HM Treasury

Consultations & legislation

Gender as a factor in the assessment of insurance risks

01 April 2008

The Gender Directive (Council Directive 2004/113/EC) specifies the circumstances in which insurance companies will be able to charge different premiums or offer different benefits to men and women. The Government consultation on implementing this provision closed on 3 September 2007.

Implementing regulations, the Sex Discrimination (Amendment of Legislation) Regulations 2008, entered into force on 6 April 2008 to give effect to the Directive in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Regulations amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (and the corresponding provisions of the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976) to permit discrimination by insurance companies, provided that data relevant to the use of sex as an actuarial factor is compiled, published and regularly updated in accordance with guidance issued by the Treasury. The Treasury has published guidance setting out how insurance companies should meet their obligations. The guidance is available below. The guidance also entered into effect on 6 April 2008.

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