Sex as Information in Estimating the Cost of an Insurance Policy

Perhaps it will become illegal to use all genetic information to set insurance premiums. As a first step, England’s court has ruled that insurers can’t use sex to set prices.

Daniel@Crooked Timber makes an amusing point about the largest financial consequence:

Because it costs more to give women a retirement income, you can basically choose two options from the following three:

1) Equal retirement incomes for women and men
2) Equal commitment of society’s resources to providing retirement savings for women and men
3) A functioning pension annuity industry

(He’s talking about anuities which give a fixed (inflation adjusted?) yearly income until death; retired women live longer on average)

As far as private savings are concerned, if sex discrimination in setting annuity prices is illegal, eventually only women will purchase them. Adverse selection (insurers aren’t allowed to “know” your sex).