Insurance EuropeInsurance Europe
The impact of a ban on the use of gender in insurance

The EU Gender Directive provides for equal treatment between men and women in the access and supply of goods and services. The Directive does not, however, prohibit insurers from using gender in the calculation of premiums and benefits, as it contains an exemption to this rule: under Article 5(2), member states can opt out from banning the use of gender and can allow "proportionate differences" in insurance premiums and benefits. All European national legislative assemblies chose to use the opt-out for life products - including life insurance and pension annuities.

On 1 March 2011, however, the European Court of Justice ruled that this time-unlimited opt-out provision was inconsistent with the European Charter ("Test-Achats ruling"). Oxera has conducted an economic and objective study on the potential impact on consumers of a ban on gender-based pricing for insurance products (life and non-life) in Europe. This report presents the findings of that study.

Published 7 December 2011
Malene Bye Rasmussen
Malene Bye Rasmussen
Policy advisor