Whether you're a daily commuter in your 50s or an occasional driver in your 80s, building a car insurance policy that keeps you covered—at a price that works for you—is crucial. Use this car insurance for seniors guide to help make informed decisions about your car insurance.
As you age, your driving habits likely change. Your car insurance should follow suit. Be sure your insurance company can adapt right along with you, accommodating your lifestyle while still providing adequate coverage at a price you can afford.
Car insurance rates tend to start increasing once drivers reach a certain age—usually the later stages of “middle age” and the early senior years—but that’s not a hard and fast rule. Many factors can impact car insurance rates, and age is just one of them.
Many people assume their insurance rates will go down as they age, but the reality is car insurance rates can actually vary pretty widely across age groups.
Let's take a closer look at the factors that affect car insurance rates for seniors, why your car insurance rates may increase as you get older, and the steps you can take to find affordable insurance options.
As we mentioned above, car insurance rates for mature drivers aren't calculated according to just one factor. Along with your age, car insurance companies may also consider your:
Mileage: The more time you spend behind the wheel, the more opportunities you have to be involved in an accident. Reduce your annual mileage, and you could potentially reduce your rates.
Driving history: Are you a safe driver with a clean driving record? If you've maintained this status for several years, you might qualify for discounts.
Vehicle type: Newer vehicles with safety features like blind-spot warning systems, rearview cameras, and collision avoidance technology can help reduce accidents and keep your liability insurance premiums low.
The newer your vehicle is, the more expensive your first-party insurance coverages (like collision coverage) will likely be, since the vehicle is comparatively more expensive.
As people age, their reflexes, vision, and hearing can decline, which can impact their ability to drive safely—and increase their accident risks. Of course, every driver’s situation is unique, but here are some insurance industry trends for drivers as they age:
Insurance companies tend to consider drivers in this age range among the safest on the road because of their lengthy driving experience and the fact that many people haven’t yet experienced vision or hearing loss that can impair their driving ability.
However, if you have a history of accidents or driving violations, you could see higher monthly rates than your friends of the same age.
Once you enter your 60s, you might notice your insurance rates begin to increase slightly. This slight uptick in rate is because many people’s reflexes and response times begin declining in their 60s, which can increase their risk of accidents and injuries.
As you enter your 70s, your insurance rates may continue climbing as more people your age are affected by health issues. But don’t worry—you can still find affordable insurance options. For instance, if you've completed a defensive driving course or have a car with specific safety features, you might be eligible for discounts.
For drivers aged 80 or older, car insurance rates can be higher than any other age group—even teens and new drivers.
You may be able to lessen these increases by reducing the amount you drive, passing a defensive driving course, reviewing your current policy for coverages you no longer need, and talking to your insurance agent about discounts available to you.
You can also take steps to help protect yourself and others while driving, such as:
Taking regular breaks if you need to drive long distances
Avoiding driving during peak travel hours or in bad weather
Scheduling regular medical checkups and vision and hearing tests
It depends. Many drivers assume their insurance rates will go down when they enter retirement—after all, they think, "I won't be driving nearly as much!" But the reality is a little more complicated.
Some insurance companies offer special discounts to drivers who minimize their hours on the road or who drive for pleasure rather than for a daily commute. But your car insurance rates could also increase at this stage of life. Along with the health factors listed above, if your retirement plans include frequent travel or extended road trips, your insurance rates may actually rise to account for your increased time behind the wheel.
As is often the case, your car insurance premiums will vary based on your insurance company's rating factors.
As a driver in your 50s or older, you can help save money on your car insurance by taking the following actions:
Perhaps the easiest way to save money on your car insurance is to review your current policy. You could be paying for coverages you no longer need, so be sure to work with your agent to update it as needed.
Many insurance companies offer discounts if your vehicle has features like anti-theft devices and airbags, when you pay in full, and even if you’ve stuck with them for a long time. Ask your provider about discounts you qualify for.
If you’re shopping around for car insurance, don't settle for the first policy you're offered. Comparing and contrasting quotes from different car insurance providers will help you find the right value at the right price.
Many insurance providers offer discounts to older drivers who've completed a defensive driving class. These courses can refresh your memory on rules of the road and general driving skills.
Statistics show with increased age comes increased risk of accidents—and the potential for higher rates. If you stay accident-free, it can help reduce your rates.
Looking for affordable rates is a good idea, but it's also important to choose coverages that make sense for you. Depending on your state, you’re likely required to carry bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage, and potentially other coverages. Along with these required coverages, you can purchase optional coverages to help protect you from other risks.
Just keep in mind, some of these coverages may not be available in your state.
Bodily injury liability insurance helps pay for bodily injuries sustained by others in an accident you cause.
Property damage liability helps pay for property damages you cause when you’re at fault in an accident.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage helps protect you if you’re involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t have car insurance. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, meanwhile, applies when the at-fault motorist has some car insurance, but not enough to pay for your covered expenses.
Personal injury protection (PIP) helps cover medical expenses if you and/or your passengers are injured in an accident—regardless of who was at fault. Depending on your state and the accident circumstances, this coverage can also help pay for lost wages, lost services, and funeral expenses.
Roadside assistance coverage provides 24/7 assistance if you get stranded with a flat tire or dead battery, you run out of gas, or even if you lock your keys in your car.
Nearly every state requires auto insurance, and they establish minimum insurance limits for the coverages they require. If you own more than one vehicle, just keep in mind that most states require all vehicles on multi-car policies to carry the same liability coverage limits.
It's worth checking with your insurance company to see if they offer any additional car insurance discounts or perks for mature drivers. Even if they don’t, you could potentially qualify for several broadly available discounts.
With Dairyland® auto insurance, you could save money with the following discounts (depending on your state):
Advanced quote discount
Payment frequency discount
The federal government doesn't mandate discounts for senior citizens, but some states require insurance providers to offer them. Discount types, amounts, and requirements can vary by state and insurance company.
As a senior driver, what can you do to secure cheap car insurance if you've got some dings on your driving record? Some insurance companies offer accident forgiveness or otherwise work with high-risk drivers. These companies can help you stay legal on the road even if you have one or more of the following in your driving history:
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for car insurance for seniors. While some things are out of your control—like your age—there’s plenty you can do to secure the coverages you need at a price that works for you. Start by:
Asking about discounts and payment plans
Completing a defensive driving course
We can help you find the right auto insurance policy for you, whether you’re young or young at heart. Give us a call at 888-344-4357 for a free auto insurance quote.