Labour wants action to defuse ‘time bomb’ of European gender ruling

Shadow transport spokesman John Woodcock

Labour would force insurers to offer its drivers telematics if it gets in power.

It plans to give insurers one year “to put their house in order” and then force them to offer at least one telematics product.

The only insurers who would be exempt would be the ones who are already voluntarily offering the blackbox technology.

An analysis by Labour found that female drivers could be hit with up to £362 in extra premium costs once the gender ban comes into force on 21 December this year.

This is the second time in under a year that Labour has threatened compulsory action on insurers, with backbencher Jack Straw warning last November that insurers could lose their right to underwrite motor.

Labour shadow transport minister John Woodcock said: “At a time when motorists are already being squeezed by record fuel prices, women will be dismayed that out-of-touch ministers are not lifting a finger to defuse the insurance time bomb heading their way from Europe.

“Premiums for women are currently less because they tend to have fewer accidents. The government must not sit back and let the insurance industry round up to the highest level they think they can get away with – that could mean hikes of up to £360 for women.

“The ban on insurance by gender means women will need to find different ways to prove they are safe, but currently not enough insurers offer new black box technology that helps safer drivers get lower premiums.

“Unlike the do-nothing Conservative-led government, Labour would give insurance companies a year to put their house in order before considering forcing every insurer to offer at least one black box product to benefit safer drivers. That would benefit all responsible drivers – including women and younger people – who are being clobbered by sky-high premiums.”