An insurance giant is warning that while women will see life cover costs rise thanks to forthcoming anti-discrimination rules, any benefits for men could be wiped out by changes to tax law.
The same European rules that affect the motor insurance trade will also apply to life insurance from 21 December. Insurers will no longer be able to discriminate on price between a male and female customer who are otherwise identical.
With the current gender price gap being 20% or more, insurers aren't likely to split the difference. One forecast is that the average female customer could see a 15% price rise, leaving only a small drop in costs for the average male to bring the genders into balance.
In practice, male customers may not actually see the benefit of the price cut. According to Aviva, new tax rules could mean a price hike for everyone that wipes out the effects of the gender rules for men. Insurers will no longer be allowed to claim tax relief on the actual expenses incurred in putting policies together and administering them. Insurers will likely pass on some of the resulting tax hikes to customers, bringing premium increases of up to 10 percent for everyone.