< News | 08.05.2018

The gender divide: wider than ever?

The gender divide: wider than ever?

Back in 2012, the industry was battling to cope with the Gender Directive and the need to level premiums for men and women. Now, new research suggests that far from benefiting men, the reverse could be true…

For telematics take-up – male vs female drivers

  • Women regard crash notification/collision detection as far more valuable than men
  • Men are more comfortable with being monitored for the use of a mobile phone while driving than women
  • There is little difference in the sexes with regard to being tracked for their driving style
  • Both sexes agree that being rewarded for safer driving is the best aspect of telematics
  • Men are more comfortable with the technology tracking them and the vehicle than women
  • Men prefer to share their driving score with friends

Source: LexisNexis Risk Solutions

The EU Gender Directive arrived back in 2012, to level the playing field for men and women. For insurers, this meant an end to rating by sex.

However, new evidence from comparethemarket.com shows men are still paying significantly more for their car insurance than women. According to its research, between June and August 2017 the average car insurance policy for a man was nearly 27% higher than that for a woman. In January 2013, the difference was less than 20%.

John Miles, head of motor at comparethemarket.com, says: “This data shows how little difference the EU Gender Directive has had on insurance premiums, with providers still giving big discounts to women.

“This is likely due to a number of factors, such as statistically higher accident rates for men and more men than women driving business and commercial vehicles – which are higher risk. The directive removed the ability of providers to give default discounts to women; however, the statistics and risk models used by insurers mean that the result is largely the same.”

The Directive has, however, helped drive some changes through the motor market.

For example, the use of telematics has become much more widespread, particularly for younger drivers. It enables them to evidence their safe driving habits and so reduce the cost of premiums.

A report from Ptolemus Consulting Group suggests 50% of the world’s vehicles will be insured with usage-based policies by 2030 and the sector will grow to nearly 100 million policies worldwide in the next three years.

Help is much needed, according to the UK’s Association of British Insurers, which warns the average cost of a motor insurance claim has risen to the highest level on record, jumping 9% last year.


But this is where gender differences rise once again. Research from LexisNexis Risk Solutions among more than 3,000 motorists has found that, while the key motivators for purchasing telematics insurance are broadly the same for men and women, there are subtle variations in how males and females perceive the benefits, with women being more motivated by safety while men are more concerned with savings.

In the research, it was found that 26.5% more women than men consider the safety benefits of telematics as the best aspect of this form of motor insurance.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions found that men are more motivated to take up telematics insurance as a means to link their driving style to a fairer premium, with 44% ranking this first in importance. While this also ranks highest in importance for women (38%), more women than men see the safety benefits of telematics in terms of helping them become safer drivers, crash/collision detection and helping them educate their children to be better drivers (43%).

It seems the gender conversation is far from finished.

£170 – Men are paying on average more than £170 extra for their car insurance than women

8% – The gap has widened nearly 8% since the implementation of the EU Gender Directive

50% – Nearly 50% of the world’s vehicles will be insured with usage-based policies by 2030



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