The government has launched a consultation on how insurers can use gender as a risk factor following the European Court of Justice ruling in the Test-Achats case...
The consultation document outlines the government's legal interpretation that the judgement will apply to new contracts entered into after 21 December 2012 only, and seeks comment on the potential impact on consumers and insurers.
The government said that it continues to believe the judgement to be detrimental for consumers, but recognises that there is an obligation to implement it into law.
Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: "While nobody should ever be treated unfairly because of their gender, financial services providers should be allowed to make sensible decisions based on sound analysis of risk."
The ECJ ruling is also expected to affect pensions annuities - the insurance industry has warned that the changes will lead to men receiving a smaller annuity income than currently when their benefits are equalised with women's.
The consultation closes on 29 February 2012.