The Gender Directive and the ECJ decision on gender specific insurance premiums and benefits


The Decision

The ECJ has today upheld the Advocate General’s (AG) opinion in the case of Association Belge des Consommateurs Test-Achats ASBL and others (Case C-236/09) and declared Article 5(2) of the Gender Directive (2004/1213/EC) invalid. This means that sex-specific differences in premiums and benefits based on risk assessed by actuarial and statistical data are no longer permitted as an exception to the fundamental right of equal treatment for men and women.

The effect of this decision will be that insurance policies and annuities will not be able to use gender as a determinant for risk and therefore differentiate between policies. This is likely to raise the price, and lower the availability of annuity policies and other insurance contracts.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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