''Female drivers are likely to be the biggest losers.''
CONSUMERS are facing an estimated £500 million increase in their insurance premiums later this year to comply with European sex equality legislation.
The new rules that men and women must pay the same for their cover takes effect on December 21. Female drivers, especially younger ones, are likely to be the biggest losers.
Some are set to see premiums jump by as much as 25 per cent. Younger male drivers should see the biggest falls in premiums.
But overall, the Government and insurers expect everyone to lose out through less accurate pricing. In motor insurance alone, the cost to consumers is expected to be about £300 million a year.
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The change is being forced through after a ruling by the European Court of Justice last year. This ends a special exemption for insurance from the laws on sex discrimination.
It stops companies charging different prices for men and women, even where there is statistical evidence to justify price variation.