Car Insurance Tips for Seniors
According to the American Automobile Association, drivers in their 70’s have more collisions per mile than any age group. (except those under 25) In their late 70’s they have about the same rate of injury-involved accidents as drivers their early 20’s.
The reasons are obvious. As we age, our reflexes slow, making it more difficult to react to emergency situations on the highway. Often seniors don’t see as well, especially at night. Our bodies are more fragile, meaning it is harder to withstand the physical effects of accident involvement.
It is for this reason many insurance companies are now charging more for older drivers. Therefore, if you are lucky to have lived long enough to be considered a senior driver, here are some things you can do to keep your rates as low as possible.
- A higher accident involvement rate per mile is offset to a large degree by the fact that senior drivers don’t log as many miles. They aren’t nearly as likely to be in congested rush hour traffic since many are no longer in the workforce. They often drive less at night. Some visionary insurance companies recognize these facts and have plans designed for those above a certain age. (which varies from company to company) If you’re insured with a one company agent or buy your insurance directly from a company, you have no choice if your rates go up due to your age. Independent agents, who represent more than one company, often have a company that offers lower rates for the older driver.
- Pick a conservative car. We all know high-performance cars, sports cars, and expensive cars, cost more to insure. If you are considering changing cars, check with your agent before signing any papers and see if the vehicle you are considering is a wise choice from a rate standpoint.
- Pick an older car. Newer cars are loaded with a lot of luxuries and conveniences that make them more expensive to repair, and this is reflected in the cost to insure them. Like the older driver, older cars are still pretty functional. With proper care, any car will easily last at least 200,000 miles, so if you want to minimize your car insurance costs, stay with an older model.
- Maintain a good driving record. Drivers of any age with tickets and accidents pay more for insurance.
- Check to see if there are any discounts that can be applied. Most car insurance companies offer a substantial discount if the homeowners (or renters) insurance is also written with them. Some offer discounts for defensive driving courses, college degrees, and other factors. An independent agent can help you make sure you are getting every discount possible.
If, in spite of all this, you end of paying a bit more for your insurance due to your age, be thankful for the gift of life that got you this far. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns!