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Car insurance for seniors

By Posted : March 5, 2019

Car insurance rates increase in your senior citizens years.

Even if your driving habits remain the same and your record stays clean, the rate you pay for car insurance changes over time. Typically, auto insurance rates drop as drivers move into middle age, having acquired years of driving experience and loyalty discounts. Once you become a senior citizen, however, expect to pay more for car insurance.

Here's what you need to know about saving on auto insurance in your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.

Car insurance rates for seniors
Senior auto insurance by decade
Senior car insurance discounts
Best car insurance for seniors
Safety tips for older drivers
State laws specific to seniors

Car insurance rates for seniors

Auto insurance for older drivers often costs more. Senior drivers as a group are more accident-prone than their middle-aged counterparts. The reasons for this include age-related changes in hearing or vision, slower reflexes, health conditions and medications.

In addition, regardless of accident severity, older drivers suffer graver injuries and more fatalities than younger people. This makes seniors more expensive to treat following an injury. These factors can increase insurers’ claim costs, and those costs are passed on.

Will your insurance premiums increase just because you join the ranks of "older" drivers? What if you have no accidents or tickets? That depends on your insurance company, but the answer is "probably."

Insurance rates are partly determined by the entire group to which you belong, not just your own driving record. So if you live in Mayhem Metro, you may pay more than a driver from Safe City. If you drive a flashy convertible, you're statistically more likely to have an accident than if you've got a mundane minivan.

Insurance.com data shows that older drivers do pay more than middle-aged drivers as a group--but not much more. Explore our car insurance calculator to see what premium rates apply to you.

Driver premiums by age

However, there's a flip side -- many states mandate that drivers over 55 be given discounts for good driving and/or for taking approved driving courses.

Thirty-four states that require discounts for driver safety courses are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Arkansas
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Connecticut
  6. Delaware
  7. Florida
  8. Georgia
  9. Idaho
  10. Illinois
  11. Kansas
  12. Kentucky
  13. Louisiana
  14. Maine
  15. Minnesota
  16. Mississippi
  17. Montana
  18. Nevada
  19. New Jersey
  20. New Mexico
  21. New York
  22. North Dakota
  23. Oklahoma
  24. Oregon
  25. Pennsylvania
  26. Rhode Island
  27. South Carolina
  28. Tennessee
  29. Utah
  30. Virginia
  31. Washington
  32. West Virginia
  33. Wyoming
  34. Washington, DC

Senior auto insurance by decade

seniors drivingHere's how your age may affect your driving and your insurance costs in your 50s and beyond.

"Not all insurance companies start charging higher rates at the same age, so it pays to shop around if you get a rate hike," says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insurance.com. "It all depends on the internal statistics within the insurance company, so some will raise rates in your 60s while others will wait until your late 70s."

Auto insurance in your 50s

Car insurance for people over 50 is usually cheaper than it is for younger and older drivers. That's because drivers in their 50s are among the safest -- you have lots of experience but still have good health, quick reflexes, and reliable hearing and vision.

The average rate for full-coverage auto insurance for a 55-year-old is $560. 

Auto insurance in your 60s

Barring an unlucky streak or late-onset midlife silliness, you're likely to pay less for car insurance than you ever have between the ages of 50 and 65. At 65, however, some insurers raise premiums. Your current insurer may not be among the best insurance companies for older drivers. Turning 65 might be a signal to shop for a better deal.

The average rate for full-coverage auto insurance for a 65-year-old is $585. 

Auto insurance in your 70s

Does car insurance go up when you turn 70? Sorry; it probably does.

Data from the National Transportation and Safety Bureau (NTSB) and National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) show that drivers 70 and up experience much higher rates of intersection-related accidents and fatalities than younger drivers. More accidents mean more claims and higher rates. However, this is just the point at which accident rates begin to increase -- it isn't until drivers reach their late 70s or early 80s that their abilities degrade significantly. Some insurers recognize this and continue to offer reasonably-priced car insurance for those over 70.

The average rate for full-coverage auto insurance for a 75-year-old is $718. 

Auto insurance in your 80s and beyond

driving in 80sDriving becomes increasingly hazardous for people 80 and up. According to American Automobile Association (AAA), older drivers’ fatality rates are 17 times higher than those for 25- to 64-year-olds. It's mostly not due to bad driving; it's because of the human body’s fragility in its ninth decade of life.

Car insurance for older drivers gets increasingly costly with age, so it’s critical to shop for car insurance quotes and grab every discount to which you're entitled.

The average rate for full-coverage auto insurance for a 85-year-old is $887. 

Senior car insurance discounts: tips for saving

There are plenty of discounts available to older drivers, and you should pursue all that apply to you. Below are eight specific actions you can take to reduce your premium costs:

  1. Drive less. If you've stopped commuting and are driving less than you have in the past, inform your insurance company. Depending on your state (some require insurers to consider mileage when setting rates), savings range from almost nothing to more than 10 percent. Most insurers define "low mileage" as 5,000 to 7,500 miles or fewer, but others are more generous. Consider pay-as-you-drive insurance, where a device tracks the number of miles you drive, how fast you drive, how you brake, and what hours of the day you drive.
  2. Bring in Big Brother. Gusner says some seniors can save up to 40 percent with usage-based or pay-as-you-go auto insurance programs. A device installed in your car records your mileage and driving habits -- your speed, braking tendencies and acceleration. If your habits mirror those of most middle-aged or older drivers, you could save two ways -- for driving safely and for driving less.
  3. Have some class. Mature driver courses offered by AARP and others can reduce your premiums by 5-15 percent. Most states require the discount, but insurers in other states often offer rate reductions for driver training as well. Age eligibility varies by state.
  4. Drop a driver. In states that don't require all licensed drivers in a household to have car insurance, you can exclude anyone (such as an older spouse or parent) who no longer drives in order to reduce your rates. Alternatively, you can change the primary driver to a younger member of the household, if that reflects the reality of your circumstances.
  5. Buy some bells and whistles. The latest vehicle safety features may get you a reduced rate on your insurance. Even without a discount, features such as rearview cameras, lane drift, collision warning systems and parking assist can prevent accidents and claims, which can minimize future premium increases.
  6. senior car insurance discountsJoin the club. Membership in organizations such as AARP can enable you to access promotional pricing. It's called an "affinity discount."
  7. Dial back coverage. If you have homes and vehicles that you use only part-time, look into cheaper "parked vehicle" or "snowbird" coverage during the months in which you're not driving them.
  8. Stop driving. If your insurance rates are sky-high because of your driving record, it might be time to quit. AARP lists a number of signs that you should give up driving, including frequent close calls, finding dents or scrapes on your car or other objects, getting lost in familiar locations, trouble seeing or following traffic signs and signals, slower response time to unexpected situations, misjudging gaps in traffic, causing other drivers to honk or complain, difficulty concentrating while driving, trouble turning to check the rear view mirror when backing up or changing lanes, and receiving multiple traffic tickets or warnings.

For more information, review our tips on being a safe driver. Drivers of any age can raise deductibles, bundle with home or renter's insurance or reduce coverage in order to save on premiums. Insurance.com's coverage calculator can help you set an appropriate level of coverage for the coming years.

Best car insurance companies for seniors

There is no single "best" car insurance for seniors. Different insurers calculate their rates with proprietary methods and each has a different set of behaviors it chooses to encourage, deter or ignore. The cheapest auto insurance for seniors depends on the driver, vehicle and location. However, to get an idea of what you'll pay, we provide average rates for full coverage, with a $500 deductible. The data is based on rates from up to six major insurers in nearly every ZIP code of the country. The table below shows average rates for drivers age 65, 75 and 85 in several states. Enter one of these to see state-specific data:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • New York
StateAgeCompanyAverage rateMonthly rate
California65Geico$994$83
California65United Financial$1,248$104
California65Allstate$1,398$117
California65Amco$1,761$147
California65State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co$1,811$151
California65Farmers$1,914$160
California65CSAA$2,197$183
California65AAA$2,360$197
California65Mercury$2,950$246
California
California75Geico$1,185$99
California75United Financial$1,475$123
California75Allstate$1,711$143
California75Farmers$2,071$173
California75Amco$2,094$175
California75State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co$2,104$175
California75CSAA$2,463$205
California75AAA$2,844$237
California75Mercury$3,418$285
California
California85Geico$1,185$99
California85United Financial$1,475$123
California85Allstate$1,711$143
California85Farmers$2,013$168
California85Amco$2,484$207
California85State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co$2,530$211
California85CSAA$2,581$215
California85AAA$3,516$293
California85Mercury$4,073$339
TexasAgeCompanyAverage rateMonthly rate
Texas65Geico$1,111$93
Texas65State Farm$1,230$103
Texas65Colonial C$1,599$133
Texas65Progressive$1,643$137
Texas65Allstate F$2,362$197
Texas
Texas75Geico$1,224$102
Texas75State Farm$1,368$114
Texas75Progressive$1,953$163
Texas75Colonial$2,104$175
Texas75Allstate$2,688$224
Texas
Texas85Geico$1,372$114
Texas85State Farm$1,499$125
Texas85Progressive$2,280$190
Texas85Colonial$2,460$205
Texas85Allstate$3,632$303
FloridaAgeCompanyAverage rateMonthly rate
Florida65Geico Gen Ins Co$1,355$113
Florida65State Farm$1,912$159
Florida6521st Century Centennial$2,038$170
Florida65Allied$2,432$203
Florida65Progressive$2,568$214
Florida65Allstate$2,669$222
Florida65Geico Indemnity$3,220$268
Florida
Florida75Geico Gen Ins Co$1,613$134
Florida75State Farm$2,162$180
Florida7521st Century Centennial$2,278$190
Florida75Allied$2,919$243
Florida75Allstate$3,017$251
Florida75Progressive$3,173$264
Florida75Geico Indemnity$3,654$305
Florida
Florida85Geico Gen Ins Co$2,378$198
Florida85State Farm$2,694$225
Florida8521st Century Centennial$3,451$288
Florida85Allied$3,644$304
Florida85Progressive$3,677$306
Florida85Geico Indemnity$4,073$339
Florida85Allstate$4,493$374
New YorkAgeCompanyAverage rateAverage monthly rate
New York65Progressive$998$83
New York65Geico$1,001$83
New York65State Farm$1,616$135
New York65Allstate$1,736$145
New York65Liberty Mutual$2,150$179
New York65Geico Indemnity$2,214$185
New York65Foremost$2,484$207
New York
New York
New York75Geico$1,138$95
New York75Progressive$1,206$101
New York75State Farm$1,888$157
New York75Allstate$1,910$159
New York75Liberty Mutual$2,187$182
New York75Geico Indemnity$2,519$210
New York75Foremost$3,058$255
New York
New York85Geico$1,167$97
New York85Progressive$1,321$110
New York85Liberty Mutual$2,224$185
New York85State Farm$2,251$188
New York85Geico Indemnity$2,636$220
New York85Allstate$2,651$221
New York85Foremost$3,769$314

* Geico Indemnity is the division of Geico that serves high-risk drivers, or those with recent accidents and violations. Geico, the parent company, serves safe drivers.

Safety tips for older drivers

The National Institute of Health (NIH) advises that you can be safer on the road by addressing the effects of aging on your driving and being aware that your driving ability will almost certainly be impacted by changes to your body. Here are the most important tips:

  • Maintain your health. Have your hearing, vision and general health evaluated regularly, and keep any prescription equipment such as glasses and hearing aids up-to-date. If you don't see well after dark, avoid driving at night.
  • Stay physically active. Physical activity may foster quick reaction times.
  • Adjust your vehicle. Elevate your seat for adequate vision and switch to power steering, brakes and mirrors to control your car.
  • Review medications. Understand how your medications may affect your driving ability. Avoid driving after taking any drugs with warnings about operating machinery.
  • Create a healthy buffer zone. Follow at a greater distance and avoid busy parts of town and busy times of day.
  • Plan your route. Intersections are especially dangerous for drivers over age 80, and there is no reason to make a risky left turn when three right turns will get you to the same place.
  • Sharpen skills. Defensive driver classes and behind the wheel refresher courses can sharpen your skills and lead to lower insurance rates.
  • Maintain your vehicle. Regular inspections and tune-ups reduce the chance of roadside break-downs.

State laws specific to seniors

Some state motor vehicle departments treat you differently once you meet their definition of "older driver." You may no longer be allowed to renew your license by phone or online. Your renewal period may be shortened, and you may be required to pass extra screenings.

Here is information from the Governors Highway Safety Association about the differences by state:

StateSenior-related license restrictions
AlabamaNone
AlaskaNo mail renewal at 69
ArizonaFive-year renewals at 69; no mail renewal at 70
ArkansasNone
CaliforniaNo mail renewal at 70
ColoradoFive-year renewals at 61; no electronic renewal at 66 and mail renewal requires positive vision exam in six previous months
ConnecticutTwo- or six-year renewal at 65; mail renewal only if a hardship
ColoradoFive-year renewal at 61; no electronic renewal at 66 and mail renewal requires positive vision exam in six previous months
DelawareNone
District of ColumbiaVision test, possible reaction test, and physician letter needed at 70
FloridaSix-year renewal with vision test at 80
GeorgiaFive-year renewal at 60 and vision test at 64
HawaiiTwo-year renewal at 72
IdahoFour-year renewal at 63
IllinoisTwo-year renewal between 81 and 86; every year at 87; and road test at 75
IndianaThree-year renewal between 75 and 84; two years at 85; no electronic or mail renewal at 70
IowaTwo-year renewal at 70
KansasFour-year renewal at 65
KentuckyNone
LouisianaNo mail renewal at 70
MaineFour-year renewal at 65; vision test at every renewal at 62
MarylandVision test at 40
MassachusettsRenewal in person only at 75
MichiganNone
MinnesotaNone
MississippiNone
MissouriThree-year renewal at 70
MontanaFour-year renewal at 75
NebraskaNo electronic renewal at 75
NevadaMail renewal needs medical report at 70
New HampshireRoad test at 75
New JerseyNone
New MexicoYearly renewal at 75
New YorkNone
North CarolinaFive-year renewal at 66
North DakotaFour-year renewal at 78
OhioNone
OklahomaNone
OregonVision test at 50
PennsylvaniaNone
Rhode IslandTwo-year renewal at 75
South CarolinaFive-year renewal with vision test at 65
South DakotaNone
TennesseeNone
TexasTwo-year renewal at 85; no electronic or mail renewal at 79
UtahVision test at 65
VermontNone
VirginiaFive-year renewal with vision test at 75
WashingtonNone
West VirginiaNone
WisconsinNone
WyomingNone

 

Driving in the U.S. is a privilege, and it can be an expensive one -- especially as you’re a senior citizen. Follow the suggestions in this article to ensure your safety and maximize your savings when you buy an auto insurance policy.

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