Getting the Better Car Insurance Plan for Older Drivers
You would think that a long history of driving experience and a good driving record would score you the best insurance rate. However, you may be subject to higher insurance premiums because of biases against older drivers or drivers with health problems that you don’t have.
Here is your guide to understanding how your insurance rates are impacted and how you can score the best rates for older drivers.
Factors that Affect Insurance Rates for Seniors
Some of the factors that affect insurance rates for seniors are based on the individual’s personal history, while others are based on driving and vehicle-related factors.
Car insurance rates are primarily determined based on the likelihood that you are going to get in a wreck. Insurance companies use actuary tables that predict your particular risk for an accident based on data that they collect, such as your:
- Vision problems
- Health conditions
- Marital status
- Credit score
They compare your information to other drivers’ information to determine your level of risk.
Driving and Vehicle-Related Factors
Insurance companies also consider your personal history of accidents and claims when giving you a quote for insurance. The vehicle you drive and the amount of coverage you want also affect your insurance rates.
Senior Auto Insurance by Decade
According to Nerd Wallet, the national average cost of insurance by age per year is:
Auto Insurance in Your 50s
- $1,455 full / $539 minimum coverage for a 50-year-old female
- $1,421 full / $528 minimum coverage for a 55-year-old female
Auto Insurance in Your 60s
- $1,414 full / $529 minimum coverage for a 60-year-old female
- $1,452 full / $553 minimum coverage for a 65-year-old female
Auto Insurance in Your 70s
- $1,527 full / $587 minimum coverage for a 70-year-old female
- $1,666 full / $651 minimum coverage for a 75-year-old female
Auto Insurance for Seniors Over 80
- $1,831 full / $726 minimum coverage for an 80-year-old female
Tips for Cheaper Insurance for Seniors
Here are some tips to help you obtain cheaper insurance.
Your Policy Might Have Outdated Rates
In a survey of 1,300 auto insurance customers in the U.S., 40% of them did not shop around for car insurance as often as they should. Consumers who do not often compare rates usually end up staying with the same provider year after year when they could switch providers and get a better rate.
Check if you are in this group and call around for quotes to see if you are paying an outdated rate.
Ask for a Discount
Sometimes you might qualify for a discount, but you just might not know it. Insurance companies are unlikely to charge you less money just to be nice. However, if you ask for a discount, your insurance agent can see if you qualify based on a good driving record, a recent move to a less congested area, or for being a loyal customer.
Enroll in a Driving Class
Many states have special classes specifically to help older drivers sharpen their skills. Some insurance companies offer discounts when you take these classes. If you do not have a course nearby, you can consider taking a general course such as a defensive driving course or create your own driving regimen.
Drop Extra Insurance
If you do not have a car payment and your vehicle is not worth that much money, you could be spending a lot less on auto insurance if you drop comprehensive and collision insurance and just maintain liability insurance.
Liability insurance pays for damages you cause, up to your policy limits. If you are a safe driver without a history of accidents, this may be one of the best ways to save on auto insurance.
Check Your Vehicle’s Condition
Decrease the likelihood of being in a crash by ensuring that your vehicle is in top-notch condition. Mechanical failures can lead to accidents, so be sure that you regularly check your vehicle for any issues.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 35% of accidents involving mechanical failures involved tire problems. Brake-related problems were responsible for 22% and steering/suspension/transmission/engine-related problems were critical reasons in 3% of accidents.
You can maintain your vehicle by:
- Performing all recommended maintenance
- Taking your vehicle to a reputable mechanic as soon as you notice an issue
- Checking your vehicle for recalls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website by using the VIN listed on your car title
Take Advantage of Pay-as-You-Drive Insurance
If you do not drive that much, you may be able to save big by switching to pay-as-you-drive insurance. This type of insurance charges you insurance per mile you drive. Note that this type of insurance may require you to install a device in your vehicle that tracks your miles.
Drop a Driver from the Policy
If your spouse does not drive that often or you are carrying another relative who does not have a clean driving record, you may be able to save considerable money by dropping them from your policy.
Keep a Clean Driving Record
Your insurance rates are directly impacted by your driving record. Start by getting a driving records copy and reviewing if there are any errors or anything that you can clear up.
If you are wondering about how to keep a clean driver’s record, here are a few tips:
- Always obey the speed limit
- Follow all traffic laws
- Drive safely
- Take a defensive driving course or use an alternative if you are given a citation to keep the citation off your driving record
Bundle with Home or Other Insurance
If you have multiple types of insurance policies, such as homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, or other insurance, you may be able to bundle your auto insurance together with it to save more money.
Safety Tips for Older Drivers
Stay safe and maintain your independence by following these safety tips:
- Buckle up every time
- Put your phone on “do not disturb” when driving
- Know how medications will affect your driving before taking them
- Limit all distractions
- Take regular vision and hearing tests
- Increase the distance between you and other vehicles
- Try to drive during daylight hours as much as possible
- Avoid driving during bad weather or in congested traffic
- Understand your physical and mental limitations and don’t overdo it
- Consult a driving rehabilitation specialist if you need additional assistance
State Laws Specific to Senior Drivers
Some states have laws that are specific to senior drivers or more likely to impact senior drivers, such as:
- Requiring seniors to renew their licenses more often than younger drivers
- Requiring seniors to renew their licenses in person instead of online
- Allowing loved ones, doctors, or others to report an unsafe driver
- Requiring a vision test once a driver is over a certain age
- Placing driving restrictions on licenses
- Requiring written or road tests after a certain age
Having so many decades of driving experience behind you will eventually result in at least several accidents and other events that affect your insurance costs. Age-related health conditions start playing a role in increasing your costs as well. But it is still fairly easy to get better insurance with all the advice in this article. Stay safe, stay healthy, save on your costs and enjoy driving.
Are you a car owner? Do you drive frequently? Do you think your car insurance is high? Have you tried shopping around for a cheaper insurance? What saving techniques have you tried? Please share with the community!