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Lots of you have been asking us about "The Gender Directive" and what it means for you.  We've listed some of your most common questions below.  If you want to ask more, please feel free to contact us or call us on 1890 400 300.

 

What is the Gender Directive?

The Gender Directive is a piece of European legislation designed to ensure equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services, including insurance services.

Currently, this is subject to an exemption permitting gender specific differences in individuals’ insurance premiums and benefits based on relevant and accurate actuarial and statistical data.

However, following a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), insurers will no longer be able to rely on this exemption with effect from 21st December 2012, meaning that from that date onwards all new insurance contracts (including renewals) will need to be gender neutral, both in terms of pricing and benefits. Products where insurers traditionally rate by gender and which will be impacted by the ECJ ruling include motor insurance, life insurance policies providing cover in the event of death, illness or disability and certain annuities.

Who does the European Court of Justice (ECJ) Ruling affect?

The ECJ ruling will affect insurance policies that traditionally factor in a customer’s gender when premiums or benefits are calculated. Such policies include motor insurance, life insurance policies providing cover in the event of death, illness or disability and certain annuities.

How will it affect me?

The ECJ ruling will impact the entire Irish Insurance market. (As Ireland is an EU member we are legally bound by this ruling)

From December 21st 2012, Motor Insurance premiums for new policies (including renewals) will reflect:

Changes to European equality legislation as a result of the ECJ ruling

Other rate changes. There are a number of factors which can influence the availability and cost of insurance such as the increased cost and frequency of claims.

Existing motor insurance policies (i.e. policies incepted before the 21st of December 2012) will not be affected by the ECJ ruling.

You can continue to depend on Zurich for award winning customer service and claims service excellence.

When will the Gender Directive Ruling come into effect?

From the 21st of December 2012, insurers can no longer use gender as a factor when determining premium and benefits for new insurance policies (including renewals). Existing policies (i.e. policies incepted before December 21st) will not be affected by the ECJ ruling. Impacted products include motor insurance, life insurance policies providing cover in the event of death, illness or disability and certain annuities. Zurich, like many other insurers in the Irish market will be adjusting our systems ahead of December 21st 2012 to make sure that gender is removed as a factor in the calculation of risk, in time for this date.

What about Mid-term adjustments?

Mid-term adjustments for existing policies (i.e. policies incepted before December 21st 2012) will not be affected by the ECJ ruling.

Why were insurers using gender as a factor in the calculation of premiums in the past?

Gender has always been an important factor in assessing risk. This is due to the fact that claims statistics show that there are different risk profiles for males and females. Previously it was permissible for insurers to use gender as a rating factor in the calculation of motor insurance premiums. However, as a consequence of recent changes to European equality legislation (following the ruling by the European Court of Justice) insurers can no longer do so, with effect from the 21st of December 2012.

If Gender is no longer being used as a rating factor, why does Zurich continue to ask me what gender I am?

Zurich can and will continue to collect this information so that a) we can continue to address correspondence to our customers correctly b) for internal risk management purposes such as claims reserving and reinsurance. Recording this information will not, however, lead to differences in price or benefits based on your gender.

Have you decreased your pricing for males?

Each policy is rated individually based on a complex rating structure – however Zurich has now, in accordance with this ruling by the European Court of Justice, removed gender so that it is no longer a factor in this rating structure.

Where can I get further information about this piece of legislation?

More information on this ruling is available from the European Court of Justice Website at: curia.europa.eu/