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The UK's biggest motorcycle insurance specialist has moved to reassure bikers that a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on gender discrimination is likely to have little or no impact on the cost of their cover.

Responding to a decision which will prevent insurance firms using gender to help determine premiums, David Newman, chief executive of Carole Nash, said: “The motorcycle insurance market is very different to the car sector. Carole Nash is the biggest bike insurance specialist* and only around seven percent of our policyholders are female and the vast majority are over 40 which means, unlike young riders, they’ll have a personal claims history which underwriters can draw upon. In addition our biggest underwriter doesn’t use gender when assessing premiums. All told this means the ruling really will have a negligible impact on UK and Irish bikers.”

Mr. Newman also described the ECJ ruling as “illogical” given that insurance underwriting is based on long established risk assessment techniques. “There is a science to underwriting. Underwriters closely examine claims patterns to identify and analyse risk factors. These show that young male car drivers present both a higher risk of claiming and a higher cost of claim than their female counterparts. To my mind they should be able to take that into account, as they do where people live, what that they do, what they drive and so on.”

He added that another factor in bikers’ favour is that they tend to be safer road users. “Some two-thirds of the claims Carole Nash deals with are caused not by the insured rider but other road users. In addition, when a rider is at fault, the value of the claim tends to be much lower than for a driver. These factors have bike insurance avoid the massive hikes in premiums which have hit cars.

The ECJ decision, which has been widely condemned by the insurance industry, comes into effect in December 2012.

Editor’s Notes:

1. Carole Nash was ranked as the UK’s 40th biggest UK insurance broker in August 2010 by Insurance Times magazine and employs over 300 staff in the UK and Ireland. It provides insurance for some 300,000 classic, vintage, modern, custom and off road motorcycles – around 20 percent of all licensed machines. Its market-leading status has also been confirmed by the independent bikers’ survey, RiDER Power, which has found the company the Most Used Broker in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The company is also a leading player in the classic car sector with its portfolio also spanning modern car, van, military vehicle, travel and home insurance.

2. Carole Nash was voted most used broker by readers of Ride magazine in their 2009 Rider Power survey.


Issued on behalf of:

Carole Nash Insurance Consultants, Trafalgar House, Manchester Road, Altrincham, WA14 1NU
Contact: Dawn Holmes, Marketing Manager T: 0161 927 2426

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