Wednesday, March 02, 2011

That ECJ Insurance ruling in full.

The full decision made by the European Court of Justice on differences between male and female insurance premiums can be found here. The most interesting point being that this isn't a new ruling but a modification of an old one. Unisex premiums were supposed to be enforced from 2009 with a transitional period allowed. However no time limit was given for this 'period' this new ruling gives a cut-off date.

Now I've given my arguments about why this is wrong here. Sadly what this does is open up a whole can of worms. The Directive 2004/113/EC

prohibits all discrimination based on sex in the access to and supply of goods and services.
Okay now how about religion? Well can't discriminate for that; obviously. What about age? Surely the same principle?

So an 18-year old learner driver should be offered the same premium as a 30-year old driver? Anything else would be ageist. How about no-claims bonuses aren't they ageist too? After as you can only start to officially drive at the age of 17/18 it's impossible for such a person of that age to rack up a bonus compared to someone who's been driving for 20 years. Again if someone learns to drive at the age of 25 they should get the same high premium as someone at the age of 18.

In fact if this were extended then everyone regardless of circumstance should be paying exactly the same amount - you're discriminating against me because I'm a new driver, because I'm young, because I have a big car, because I have a history of cancer in the family, because I have a pre-existing condition, because I work in a dangerous profession.

By confirming that the insurance differences are based directly on the sex of the individual rather than simply as a side-effect this allows almost any grouping to be declared as discriminatory. Next up - is it discrimination to put urinals in a men's toilet and not a women's? Is it discriminatory to have two separate facilities at all?