When it comes to auto insurance, age is more than just a number. Auto insurance frequently costs less for many seniors — not more — than it does for younger drivers. Why is this? Direct Auto breaks down the science of aging and auto insurance.
How does growing older affect car insurance rates?
As explained by the Insurance Information Institute, drivers over 55 tend to be more courteous, and more likely to obey speed limits and follow other rules of the road, than younger drivers. Plus, folks who are retired often drive fewer miles than they did when they commuted to and from work each day, the Institute says.
All of those factors could contribute to generally lower rates for a lot of seniors.
On the flip side, some insurance companies may raise their rates after a driver turns 70. Auto insurance providers may view this demographic as "riskier" because the 70+ age group is more prone to experiencing health problems that could compromise their driving abilities.
Additionally, the CDC reports that deadly crash involvement increases in drivers age 70 and peaks at age 85.
What kind of auto insurance should seniors get?
Age shouldn’t affect your car insurance choices. Whether you’re over or under 55, the type of car insurance coverage you get should be based on your needs and the insurance requirements in your state. For example, in most states, you’ll need to get a certain level of coverage to meet your state's financial responsibility requirements. Plus, if you want protection from car theft and storm damage, you’ll want comprehensive coverage, too!
When choosing car insurance as a senior, you may also want to consider:
- Whether you own your car outright or you have an auto loan or lease: Lenders usually require minimum amounts of coverage, including comprehensive and collision protection.
- The age of your car: The older a vehicle gets, the less coverage you might need. Why? Because an older car (unless it's an antique) is typically worth less than a newer car and would cost less to repair or replace.
- Your monthly expenses: Millions of older adults in America have a fixed income. They don't have much wiggle room in their budget from month to month. If you're in this situation, you may want to consider a higher deductible for your car insurance. Generally, the higher your deductible is, the lower your comprehensive and/or collision premium will likely be.
The type of insurance and deductible level you choose are just two of many factors that can affect your premium. If you want cheap car insurance, we suggest you start with a free quote from Direct Auto!
How can you save money as a senior driver?
Start by contacting your insurance company! Some auto insurance companies offer senior citizen discounts to adults over 55 once they’ve completed an approved motor vehicle accident prevention course. At Direct Auto, drivers over 55 could save up to 5% on essential coverage with Direct's senior citizen discount. Discount availability varies depending on the laws in your state.
In most states, a senior citizen car insurance discount goes hand in hand with completing certain traffic school courses, such as defensive driving. These courses are also one of many great ways in which children of elderly drivers can help their parents stay safe behind-the-wheel. These courses help sharpen your driving skills by teaching you to anticipate other drivers' moves and recognize dangerous road conditions.
Other ways you might be able to cut auto insurance costs as a senior include:
- Getting liability-only coverage
- Increasing your deductible
- Maintaining an accident-free and ticket-free driving record
- Driving a vehicle that's inexpensive to insure, such as an older car or a no-frills model
The CDC reports that, as of 2016, there were over 42 million older drivers licensed in the United States. Are you or a loved one joining that group this year? Get affordable car insurance for seniors from Direct Auto Insurance. Call, click, or come into your local Direct Auto for more info. We welcome drivers of all ages and backgrounds to apply for coverage.