Senior Car Insurance

Regarding senior car insurance, this page provides the answers to 10 frequently asked questions. These FAQs will help older drivers score the lowest possible premium rates on their auto insurance policies, so seniors can spend their golden years in peace. One of the perks of being a senior is all the discounts you get, from movie tickets and bus fares, to restaurant meals and hotel rooms, to health care and car insurance, to name only a few.

Here are the top ten most frequently asked questions regarding car insurance for the senior set.

How old are seniors in terms of senior car insurance?

Seniors are generally considered people over the age of 65. Back in the day, individuals were forced to retire at 65, just because they were 65.

A membership to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is available to people of ages 50 and above.

Senior discounts that are applied by underwriters on most senior car insurance policies tend to be for drivers of ages 55 and over, although some insurance companies start the senior discount at age 50. For drivers over the age of 65, most insurance companies will start to increase the premium rates. Once a senior reaches the age of 75, rates will rise regardless of the discounts.

What are the best companies for seniors?

Almost all auto insurance companies will write policies for seniors, and most of them offer some type of senior discount. Overall, seniors prefer car insurance carriers with spectacular customer service, and are willing to pay more to get it.

According to, insurance companies that offer slight discounts to seniors when they turn 60 include Direct Insurance, Esurance, and Safeco Insurance. Travelers Insurance, on the other hand, slightly increases rates for drivers who turn 60.

Here’s a list of eight major car insurance companies that have special deals and discounts on senior car insurance. Visit any of the following car insurance company websites to obtain senior car insurance quotes:

21st Century Insurance: This senior car insurance provider offers a discount of five percent to drivers over the age of 55. The website also offers tips and advice on finding affordable auto insurance for seniors.

Acceptance Insurance: Acceptance is a leader in car insurance policies for seniors and other “non standard” drivers. It may be worth your time to compare the auto insurance premium rates from Acceptance with the rates of other senior car insurance carriers.

Acceptance Insurance is only available in the following 17 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Allstate Insurance: Allstate has a “Senior Adult” discount for retired people who are at least 55 years old and not actively looking for full time work. This discount can save senior drivers up to 10 percent on monthly or yearly premium rates. For even bigger savings for seniors, Allstate also offers a Safe Driver discount, an Early Signing discount, a New Car discount, an Anti-Lock Brake discount, a Passive Restraint discount, an Anti Theft device discount, a Deductible Rewards discount, and a Multiple Policy discount, among others.

Geico: Geico offers discounts for drivers with memberships to any of a long list of clubs. Some of these clubs may entice seniors, such as the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, among others. Seniors who belong to any of Geico’s affiliated clubs can receive discounts on senior car insurance.

Liberty Mutual Insurance: Liberty Mutual offers a “Newly Retired” discount for people who are retired, regardless of age. This discount can save senior drivers up to 10 percent on monthly or yearly premium rates for senior car insurance.

Nationwide Insurance: Nationwide offers the lowest rate increase between age 80 and age 90, with an annual difference of only about forty dollars. Other auto insurance companies, such as Allstate and MetLife, will raise the rates on senior car insurance as much as $300 a year when a senior turns 90.

State Farm Insurance: State Farm, like Allstate, offers a senior car insurance discount for older drivers who complete a defensive driving class. State Farm also offers numerous other discounts that could apply to older drivers. For instance, seniors can be eligible for the Low Mileage discount for driving less than 15,000 miles a year, the Safety Feature Discount for driving a car with automatic seat belts and/or dual airbags, and the Safe Driver Discount for drivers who avoid accidents and moving violations for at least three years.

The Hartford: The Hartford provides affordable and competitive auto insurance policies to AARP members. It’s called the AARP Auto Insurance Program. The Hartford insures younger people too, but AARP members who are 50 and older get a special discount on The Hartford Insurance. The AARP discount is the best deal for senior drivers, who can save more than $400 a year on auto insurance. An AARP membership cost less than $20 a year. The Hartford also features a handy 24/7 claims hotline.

Is car insurance pricier for seniors than for other drivers?

In some cases, yes. Traffic accident statistics show that drivers of very advanced age get into almost as many traffic accidents as teen drivers. That’s why drivers over the age of 70 are considered high risk by insurance underwriters, and their senior car insurance premium rates will rise sharply, whether or not they have personally been involved in an accident. It’s not about the age. It’s about functionality. Driving impairments common to seniors include reduced vision, loss of hearing, a slower reaction time, and the effects of certain medications.

However, drivers between the ages of 50 and 60 enjoy some of America’s lowest car insurance premium rates. The perceived combination of extensive driving experience and relative youth will shine in the eyes of an underwriter. People of this age group are old enough for senior car insurance, but not yet old enough to be mentally impaired due to age. That’s why car insurance premium rates for seniors between the ages of 50 and 60 are the lowest of any age group.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), 31 states and Washington DC have discounts for senior drivers written into their state laws. In most states, seniors are designated as drivers of ages 55 and up. However, In Massachusetts, senior discounts apply only to drivers of ages 65 and up.

What is the average premium on seniors?

This question is impossible to answer precisely, as there are too many factors involved when determining premium rates. Seniors can expect to have to pay annual premiums ranging anywhere from $650 to more than $10,000. If it helps, here are some very generalized facts regarding senior car insurance:

  1. Seniors over the age of 75 have some of the highest premium rates.
  2. Seniors between the ages of 50 and 60 have some of the lowest premium rates.
  3. The 5 most expensive states for seniors to buy auto insurance are Michigan (136% above the  national average), Rhode Island (45% above the national average), New York (42% above  the national average), Delaware (41% above the national average), and Louisiana (33% above the national average).
  4. The 5 least expensive states for seniors to buy auto insurance are North Carolina (41% below the national average), Idaho (37% below the national average), Ohio (33% below the national average), Maine (33% below the national average), and Wisconsin (28% below the national average).

What factors affect the cost of senior car insurance?

The factors affecting the premium costs of senior auto insurance are the same factors affecting the costs of anyone else’s auto insurance. The driver’s age is one of the factors, based on accident statistics.

However, auto insurance underwriters calculate premiums based not only the driver’s age, but also on the driver’s state, the driver’s zip code, the driver’s marital status, the type of car being driven, the average annual mileage driven, particular state laws, and quite a few other considerations.

Even within each zip code, auto insurance underwriters consider average crime rates, expected weather conditions, and median income levels. Lower median income levels may indicate a higher percentage of uninsured drivers on the road. This will drive up the premium rates.

How can we minimize the cost of senior car insurance premiums?

There are at least a few things seniors can do to reduce the costs of car insurance premiums. For example, in most states, senior drivers can complete a defensive driving class to score a Defensive Driving discount. Of course it also helps to drive safely. Not only do you get to live longer, but driving safely also makes you eligible for additional discounts on car insurance. Senior drivers are encouraged to search thoroughly for all possible discounts that apply to drivers in general. These may include a Good Driver discount, a Safe Driver discount, a Low Mileage discount, a Paid in Full discount, a Multi Policy discount, a Military discount, and other important price reductions.

Another car insurance premium cost cutting maneuver is to raise your deductible amounts.

You also might consider designating a different primary driver on your policy. For example, someone in your family who is younger might get lower rates. Check to see if you (the senior driver) can get lower rates by piggybacking on the policy of a family member.

In terms of lowering car insurance premiums to an absolute minimum, the best kind of automobile for senior drivers is a basic used car with dual air bags, for as low a price as you can get. This type of car will be a lot cheaper to insure than a new car, a sports car, a luxury car, or any other motorized status symbol.

If you are of middle income and insist on a new car, the Nissan Versa is highly recommended. It has good safety features and starts at around $13,000. Insurance can be a lot cheaper of you have the right car. You might also try visiting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website and select from their top safety picks.

Once you have your perfectly insurable car, some insurance companies will offer a further discount if you etch your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) onto the windshield.

How much auto insurance do seniors need?

This can depend somewhat on the amount of driving a senior does, and on the state and neighborhood in which the senior lives.

More or less, the state minimum required liability coverage should be enough for most senior drivers, unless the senior driver has a lot of assets. Seniors who have a lot of assets should probably get personal umbrella insurance. This may cost more, but it will financially protect people of wealth from being sued by other drivers.

For the ultimate financial protection that really lets you sleep at night, collision coverage and comprehensive insurance are recommended, especially for seniors who drive their cars often. Collision insurance covers the cost of anything the car crashes into, as well as the cost of repairs if the car flips over. Comprehensive insurance covers “non accident” assaults to your car such as hail damage, fire damage, vandalism, car theft, and animal strikes, to name a few.

On the other hand, if your car is already paid for, collision and comprehensive coverage may not be necessary. Just make sure that nothing happens to your car, and get to know your local mechanics.

What are some traffic statistics regarding senior drivers?

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), more than 17 percent of drivers on roads in America are over 65 years of age.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fatality rates for senior drivers from traffic accidents are 17 times higher than for other drivers. This is probably because older drivers are more physically frail, whereas younger drivers are more likely to survive the crash.

In another IIHS study, crash fatalities among drivers 70 and older decreased by 21 percent during the decade from 1997 to 2006. Oddly, during the same time span, the population of people age 70 and older in the United States increased by 10 percent.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2008, the United States had more than 32 million licensed drivers over the age of 65. By 2020, that number is expected to go north of 40 million.

What are some safe driving habits every senior should know?

Driving safely is one of the best ways to live longer, and will also minimize your premium rates.

Here are seven important safe driving habits that senior drivers probably already know, if they’ve managed to live this long. Keep up the good work! Following these tips can also earn you an extra break on senior car insurance:

  1. Take a Defensive Driving Course: Senior drivers of any age can usually earn a discount by completing a DMV-approved defensive driving course. These courses are offered by DMVs all across America, and are available to people of all ages. In some states, seniors are required to take this course in order to get a senior discount on car insurance.
  2. Test Your Safety Features: ALWAYS check your turn signals, headlights, seat belts, car alarms, brakes, and other important devices before starting your vehicle. Make sure all safety features are well working before you start to drive.
  3. Assume the Other Driver is Insane: Prepare yourself for the possibility that the other driver is not paying attention. Assume the approaching driver will run the red light, or make an illegal turn, or some such idiotic move. Drivers do these things all the time. On that note, keep your car a good, safe distance away from drivers whose on-road behavior seems erratic.
  4. Hit Your Turn Signals: This is something you should do out of habit, whenever you intend to turn or change lanes, whether or not you notice any other vehicles on the road.
  5. Know Your Blind Spots. Be fully aware of the blind spots associated with your vehicle. ALWAYS check them before turning! This is especially true if you have a new vehicle. Different vehicles have different blind spots.
  6. Avoid Tailgating: Stay at a good distance of several car lengths away, whenever you find yourself driving behind other automobiles. Vehicles are often rear ended by distracted tailgaters.
  7. Get Regular Tune Ups: As you may already know, automobile maintenance will help to keep your premium rates as low as they can go. So get your oil changed. Measure your tire pressure. Check your engine. Test your brakes.

Do seniors have a right to drive indefinitely?

The simple answer is no. No one has a right to drive indefinitely, or even to drive at all. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Anyone who is proven unable to drive safely cannot be allowed to drive. All drivers must be regularly evaluated by the DMV, and seniors are required to obtain more frequent evaluations. Anyone who is considered unfit to drive will have his or her license revoked.

Overall, seniors can enjoy some deep discounts on auto insurance, as long as they compare quotes and maximize their opportunities for reduced premium rates.

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