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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Impact of Gender Directive on European insurers unveiled

A survey presented at the Profession’s Life Convention revealed that half of the 24 European countries surveyed on the impact of the EU Gender Directive have availed themselves of at least one of the opt-out clauses for all types of insurance. This means they have chosen to keep charging different insurance rates to men and women across the board.

The presentation, entitled Using gender as a rating factor in insurance developments across Europe, combined the findings of two surveys carried out by the Groupe Consultatif Actuariel Européen, on insurance practices before and after the implementation of the directive. The directive, issued in late 2007, prohibits use of gender as a rating factor in insurance. However, after extensive lobbying on the original draft directive, an opt-out clause was included that permits member states to allow differential treatment between men and women, provided this can be justified based on experience with reference to published data.

Speaker Jim Murphy, Groupe Consultatif Insurance Committee member, said that surveyed countries had responded in different ways to the directive. “The results show that the directive has been implemented differently across Europe and this has interesting implications for cross-border business and the single market,” he said.

In the UK, the legislation applies to insurance sold to UK residents, whether by UK or foreign insurers, but the UK requirements do not apply to UK insurers selling overseas to non-residents. In contrast, in four EU countries the local requirements apply to national insurers, regardless of whether they sell insurance locally to residents in their own country, or cross-border to non-residents, but they do not apply to foreign insurers selling to domestic residents in those countries on a cross-border basis.

The survey was sent to 27 countries with 24 responses. The presentation was delivered by Mr Murphy and Groupe Consultatif Insurance Committee member Manuel Peraita in a workshop session at the convention for life insurance actuaries.