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laptop, geek, MacBook, bursting, breakout


Matt's LiveJournal

Random ramblings of a programmer, photographer, journalist and runner

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laptop, geek, MacBook, bursting, breakout


Just heard that today is the day there's a ruling on whether charging blokes more for car insurance is a form of sex discrimination.

My first thought on hearing this was, "D'uh! Of *course* it's a form of sex discrimination. But that doesn't actually mean it's a bad -- or even unfair -- thing to do..."

But then perhaps I've been blinded by being in the insurance trade for so long. It's been about fifteen years now, come to think of it...

What d'you think, people? Should it be illegal for insurers to charge women less for car insurance because they cost insurers less?

What about my line of work? Is it a *bad* form of age discrimination to charge an eighty-year-old more for medical insurance than a twenty-year-old?

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Interesting -- none of the places I've worked do half-hour interviews. You've just filled out a form or two. Generally speaking, detailed questions are more likely to be used for medical underwriting -- personal exclusions, in other words -- than as rating factors. Is it possible those questions were to draw you out on historic medical problems which would then have been excluded from the new policy, rather than to weight the premium?

I would give a few details of our rating factors, but I suspect we'd be straying into commercially confidential territory, as opposed to the more general talking we've been doing. But I'd say that many of the larger PMI providers in the UK will rate using virtually nothing but age for many of their products. There are definitely some car insurers who use more rating factors than some medical insurers, even if they just rate based on age, no claims bonus, sex, postcode and annual mileage.

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Well, it would certainly be interesting if car insurance worked the same way. "What, you ran into the back of someone last year? Well, yes, certainly we'll insure you for the coming year. But we won't pay out any claims related to you running into the back of someone. You're on your own if that happens..."

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