The Commission issues guidelines to ensure gender non-discrimination in insurance premiums

The European Commission has adopted a series of guidelines aimed to ensure that different premiums for men and women are not included in insurance policies. These guidelines are a response to the call from different stakeholders for practical guidance on the implications of a recent ruling from the European Court of Justice who declared these clauses contrary to EU law.

The Commission guidelines aim at clarifying a series of issues brought out by in-depth consultations with Member States and stakeholders which were carried out after the ruling of the European Court of Justice declaring gender clauses in insurance premiums contrary to EU law. As highlighted by Commissioner Barnier, they fulfil the Commission's commitment to help the industry in adapting their contracts and premiums and ensure timely and full compliance with the judgment.

Among these clarifications, the guidelines underline that that the Court ruling in case Test-Achats only applies to new contracts concluded after 21 December 2012. In order to ensure a correct application, the guidelines provide for some specific examples of what is considered a “new contract”. They also provide examples of gender-related insurance practices which are compatible with the principle of unisex premiums and benefits and that will therefore not be challenged by the Court ruling. These practices are very diverse, ranging from the calculation of technical provisions to reinsurance pricing, medical underwriting or targeted marketing.

The Commission is confident that insurance industry is competitive and innovative and should be in a position to make the necessary adjustments and offer attractive unisex products to consumers without unjustified impact on the overall price level. Price reductions resulting from unisex pricing should be passed on to consumers with the same level of fairness as price increases.