Thursday, March 3, 2011

EU Closes Insurers' Gender Rate Gap

Wall Street Journal
March 2, 2011

The European Union's highest court declared illegal the widespread practice of charging men and women different rates for insurance, setting in motion an overhaul of how life, auto and health policies are written across Europe.

Two Belgian men had challenged the higher life-insurance premiums charged to members of their sex, arguing that it was discriminatory. In a ruling Tuesday, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice agreed.

The judgment can't be appealed. It will have vast implications: Insurers routinely charge women, who live longer, lower premiums for life insurance; young male drivers, who statistically cause more accidents, pay higher premiums for auto policies.

In short, the victory for equality of the sexes will end up costing women money.


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