In March 2011, the European Court of Justice ruled that
insurers cannot charge different prices on any insurance for men and women.
The new rules come into effect on 21 December 2012.
Many insurers that are changing their prices are not
prepared to say if it is a penny a month, a £ a month or a rise of 15 % or more
But some of those self-same insurers and some intermediaries
are 'scaring' women into buying cover now, as 'the price will go up a lot in
a few months'.
Such sales tactics would get short shrift from trading
standards offices in any other industry, and insurance should not stoop so low.
Some insurers strongly oppose any scare tactics as they
argue that it could rebound. Several insurers already have gender neutral
pricing and others claim the increases are tiny. So if a salesman says to a
woman “you ought to buy now as prices could go up next year by 15%” and next
year she finds that she could get exactly the same cover for a lower price and
could show average price rises of say 5%, she would have a very strong case for
mis-selling and a fair trading complaint.