Our insurance premiums need to reflect our behaviour, not our age or gender

Labour Party

Mary Honeyball speaking at Swiss Re conference 040313
“The insurance industry needs to explore new ways of assessing risk for insurance, rather than lumping people into stereotypical categories such as gender or age” – this was the thrust of my argument when I spoke at a conference for the insurance industry organised by Swiss Re in Zurich last Monday, 4 March.

Taking gender into account as a risk factor in insurance contracts is no longer possible since last December.  The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that this constitutes discrimination.  But this does not have to mean, for example, higher premiums for female drivers.  As I have written here before, we are all individuals and should be viewed as such when it comes to insurance premiums.  Cautious male drivers should not be penalised because of their more reckless brothers – nor women when it comes to their pension annuities.  

The insurance industry is having to change and modify the way they calculate risks.  In this technological era it should not be too difficult to devise more appropriate methods, such as has been done for scooter drivers.  New drivers can sign up for shorter contracts of three months, allowing insurers to assess individuals and modify future premiums.