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I detected no gender bias.

I am a forty-something female motorist, who has bought car insurance many times. Within the last year, I've searched for, and bought, two different policies. Within the past two years, I've also dealt with the repercussions of a small shunt on the approach to a roundabout.

Gender Bias When Speaking To Insurance Companies

Perhaps it is my age and general demeanour but I have never noticed any difference in the way insurance companies treat me as opposed to, for example, my similarly-aged husband. Admittedly, almost all of my initial research is conducted online, using price comparison sites. To me, it seems there is less scope for bias, or at least obvious bias, when taking that route. I also find price comparison sites easy to use and particularly like their facilities for storing and retrieving quotes. However, even when I have spoken to individual insurance companies, such as Churchill, the Coop and Admiral, I have not been conscious of any bias in the way their staff treated me. This has been the case whether or not I have been speaking to male or female call handlers.

Gender Bias When Paying For Car Insurance

I am aware of the 2012 EU legislation that prohibits insurance companies charging male drivers more than female drivers. That said, although my insurance costs have generally risen over the past few years, despite a solid no-claims bonus and many years' driving experience, my husband's have also risen. Consequently, it is my anecdotal experience that there is still a gap between the cost of men's and women's car insurance, with women, on average, paying a little less, even when adjusted for make of car and driving experience. I do not know if this is replicated at the younger end of the market. My sole experience of buying car insurance for young drivers (a seventeen year-old girl) is that it is many times more expensive than insuring an older person on the same vehicle. I will be interested to see if insuring my son to drive a similar vehicle costs even more.

Gender Bias When Dealing With Garages

Once, in the last two years, I have had cause to take a car to a garage after someone ran into the back of it, while I was stationary in traffic on the approach to a roundabout. The other driver admitted fault and her insurance company paid for the damage, which appeared relatively minor. I obtained two different quotes for the work, both of which came in at around £500. Both garages impressed me. Neither made me feel patronised or "spoken down to" and both were candid that they could either repair the damaged section, which would cost less, or replace it. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by their attitudes. In the end, I chose the garage that was geographically most convenient but I think I would have been happy with either one.

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