EU rules on gender-neutral pricing in insurance industry enter into force
Under new rules, insurers in Europe will have to charge the same prices to women and men for the same insurance products without distinction on the grounds of sex. This means that insurance prices could rise or fall in the short term for certain categories of customers while they are likely to balance out over time. The change comes after the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that different premiums for men and women purely on the grounds of sex were incompatible with the principle of unisex pricing included in EU gender equality legislation, and with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
"Gender equality is a fundamental right in the European Union and the Court of Justice made clear that this also applies to insurance pricing," said Vice-President Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner. "The insurance sector has had over a year to prepare the switch over to unisex pricing and the European Commission has helped the industry to adapt during this period. The Commission will monitor how the industry will implements these new rules in practice. ”
In its ruling on 1 March 2011 in the Test-Achats case (C‑236/09), the Court of Justice of the EU gave insurers until 21 December 2012 to change their pricing policies in order to treat individual male and female customers equally in terms of insurance premiums and benefits (MEMO/11/123).
Following the Court's judgement, Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, met with leading EU insurers in September 2011 to discuss how the Commission can help the industry to adapt to the Court's ruling (MEMO/11/624). As a result on, 22 December 2011, the Commission gave the industry concrete guidance on implementing the ruling (IP/11/1581).