Data allow insurers to study claims patterns.

The ABI has published gender data tables to help insurers avoid breaching sex discrimination regulations when pricing policies.

Under the regulations, which were brought into English law in April following an EU Gender Directive, insurance companies can use gender differences when pricing insurance policies only if these differences are based on accurate and regularly updated statistical data.

In response, the ABI and the Continuous Mortality Investigation have published data that provides evidence of differences in claims patterns between genders for the relevant insurance products.

An ABI spokesman said: “The insurance industry is against unfair discrimination of any kind, and does not practise it. But it is legitimate for companies to set prices, levels of cover and benefits according to a number of factors which together determine the relative risk that any given customer poses. This principle has long been accepted by society.

“The Gender Directive, and the UK Government’s transposition of it into domestic legislation, recognised this, and charged the insurance industry with compiling and publishing data to show the relevance of gender in making underwriting decisions.

“This has now been done. As a result, customers will continue to be able to benefit from fair pricing and a range of products which suit their needs, at affordable prices.”

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