Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Car insurance costs fall ahead of gender equality

  • @simonnread

The cost of car cover has fallen by 10.3 per cent in the past 12 months as insurers slash prices before being forced to increase them when an EU gender directive comes into force next month.

The latest Towers Watson/Confused car insurance price index published today shows that average comprehnsive cover stands at £757, a fall of £87 over the year. Young women drivers under 20 have fared best with premiums now 17.3 per cent lower than they were a year ago. But with insurers outlawed from differentiating the cost of cover on the grounds of gender from 21 December, prices for young female drivers could rocket 24 per cent, according to Treasury forecasts.

"Insurers have been targeting younger drivers in the hope that when they renew next year they will simply renew with the same company," says Gareth Kloet of Confused. "But steep price hikes loom with the advent of the EU gender ruling."

Lee Griffin from Gocompare agrees: "The apparent slight decreases in car insurance premiums is welcome news for motorists, but it could be a temporary blip caused by insurers gradually implementing changes to their pricing strategies as they approach gender neutral underwriting."

He advises drivers not to be complacent when they get their insurance renewal. "Any reductions in premiums come on the heels of several years of steep price rises, so consumers should compare their renewal quote with those offered by competing insurers," he said.