Car insurance for seniors

Senior woman in driver's seat of a car
Senior woman in driver's seat of a car
Author - Robert Yeiser
Dairyland - Assistant Vice President of Market Development and Distribution
June 13, 2023

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.

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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.

Do seniors have to pay more for car insurance?

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.

Car insurance rates for seniors

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.

Factors in senior auto insurance costs

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.

Why does car insurance go up as you age?

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:

Drivers in their 50s

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.

Drivers in their 60s

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.

Drivers in their 70s

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.

Drivers in their 80s and older

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

Will my car insurance rates decrease when I retire?

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.

How can mature drivers decrease their car insurance rates?

As a driver in your 50s or older, you can help save money on your car insurance by taking the following actions:

Auto Discounts - Multi-car discount

Review your policy

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.

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Ask your car insurance provider about discounts

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.

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Compare car insurance quotes

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.

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Complete a defensive driving safety course

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.

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Avoid accidents

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.

Car insurance coverage options for seniors

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.

Illustration of a car crashing into an obstacle

Bodily injury liability

Bodily injury liability insurance helps pay for bodily injuries sustained by others in an accident you cause.

Illustration of two cars colliding

Property damage liability

Property damage liability helps pay for property damages you cause when you’re at fault in an accident.

Illustration of a car hitting another vehicle

Uninsured motorist (UM)/Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage

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.

Illustration of bandages and a person with a broken arm in a cast

Personal injury protection (PIP)

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.

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"Full coverage" car insurance

“Full coverage” car insurance isn’t actually a type of car insurance. Instead, it's a phrase often used to describe policies that include bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages.

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Roadside assistance

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.

State requirements for auto insurance

Map of the United States

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.

Car insurance discounts for seniors

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):

  • Multi-car discount

  • Advanced quote discount

  • Payment frequency discount

  • Homeowners discount

  • Anti-theft discount

Mandatory senior discounts

Mandatory senior discounts

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.

Cheap car insurance for seniors with violations

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:

Best car insurance for seniors

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:

  • Comparing rates

  • 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.

The general information in this blog is for informational or entertainment purposes only. View our blog disclaimer.