Category Archives: women’s car insurance

Most women deserve lower car insurance premiums than most young men.

New insurance website for women

We’re launching FOXY Lady Insurance today. It’s a new insurance website in the FOXY mould, for women and to help them find the best value insurance products in the wake of the Gender Directive.

Yes, price comparison websites do a great job in telling us what our choices are but as we all know from TV advertising not every insurer is there and you just might miss a better value deal by not trawling them all.

We also find that many women trust their existing insurers to invite their renewal at favourable terms when this mightn’t always be the case; especially now that insurers seem free to charge some women more for their motor and life insurance.

So we’re here to help women find a fair deal and pay a value for money price for the cover they need.

In a nutshell we’re inviting you to request a quote through our services (whether this is for motor, home, life, health or business insurance) and we’ll arrange for a FSA authorised and FOXY Lady Approved insurance adviser to take over.

That person may or may not be female (we think our register will include a lot of females but we’re equally impressed by men who listen and know their female friendly products) but they will ALL have signed the FOXY Lady Insurance Promise to…

“Always represent the best interests of women by listening to their needs before identifying value-for-money and female friendly insurance solutions to fit the bill.”

So if you know someone whose insurance renewal is imminent, has shot up this year or who’d like to discuss insurance matters with a friendly and informed insurance professional be sure to tell them about FOXY Lady Insurance so they can see if their quote is as good as it can be.


UK insurers fail to assess their own risk

A company called Drive Assist went into administration last month owing Swinton £2.5m, eSure services c£1.4m and Aviva a mere £714k, as part of their whopping £43 million debt.

But aren’t insurers supposed to be diligent barometers of risk? It’s worrying that these three (and there are more insurers out of pocket of course) couldn’t even manage their own risk in key contracts for services they presumably commissioned?

And how come insurers are out of pocket anyway, not the car hire providers or leasing companies?

The way I see it, any contract between Drive Assist and the likes of Swinton should surely state

“DA to provide x services on our behalf in exchange for y payment and z referral fees.”

DA would then presumably contract its own car hire and/or repairer solutions and make sure that there was a healthy cash flow gap between invoicing Swinton and then paying the car hire/repair companies providing these services.

But obviously it wasn’t as simple as this.

I’d also like to understand who pays for the reported £43m debt in total and whether this’ll be added to insurance premiums in time?

Either way it sounds very odd to me. I’ve read the figures of course but find them a little light on interpretation…

Sadly it’s yet another criticism of the insurance industry’s claims handling process that’s going through the reputation wringer at present. But let’s hope lessons will be learned for the future.


PS If you know more about this, please explain by posting a reply here.

The impact of the Gender Directive so far…

A new law that was sneaked in on 21 December last under cover of Christmas means that many young women will soon be feeling the pinch when their car insurance renewal notice hits the doormat.

Thanks to the EU and an evident absence of anyone sticking up for women drivers when this was first mooted more than 10 years ago (long before FOXY was conceived…) the Gender Directive is now law in the UK. This prevents insurers from using statistical evidence to calculate premiums, proof that most young women are safer drivers than many young men, for example.

Of course there’s an inherent unfairness here as young men can be safe drivers and young women dangerous ones but the way I see it, if I was setting up an insurance business (and this would apply to any financially switched on business man I’m sure) I’d base my premiums on known risk factors for starters then apply good driving rewards and bad driving penalties on an individual basis thereafter.

Which is what black box telematics are all about of course. They are fitted in your car to assess your driving style and, hopefully, will incentivise young drivers to drive responsibly on the basis of a financial reward. Let’s hope the young men that need them most buy them…

But whether the eventual financial reward will ever reinstate the advantageous premiums that young women have paid in the past remains to be seen.

Are insurers consistent in their approach to gender?

It’s not going to be easy to monitor whether insurers are being consistent here or treating men and women the same because there are so many other risk factors that they are allowed to take into consideration when calculating premiums. These include a driver’s age, occupation, postcode, anti-theft devices, age/value/model of car, engine size, annual mileage, multiple car ownership, named drivers, previous claims, the policy excess, modifications and probably other factors I’ve forgotten today.

But we’ll be keeping our eyes open here…

What’s new after the Gender Directive?

In a nutshell, we have to rely on insurers doing the right thing for women from now on. Good insurers will want to demonstrate added value for money to their female customers, knowing that young drivers in particular may be facing dramatically higher premiums.

There is a clear move towards black box technology to not only reduce the number of road accidents young drivers are involved in but also to keep their premiums down. This could be a good thing and fortunately it’s a very competitive area which will keep prices down. You’ll find out more about this and the key players at the comparethebox website to which should be added a new entrant called ‘Drive Like A Girl‘ ; a name that’s unlikely to attract any male interest I’d have thought!

We are also noticing a lot of short term tactical advertising targeting women drivers. Women are more attracted by loyalty card points than men, freebies and designer handbags for that matter, so we’re not surprised to see these on offer at price comparison websites, Facebook, from supermarket and female-oriented insurance brands. Far be it for me to suggest a handbag competition approach might be seen as patronising by some women but I have heard this word mentioned recently.

The best approach, we believe, is to see the Gender Directive as an opportunity to build a long term relationship with women as a result of doing something that is demonstrably in their long term best interests. An example of a customer service initiative that illustrates this well is that of Ageas Insurance who asked us to develop a FOXY Lady Approved© female friendly standard for their accident repair centres, much as we had done for garages previously. This has since been organised by our FOXY Choice website and approximately 100 Ageas Solution Centres are now members of the new network. Together we are spreading the news that women have a choice of female friendly repairers at accident time and a start has been made here.

This is also a commitment to higher services levels for men because bodyshops and garages that get service levels right for fussy women (like me) are automatically doing a better job for men too.

Finally if you’d like to leave feedback about ANY garage, accident repair centre or recent insurance experience after the Gender Directive we’d love to hear from you HERE.

We need you to tell us so we can share instances of best (and worst) practice with other women drivers.


No need for young women drivers to despair about car insurance

Call me suspicious but when there’s bad news to be announced it’s usually leaked out under cover of a bigger story.

And what could be a bigger story than Christmas?

The bad news is that the UK Gender Directive arrived on 21 December and it will undoubtedly price many young women drivers off the road as a result.

Some call it D-Day – the D standing for despair presumably, as felt by many young females when they receive their renewal insurance notifications from now on.

I’m not talking so much about rich families because, in most cases, their parents will simply cough up. I’m talking about those that aren’t well off but who scrimped and saved to fund their own driving lessons, test and first car. And all of them young women who are statistically less likely to speed or take risks than their male counterparts…

Was it so unreasonable for them to expect their insurance premiums to reduce not double and more as looks to be the case in future?

The irony is that this gender discrimination has been inflicted on us by the European Court of Justice [sic] and a German Mum of six. Shame on you Juliane Kokott – when we needed you to stick up for your gender you put your career first. Who needs enemies when we can’t even rely on our own sex for support.

The future for car insurance for women

By the New Year we’ll have the new FOXY Lady Insurance website to help. Not just about car insurance it’ll also identify the best deals out there, seen through female eyes. What makes FOXY different is that we’re the UK’s only dedicated female brand for motorists and we’re totally independent. We’ll also be inviting female feedback about insurance services and insurers so we can share this to benefit others. And finally we’ll be promoting insurance agents and brokers who share our wish to provide female friendly insurance services to women in future. At times of change and potential unfairness it’s reassuring to rely on personal service from someone who uderstands.

Because, contrary to Juliane’s principles, equality doesn’t always mean that both genders are the same or that we want to be treated the same when it comes to customer service. So FOXY’ll tackle this service gap so women can rely on us to represent their best interests.

This will be my final blog to vent about this subject. It is clearly EU madness, FOXY was too late to the party to make a difference (this has been in the pipeline for over a decade whereas FOXY arrived in 2005) and it’s now time to move on. Amen.

The FOXY way forward

If, having read this far, you share my indignation, there are three things you could do to help young women, with a view to the future.

1 Please LIKE our FOXY Lady Insurance Page at Facebook.

2 Tell any young female motorists to contact FOXY Lady Insurance if their renewal quote rises unfairly. We’ll try to beat it by introducing them to a FOXY Lady Approved insurance adviser who’ll listen, understand and be well informed about their situation.

3 Bookmark our new website and return to it in the New Year (and tell others to do the same).

Thank you for listening…


Female drivers affected by new car insurance regulations

The next few months are going to see some big changes being made to the way insurance providers’ price up their premium policies.

Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which prohibits gender-biased pricing, insurers in the UK will be prevented from offering cheaper car insurance deals to female drivers.

Despite strong opposition from the insurance industry, which has been lobbying against the regulation change for the best part of the last decade, the ECJ has ruled that insurance providers will no longer be allowed to use gender as a factor in pricing policies. The effect of the change in regulation is not only limited to car insurance, with the industry expecting major changes across life insurance, pension annuities and the home insurance sector.

Opposition to the regulation change from female drivers comes as no surprise as previous statistics have shown that young men under the age of 25 are twice as likely to have an accident compared with their female’s counterparts. These statistics, which have driven the pricing policy of insurance providers in the past, are now being discarded with female drivers set for a 25% – 50% annual increase in their insurance premium policies.

The changes, which will be implemented as of the 21st of December 2012, have been met with strong opposition from accredited insurance committees such as the Association of British Insurers and the British Insurance Brokers’ Association. The general consensus among the associations is that the job of the insurer is to match prices according to risk, and by and large young male drivers present a much larger risk than young female drivers do.

Stepping away from the obvious issue of young female drivers being priced out of the insurance market, the AA has also expressed a fear that insurers may start to pull out of insuring young drivers all together. With premiums for young drivers already at an all-time high, the AA has warned that many insurers may consider the young driver market ‘too risky’ and avoid it, a move which could reduce competition and in turn drive up premium costs even further.

This view is not shared by the Association of British Insurers however, with ABI spokesperson, Adeola Ajayi, stating that “the insurance market will remain competitive despite the ruling and has published key consideration points for consumers set to be affected by the changes.”

Whatever the outcome, the insurance industry is a hot topic which is worth looking out for in the next few months as new European regulations are set to change previously untouched processes which may cause a ripple effect across the whole insurance market.