The Equal Status (Amendment) Bill 2012 was published on 12 December last. As per our update last month, the Bill is designed to amend the Equal Status Act 2000 on foot of a recent Court of Justice of the European Union ruling (CJEU) in the Test Achats case.

The effect of the Bill is to provide for the mandatory introduction in Ireland of unisex premiums and benefits in insurance from 21 December 2012. The derogation which Ireland had availed of allowing insurance companies to price insurance products differently based on gender (where this difference was supported by relevant actuarial or statistical data) will no longer be valid.

Other key provisions include:

  • All contracts within the categories of motor or life insurance concluded for the first time as and from 21 December next must comply with the unisex rule.
  • Adjustments to motor insurance contracts concluded before 21 December are not affected.
  • The Central Bank will no longer be obliged to compile and maintain data relevant to the use of gender as a determining actuarial factor in risk assessment for life, motor or health insurance.
  • It will not be prohibited for insurers to collect, store and use gender centric data if it is genuinely required for certain specified purposes such as reserving and internal pricing.

It is expected that the Bill will be passed speedily with a view to meeting the 21 December deadline. We will keep you updated on the progress of the Bill.