Women motorists speak out


Over 4,000 women petitioned Government Minister Patricia Hewitt to keep their motor insurance costs down.

Diamond, a direct insurer specialising in car insurance for women asked their customers to support a postcard and email campaign against EU plans to remove the use of gender when calculating car insurance costs.

Over 4,000 postcards were returned, supporting Diamond's concerns that ruling out the use of statistical evidence on the differences between men and women's driving records, will mean women paying for men's more reckless driving.

Diamond has delivered the postcards to MP Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade & Industry, Minister for Women. They are urging her to support an amendment to the EU Directive, allowing gender to remain as a crucial factor when determining premiums.

Diamond's premiums currently reflect the fact that women have a different driving pattern to men. In insurance terms women, particularly young women, are better drivers than men because they have fewer expensive accidents. This is reflected in the lower premiums which women pay. Recent research by the Home Office supports insurance industry findings. Home Office figures reveal men commit nine times more motoring offences than women, including 97% of dangerous driving offences and 94% of those causing death or bodily injury.

Sian Lewis, managing director at Diamond, said, "The message from our customers is loud and clear. They agree that the current system of calculating premiums is fair. Introducing this law will not create equality, instead women will end up paying for men's more expensive claims costs."

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