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Beware a lethal sort of equality dished up by modern “justice” – which, at the margin, must make roads more dangerous.
Soon the days that European women could pay less for their vehicle insurance will be gone. In February last year, the European Court of Justice ruled against gender profiling in insurance. From 21 December 2012, life and short term insurers will no longer be allowed to use a persons gender in determining an appropriate risk and price combination for insurance.
Why do (did) women generally pay less for vehicle insurance? Well, they tend to claim much less. In South Africa, for example, the average insurance claim by an 18-year old male is R11 997, but for an 18-year old female only R8668. Now, if insurers aren’t allowed to price their policies based on this distinction, the 18-year old female’s insurance premium must increase substantially, in order to subsidise male premiums, the latter which might even decrease. To put it differently, women will subsidise male driving behaviour. Unless a European insurer can now come up with alternative measures of risk that capture the statistical regularities previously captured by the male/female divide, insurance for the more-at-risk is likely to be subsidised by the less-at-risk.
Given the possibility that males, who are generally more aggressive drivers, might gain cheaper access to insurance, some perverse incentives present itself. If males pay less for being on the road, and are also likely to pay less excess if they are in an accident, it is conceivable that, at the margin, males are going to be at increased risk for vehicle accidents. That translates into an increased risk for everybody else on the road as well. Sure, this effect is likely to be marginal and you’re not going to see thousands of men in accidents on European highways come 21 December, but this “equality” is the type of thing that makes life more hazardous and not more pleasant.
While non of this is new, an article in today’s Rapport unfortunately hints at the possibility that something equally ludicrous is being mentioned in the local interventionist hallways.