Government Guidelines on Gender and Insurance

Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice in March, the Government has today issued its promised consultation document on how insurers can use gender as a risk factor in the light of the judgment. The ECJ ruled that the use of gender as a risk factor by insurers should not result in individual differences in premiums and benefits for men and women, with effect from 21 December 2012.

Although the Government continues to believe this judgment is detrimental for consumers, there is an obligation to implement it into law. Today’s consultation:

  • Reiterates the Government’s legal interpretation that the judgment applies only to new contracts entered into after 21 December 2012, so existing contracts are not affected. It also seeks views on this legal interpretation and the accompanying draft regulations.
  • Seeks comments on the Government’s impact assessment and requests additional data that would help us better understand the impact on consumers and insurers.
  • Asks for views on some of the key issues arising from the judgment, such as the scope of indirect discrimination.

Mark Hoban, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“While nobody should ever be treated unfairly because of their gender, financial services providers should be allowed to make sensible decisions based on sound analysis of risk. We continue to work hard with other Member States and the Commission to secure legal certainty for industry and reduce any detrimental effects for consumers.”

Notes for Editors

1. Today’s consultation can be found here:
2. Mark Hoban issued a Written Ministerial Statement on this issue in June, which outlined the Government’s interpretation of the decision. This can be found here:

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