Well that’s excessive – car insurer slugs young men double
AUSTRALIA’S largest insurer is slyly slugging young male drivers with an excess twice the size of that paid by young women.
Men aged 21 to 24 who make a claim on their Coles car insurance face an additional excess of $600. Women the same age pay only $300, on top of the standard excess paid by all customers.
Male drivers under 21 also pay $300 more than female drivers the same age – $1200 versus $900.
Coles’ underwriter, Insurance Australia Group, has defended the practice by saying young men make more claims. Yet IAG’s sister brands don’t charge young men higher excesses than women, nor does any other insurer.
In Europe, insurers are banned from charging men and women differently based purely on sex. But in Australia, insurers are exempt from the relevant discrimination laws.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins was unavailable for comment.
Coles does not tell prospective customers that it charges gender-based age excesses in its product disclosure statement. It is revealed only once a customer has bought a policy. IAG said it was disclosed in the online quoting engine, although this occurs only if a prospective policyholder clicks on a hyperlink from the final page, which is for payment.
Consumer group Choice said there needed to be more transparency.
“Insurers who charge certain drivers more because of their age should clearly disclose this information on a quote,” Choice spokeswoman Stefanie Menezes said.
IAG spokeswoman Annabelle Vo said: “If a driver has a lower chance of making a claim, then they will generally pay a lower premium and excess compared to someone who has a higher chance of making a claim.”
Hayden Hugo moved to Coles car insurance because it was cheaper. Then he discovered he faced a higher excess because of his gender and age.
Mr Hugo considered this to be “sexist” and has now left Coles for an insurer that charges men and women the same.
He said he had a good driving history and should have been assessed on his own record, not that of others.
IAG says it will now review the way it discloses genderbased excesses.