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Women say insurance ruling 'unfair'

Eight out of 10 women think a European court ruling which will lead to them paying more for motor insurance is unfair, a survey has revealed.

Of the women questioned, 78% said they were unhappy with the decision by the European Court of Justice which will prevent insurers from using gender when calculating premiums, according to discount website MyVoucherCodes.co.uk.

Only 22% said they thought the move to end gender discrimination was fair, despite the fact that it will lead to higher premiums for women.

In contrast, men, who are likely to see their insurance premiums fall as a result of the move, were more supportive with 74% saying they thought it was fair.

Nearly two-thirds of women said they thought men should pay more for motor insurance as they caused more accidents on the road.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) estimates that women aged under 25 could see a 25% increase in car insurance premiums when the ruling comes into force on December 21 2012, but men are expected to see a reduction of just 10%.

The ruling is also expected to impact on annuities, which are used by people who have defined contribution or personal pensions to convert their retirement savings into a regular income. Insurers will no longer be able to offer higher annuity rates to men because they are not expected to live as long as women.

The ABI estimates that men approaching retirement could see an 8% reduction in annuity rates, while women are expected to see only a 6% rise.

The move comes at a bad time for consumers, who have already suffered motor insurance price hikes of about a third during the past year as the industry struggles to cope with rising levels of fraud and increased personal injury costs.

Annuity rates have also fallen to record low levels on the back of rising life expectancy and investment volatility.

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