Cost of life insurance jumps by as much as 25% for women

Women are bearing the brunt of Gender Directive as men benefit from lower premiums


A European-wide move to create a level playing field for pricing insurance premiums has resulted in the cost of life assurance premiums rising by as much as 25 per cent for women.

According to research conducted by Caledonian Life, the cost of premiums for life and mortgage protection have risen by between 1 and 25 per cent for women, while cover for men has dropped across the board.

The EU Gender Directive came into force in December 2012, and means that insurance companies can no longer price insurance premiums based on gender. Previously, women benefited from lower premiums because of their longer life expectancy.


According to Rachel Purcell of Caledonian Life, the Gender Directive has had the impact that was expected.

“Both male and females now pay the same price for life cover. Unfortunately for females, that has meant an increase in what they would have had to pay for the same policy in the past, up to 25 per cent more in some cases”.

For example, a 30-year old female non-smoker would have expected to pay about €12.12 for a €300,000 mortgage protection policy in 2009. In February 2014 however she would have been quoted €15.15.

A 40 year old male on the other hand, looking for a 20-year term life policy, would have been quoted €38.44 in January 2009. Fast forward five years, and he would now be quoted €29.10, a decrease of 24 per cent.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times