in Belgium brought a case before the ECJ insurance groups are no longer allowed to play the odds (by giving a good quote) based on gender. As Douglas Carswell put it “Three weeks ago the Prime Minister held a meeting for the insurance industry at Downing Street. But because we are not prepared to do anything about Europe, we can do absolutely nothing about this madness.”

    Yep – sums it up, QM.

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