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EU court bans insurers from pricing on gender

Insurers must stop setting prices based on gender, an EU court ruled, in a move that could raise costs for women drivers, cut male pensions, and prompt more legal challenges to insurance pricing practices.

"Taking the gender of the insured individual into account as a risk factor in insurance contracts constitutes discrimination," the European Court of Justice said on Tuesday.

The ECJ told insurers to adopt a "unisex" approach to setting premiums from December 21, 2012, confirming a recommendation from its senior adviser in September.

Insurers said the decision could push up motor insurance costs for women, who currently pay less than men because they are statistically less likely to be involved in accidents, by up to 25 percent.

The ruling could also reduce retirement annuity payments to men, who currently get more than women to take account of their lower average life expectancy. Annuities are insurance policies which offer a regular income for life in return for a lump sum, usually paid on retirement.

Read the complete Reuters story, "EU court bans insurers from pricing on gender."

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