Most people now know that companies can no longer discriminate on grounds of gender when it comes to car insurance policies.
But not many people are aware of how far-reaching the new EU directive is in other fields.
From December 21, 2012, pricing on the grounds of gender will cease after the European Court of Justice ruled that companies should not use gender to calculate risk when assessing premiums for men and women.
Historically, women have paid less in car insurance premiums because they are judged to be safer drivers while men received higher annuities from their pensions because they have a lower life expectancy.
And in one survey by an online insurance comparison website, only 53% of Britons knew how the legislation would impact them.
But men wanting to beat the gender-pricing rules have led to a dramatic increase in the numbers applying for pension annuities before the expected drop after the rules are enforced, says financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown.
Here’s our quick FAQ on the EU gender directive
Does the directive only apply to car insurance?
No, all financial services products which use gender to calculate risk are being affected. This will include private healthcare, life insurance as well as annuities and car insurance.
How will it affect annuity rates?
Because men and women must be offered the same annuity rate, they will fall for men (who have traditionally been paid more) and rise for women.
So what can I expect for an annuity rate?
Essentially, most providers will ‘blend’ their rates so that they fall between the two amounts being paid out now to create a ‘unisex’ annuity rate. However, it appears that the rates between providers will