The date is December 21, 2012 (or, for our Mayan readers, 220.127.116.11.0) and the apocalypse has not materialized (Hooray for Earth!). December 21 will, however, be remembered for another transformative event, at least in so far as the European insurance industry is concerned.
Today, the CJEU’s controversial ruling in Test Achats will enter into force, signifying that insurers can no longer take sex into account when calculating insurance premiums. Gender neutral or “unisex” pricing must now be implemented across the industry.
On March 1, 2011, the Grand Chamber ruled that a provision which enabled States to maintain sex-specific insurance premiums, notwithstanding the rule on unisex insurance and benefits laid down in Directive 2004/113, was incompatible with the principle of sex equality, enshrined in Articles 21 and 23 of the Charter. The Court took the unusual step of delaying the entry into force of the judgment until the expiry of an “appropriate transitional period”, allowing insurance companies time to adjust to the ruling. Continue reading