Monday, 27 August 2012

Is living longer still worth it?

European consumers shop not only for various goods, but also for services and soon an increase of interest in purchasing new insurance policies among European women is to be expected. Why? As of 21 December 2012, on the basis of the CJEU's judgement in the case Test Achats (the Belgian Consumer Association), the insurers will no longer be able to calculate costs and benefits of insurance based on a person's gender. This gender-neutral pricing is based on the principle of equality expressed in the Gender Directive of 2004 that requires unisex pricing for European consumers. This ruling is, however, to the detriment of European women, who 'traditionally enjoyed cheaper life insurance because of their longer life expectancy'. (EU Directive Could Send Women Running to Buy Life Insurance) Some consumer organisations expect that the insurance premiums for women could rise by a third (Life insurance premiums set to soar). At the same time, certain insurance companies assure that their premiums should not be overly influenced by this ruling (e.g., http://www.aviva.co.uk/gender-neutral-pricing/). It remains to be seen whether these premiums will indeed rise and whether shopping for a cheaper insurance companies will be on many women agendas as of 2013.

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