Critical illness insurance has unexpectedly become cheaper for many young women this year, according to CIExpert's data tracking.
The critical illness comparison site has been monitoring critical illness premium adjustments over the past 12 months, encompassing the Gender Directive and I-E changes which took effect in December 2012.
The site noted that the industry believed premiums would rise across the board with a particular emphasis on female lives. Whilst this holds true for older lives in many instances the adjustments for younger females has been downwards.
The average premium for 30 year-old male non-smokers is up by 9.1% but only by 3.2% for the female equivalent.
30 year-old male smokers are down on average by 0.2% although Bright Grey bucks the trend being 10.2% dearer whilst LV= shows as 9.7% cheaper.
Female smokers are 21% dearer on average although this figure is distorted by Bright Grey's 35/5% increase. Legal & General's reduction of 18.9% is the largest.
Alan Lakey, director of CIExpert, said: "At age 40 you might imagine premiums to be up by a greater amount but male smokers and non-smokers both show a slight reduction compared to a year ago."
Friends Life show the greatest reduction - 12.3% for non-smokers and 10.0% for smokers whilst Bright Grey with 11.2% and 11.3% respectively provide the biggest increases.
Females age 40 suffer greater increases then males. Non-smokers on average are 9.3% dearer whilst smokers are hit with an average 25.3% increase. Bright Grey again provides the biggest premium rises with 23% for non-smokers and 50.2% for smokers.
By contrast Zurich increased its non-smoker rate by 8.4% with Ageas posting a 25% increase for smokers. Based on a £100,000 accelerated level term assurance over 25 years - guaranteed rates.