“Don’t decoy, avoid or make void the topic, cuz that ain’t gonna stop it” urged US girl rappers Salt-N-Pepa back in 1991. No, they insisted: “Let’s talk about sex.”

With implementation of the EU Gander Directive scheduled for the most auspicious occasion of the traditional 21 Dec celebration of the Winter Solstice, it sometimes seems the insurance industry is talking about little else these days.

“Let’s talk about sex” – and this is surely no coincidence – is the exact same proposal made in a recent direct (e)mail campaign launched by Go Compare – or GoCo, as they seemingly wish to be known (aping the name-yourself-after-a-clown craze that gave us HoJo for Howard Johnson, BoJo for Boris Johnson, KoCo for Ken Clarke and Mr Chuckles for George Osborne).

To cut a very long story short, it turns out that the solution to all the many questions and concerns conjured up in the perturbed minds of puzzled citizens by the ugly reared head of gender equality in underwriting decision-making is to “shop around”, something for which there is seemingly no such thing as a bad time.

There has been much excitement in the insurance press this week over the ahead-of-the-crowd gender neutral pricing plan announced by filly-friendly insurance providers Sheila’s Wheels, who have probably already bought all their Christmas presents too. This involves charging men and women the same but offering a 10% discount to anyone prepared to place a prominent pink rosette sticker on their windscreen declaring ‘Proud to be a Sheila’s Angel.’

Oh no, hang on – that’s total bollo*ks – it involves introducing gender-neutral pricing on 18 November 2012 and progressively reducing the 30-day guarantee issued on gender-specific quotes through to 17 December, thereby ensuring all that gander-specific quote guarantees have expired before the druids come out to do their thing down the henge and men and women of all sexes shall be treated equally and live in harmony. It’s Genius really, and now all those other b*stards will probably just rip them off. Tragic.

Sheilas’ Wheels head of projects Jackie Brown, wouldn’t exactly say she’s thrilled to be welcoming hairy-arsed male people as policyholders, but suggests the firm’s preponderance of ladies will continue to keep claims costs down and enable She-Whe to quote highly competitively for some time to come. The impact of the Gander Directive on her policyholders, she predicted clumsily would be “more favourable than what we expect to see in the market generally.”

So keep it pink, Ladies – it’s your best chance of eluding the foul-mannered embrace of gender equality for just a little bit longer.


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