JO DAVISON: Car wheel of fortune

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I am very confused.com

Young men are far more likely to die in car crashes.

Fact.

Young men have more non-fatal road accidents than the rest of us put together.

Fact.

So, why doesn’t the European Court of Justice see that as relevant?

It has just decided that making young men pay more for their insurance than young women is a blatant case of sex discrimination. They say it’s being unfair on men.

The result is us women, who are biologically programmed to be more cautious drivers, will have to pay through the nose towards the insurance of the less cautious (be they boys, men, old folk or chimpanzees, if the European judges decree it’s unlawful to ban them from sitting their driving tests).

There are not many things in life which are slanted in our direction, are there?

Car insurance was one of them, and now it’s gone.

How can that be a strike for equality?

It’s not just women who are fuming, though; everyone else says it’s utter madness.

More bonkers than a straight banana.

What a bizarre situation.

That a European court can totally smash the foundations upon which the insurance industry works. And has always worked.

Since forever, it has used the difference between men and women as a risk factor in setting premiums for car insurance - and also the amount we all pay for medical insurance and pension schemes.

But waddaya know?

All this time, we’ve been breaching EU rules on equality.

The European judges are technically right: Sweeping generalisations, even when based on hard facts, are discriminatory.

Not all young male drivers are boy-racers.

Similarly, all young women are not paragons of virtue behind the wheel.

But, generally speaking, the stereotype does fit the majority in every category. Fact.

It makes you wonder when they are going to realise that, by their argument, insurance companies are also ageist.

It is another factor insurance companies take into account, even though not every elderly driver is a dangerous old dodderer and not every sprightly young thing is a sensible motorist.

Insurance is there to protect against the very risks the statistics have identified. Surely the only logical thing to do is to take all that information into account when making calculations?

Otherwise, it can only ever be totally and utterly fair if everyone is judged on their own merits.

To some extent, we already are - that’s why those online forms are so interminably long and tedious.

If insurance companies are not to be allowed to calculate risk on statistical factors, then either we all have to be individually assessed in far greater detail (even longer forms? Ye Gods) or we all have to pay the same.

And then even more good women drivers thereby end up subsidising the bad.

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