Car insurance: a difference of almost 200 euros for two residents of the same street. Why such a big difference? (COMPARATIVE)


But there are industries where these price differences based on age or place of residence actually apply without anyone ever being to blame: insurance. And especially those related to mobility.

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When purchasing car or bicycle insurance, the customer may actually be discriminated against and have to pay more than other citizens. Examples ? We did the test via an online car insurance comparison tool. And we observed two discriminations.

First, geographical. Let’s take the fictional example of Sébastien. For the same vehicle, a petrol Peugeot 2008 priced at €26,400 from 2024, Sébastien, regardless of his age, would have to pay more in annual Full Omnium insurance in Schaerbeek (€1,677) than in Namur (€1,274). That’s 31.6% more simply because they don’t live in the right city (see infographic).

Omnium car insurance according to age and residence
Omnium car insurance by age and residence ©IPM Graphics

Another discrimination is based on age. At the age of 25, Sébastien, living in Auderghem, would have to pay €1,530 a year compared to just €770 if he were 70. From singles to doubles.

In the case of bicycles, discrimination occurs only in the place of residence. According to an estimate made on a well-established insurance site, a €2,500 bicycle would be insured for €100 per year in Louvain-la-Neuve or Namur, compared to €112 in Brussels.

Illegal? Unfortunately, no. The concept is completely legal and accepted. “Insurance companies, and car insurance companies in particular, use authorized criteria to determine the amount of insurance premiums,” confides Peter Wiels, spokesman for the Federation of Insurers (Assuralia). This is called market segmentation. For the same vehicle, the insurer assumes more risk when insuring a young driver than an older one. He will therefore offer a more expensive premium.”

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This risk estimate does not come from nothing: most studies on the subject agree that young people are more prone to accidents due to their relative inexperience on the road, and that these accidents are more serious, especially because of their tendency to drive faster than the average of other drivers. “Older people also have more experience on average than younger drivers. In fact, it is not the age that matters, but the experience of the driver. However, where a 50-year-old can have 30 years of experience, that is not possible for a 20-year-old driver.”

Still, according to the comparator, out of three people aged 25, 40 and 70, who all got their driving license 5 years ago, the youngest would pay the most (€1,677) and the least (€1,208 senior ) for his omnium.

It has the same dynamic when it comes to geographic discrimination. “A broker can take into account whether you live in the city or the countryside,” continues Peter Wiels. For the same reasons of risk taking by the insurer. There is more traffic and statistically more accidents in the city than in the countryside.”

A difference of almost EUR 200 for two residents of the same street

Theft and damage statistics, which are greater in cities and especially in Brussels than elsewhere, can also play a role. Then completely grotesque situations occur. Let’s take a fictional example: Jan, living on Sterstraat in Drogenbos, and Jean, living on rue des Étoiles in Uccle. It’s actually the same street, but the former would have to pay €745 a year for their insurance, while the latter would pay €952, even though there might only be a few meters between their two houses. If only because one is in Flanders and the other in Brussels. Discrimination, did we say?



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