Diamond lobbies customers over EU threat

Diamond, the women-only car insurer owned by Admiral Insurance, is mailing its customers as part of a lobbying campaign designed to ward off forthcoming European Union legislation banning gender-based insurance that would threaten its brand.

Diamond’s mailing, created in house, is inviting responses to the proposed EU banning of gender discrimination. The insurer decided against asking consumers to respond directly to the EU and will shortly collate responses.

The initiative comes ahead of an EU meeting in June which could outlaw all gender discrimination in financial services, including advertising that promotes product advantages to a particular sex (MW July 3, 2003).

A spokeswoman for Diamond says: “If the decision goes against us we would have to review whether Diamond could continue is its current form.”

Diamond is the UK’s main established single-sex insurance brand. It has 300,000 customers and offers women cheaper car insurance because they have fewer and less serious accidents. It is estimated that car insurance costs for female drivers could rise by up to 30 per cent if insurers are prevented from discriminating.

The EU legislation, the brainchild of European commissioner for employment and social affairs Anna Diamantopoulou, would prohibit the practice. It is being opposed by UK trade bodies and regulators from both the financial and advertising worlds.

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