The fight for gender equality continues, and is set to reach the insurance industry by the end of 2012.

A new ruling by the European Court of Justice, due to come into effect on the 21st of December, will mean that insurance providers will no longer be able to factor in the gender of their customers when it comes to determining the cost of their insurance premiums.

It makes no great odds to those young and carefree enough to have even considered the likes of private health insurance; however, the new development is likely to hit anyone from the age of 17 and up, with the EU legislation putting the spotlight very much on the car insurance provider.

Whilst the new legislation is likely to result in a drop in the cost of car insurance for men, women on the other hand will face a price hike that could potentially drive some women off the road altogether as they struggle to make payments.

On average, the cost of premiums is set to rise by £300 for women. Added to the amount they are already paying, it could mean the difference between being able to keep a car on the road and being forced onto public transport. (Not an ideal alternative when you consider that the cost of rail fare is also set to rise by around 6.2% from January 2013.)

Left with factors such as age, location, type of car, and mileage, motor insurance providers will be releasing their new premiums for both men and women looking to renew their cover after the 21st of December – your ‘no claims’ bonus has never looked so good. And for new drivers, that advanced driving course might just prove to be a worthwhile investment.