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King Salman

As King Salman announced plans to allow women to legally drive cars car insurance companies operating in Saudi Arabia have threatened to leave the market.

Saudi Arabia is the last country in the world in which women are not permitted to drive. The new proposals will permit women to drive without requiring guardian or family permission, and follow on from a spate of new laws providing woman more rights and freedom in the conservative country. Insurance companies have been quick to act on the announcement, stating they would consider quitting the Saudi market.

AbdulDrive, one of the nations largest insurance companies had the following to say:
"Either insurance costs will rise significantly or we will leave the market, simple as that. We already have twice the number of road traffic fatalities compared to other developed nations. With women now being allowed to drive nobody is safe."

Axel Insurance group, which accounts for 25% of all car insurance policies in Saudi Arabia suggested it would be better to allow women to drive only during off-peak hours, with fewer motorists to harm - and only after the dinner was made and housework complete. The company stopped short of stating their intentions to pull out of the market, but did say they would be keeping track of developments.

The new law change is expected to come into force after a committee of senior officials studies how best to implement the move. The news has been hailed as a progressive move by many world leaders. US President Trump meanwhile has suggested it's a step backward for the oil-rich nation, suggesting he would have liked to implement a ban on female drivers in the US.

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