Although the prospect of a ruling that stopped insurers using gender as a risk factor in underwriting has been on the cards for more than 8 years, there still appeared some hope that it would remain so. Even the Prime Minister came out against it, criticising the idea at PMQs on 16th February. However on 1 March, it was found by the European Court of Justice to be unlawful on the grounds of discrimination and as expected the story prompted a wave of speculation about the impact with stories like this in Post Magazine and this 'pay as you drive' idea touted as compensation for us all being merged into a unisex pool of risk.
However, when Radio 4 Moneybox presenter Paul Lewis got to tweeting Will the roads become more dangerous if the premiums for young male drivers fall? It got us thinking; with all this focus on premiums, what about the impact this judgement could have on claims and litigation? There appears to be very little in the media about what this could mean for damages awards for long term care. Often such awards have to be funded by annuities - historically priced using gender as a risk factor - and with judges increasingly mandating annuity-linked periodical payments, surely demand can only increase?