The Consumers' Association is pressing the Government to carry out an investigation of the EU's proposed directive on gender equality independently of the insurance industry.
The CA has welcomed the House of Lords European Union Committee's recommendation for further research into the implications of the directive.
The association is recommending that further research should include an evaluation of the relevance of gender when setting premiums, an analysis of the overall position of women in insurance markets and the degree to which gender-based pricing exacerbates detriment for women, for example, for women who earn less through their working lives and then face worse annuity rates on retirement.
Other issues flagged by the CA include the potential impact that the directive will have on competition, choice and value in the UK market.
It wants to see further analysis done on whether the imposition of the directive would generate any further innovation in the market or lead to further simplification of products.
The campaign comes as the CA is calling for a more public debate on the role and purpose of insurance. It says the issue is becoming increasingly relevant as core welfare services are transferred to the responsibility of the individual rather than the state.
CA campaign team leader Doug Taylor says: “It is critical that any future analysis is indpendent and consumer based and does not rely solely on industry input. The long-term interest of consumers can only be protected by proper analysis of the impact of equalisation based on sound research and robust methodology.”