Motor insurers still free to charge women less

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The Independent Online

A proposal which would have made most women drivers pay more for car insurance has been dropped by the European Commission.

A proposal which would have made most women drivers pay more for car insurance has been dropped by the European Commission.

The EC's Gender Directive would have banned firms from offering cheaper insurance to women on the basis that they were statistically safer drivers.

Instead, a deal allowing insurance firms to take gender into account when setting charges has now been reached.

Insurance firms offer different rates for cover based on gender and, as male drivers commit 85 per cent of serious offences, women usually pay less.

The deputy minister for Women and Equality, Jacqui Smith, said: "The rights we've enjoyed in the UK for nearly 30 years will now be enshrined in this directive for the benefit of all Europeans."

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