Manlycredit, the insurance comparator, examined the conditions granted by banks and insurance companies in 1,746 applications for home loans and credit insurance made by single persons (out of 5,532 projects in 2018). This analysis reveals strong disparities between men and women. The 108th International Women’s Rights Day (37th in France) is an opportunity to highlight these disparities.
Gender disparities: longer and more expensive credits
Apart from the fact that women borrow less for their housing, in particular because they earn 23% less overall than men, the amount of their mortgage is also 11% lower than that contracted by men. Men borrowed on average 174,337 euros, against 165,674 euros for women.
The disparities also concern the interest rates charged:
- 1.6% for men of all durations,
- 1.76% for women.
The duration of the loans contracted by women is also greater (on average 211 months, compared to only 190 months for men).
Banks as insurance companies do not provide explanations for these disparities, although it appears that lower incomes are involved, both in the borrowing rate and in the duration of the mortgage granted.
Borrower insurance more expensive for women
The average amount of borrower insurance taken by women for their mortgage is also higher than that of insurance taken by men by 7.5%:
- 4,589 euros for men,
- EUR 4,931 for women.
This gap is all the more surprising since women are reputed to have a greater life expectancy than men. In addition, they have insured profiles that generally pose less risk to insurance. As such, it would be logical that they benefit from lower insurance premiums borrower.
Equality of treatment and non-discrimination, where are we?
Gender equality is a fundamental principle of the European Union, whose Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on grounds of sex. In terms of insurance, a 2004 European directive clearly states that premiums and insurance benefits should be unisex to ensure equal treatment of men and women. The inclusion of actuarial criteria related to sex must not impact them. A derogation from this rule without time limit was however allowed for the Member States. It was abolished in 2012 following a decision of the European Court of Justice.
However, the possibility of derogation granted to the Member States permitted the practice of positive discrimination in favor of women. Since this suppression, it appears that insurance, under this principle of equity, the insurance premiums of women have increased compared to those of men, to the point of exceeding them. Women who notice a large disparity must not forget that they can cancel their credit insurance at any time after the first year.