Understanding the Gender Directive
For most people, it’s the slightly surprising mild inconvenience you’ve never even heard about. But make no mistake, its coming. By the end of December this year the EU gender directive will be in place and insurance as you know it might be changed forever. What the gender directive means is that insurance companies will not be able to discriminate between men and women in assessing risk for insurance purposes.
So what will that mean?
Well, if you’re a woman, you currently pay on average 25% less for Life Insurance with Irish Life than men. This is because women tend to live longer than men, and are generally rewarded for this in their insurance premiums. And if you’re a man? Sullen stares and grumbles from the ladies in your life about having to take up the financial slack for our general inability to keep ourselves out of harm’s way.
From December 21st, prices will be the same for men and women. Unfortunately this means that the cost of life insurance for women is likely to increase.
To give an example; currently, a smoking man, aged 39 who has a €150,000 Life Insurance plan with Irish Life for 25 years, pays €49.37 per month. This is €11.19 (25%) more than a smoking woman of the same age.
What if I don’t have life insurance?
Act now before the change. Any policy taken out and fully issued on or before the 21st December 2012 will remain at those rates even after the 21st December.
What if I have a policy already in place?
No change. The directive only applies to new contracts concluded after 21st December 2012.
What if I am currently in the process of taking out a policy?
Current rates will only be applicable until the 21st December. Therefore, any policies not in force before the 21st December 2012 will not be issued using current rates, and therefore may potentially incur higher premiums.