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CAR INSURANCE INSIGHTS

Auto insurance rates increase for older drivers. But those prices vary depending on your insurance company, your age, your car make and model -- and your driving record.

In almost every state, car insurance is a legal requirement, no matter your age. While car insurance rates are typically the lowest during your adult years, you can expect your premium to increase as you start getting older, even if your driving habits remain the same and your driving record is clean. Once you pass 60, be prepared to see a potential increase in the cost of your car insurance.

The good news is, there are lots of ways to get more affordable car insurance for seniors. Many car insurance companies offer discounts aimed at older drivers, with savings for being retired or taking a defensive driving course, for example. Plus, you can always shop around for new car insurance quotes if your rate goes up after celebrating a birthday.

To help you find the cheapest rates, Insurance.com conducted research to identify car insurance companies that offer low rates to seniors in 2022 -- even if you have a recent traffic violation, like a speeding ticket or DUI. We also shared some tips for finding affordable car insurance using discounts.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • For most drivers, car insurance becomes more expensive around the age of 65 and rates start increasing significantly after age 80.
  • On average, Insurance.com’s 2022 research found a full coverage car insurance policy for a 75-year-old driver costs $1,847 per year; for an  85 year old it’s $2,165.
  • Senior drivers can often save money on their car insurance by enrolling in a defensive driving course, bundling their policies, maintaining a clean driving record and joining an affinity group such as AARP.

Car insurance rates for seniors

Auto insurance for seniors often costs more. Older, 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. Car insurance rates for seniors tend to rise after the age of 65 but really spike up after age 80.

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. In most cases, if you drive a flashy coupe, 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.

Car Insurance Rates by Age

State discounts for senior drivers

While older drivers will eventually see their car insurance rates increase, many states mandate that drivers over 50 be given discounts for good driving and/or for taking approved driving courses.

For example, if you have an AARP membership, you can enroll in the AARP Smart Driver Course. This online or in-person defensive driving class helps you refresh your safe driving skills and could help you get a multi-year discount on your car insurance premium. AARP's Smart Driver Course is available in all 50 states and Washington D.C., but you should check with your insurance carrier to see if they will honor the discount.

In addition to AARP's program, senior drivers can also take state-approved defensive driving courses through AAA and The National Safety Council (NSC). Depending on your insurance company and the course you take, you could be eligible for a discount of 5% to 15% on your senior car insurance premium.

What is the best car insurance company for seniors?

There are dozens of car insurance companies on the market. Choosing the right provider can be difficult, especially for seniors who may have unique coverage needs or want to find a cheap rate.

We did some research to find the best car insurance companies for seniors, including the top carriers for senior drivers with a speeding ticket, poor credit, an at-fault accident, and a DUI on their record.

Among the best for seniors with speeding tickets: Chubb, Eire and Allstate

If you have been picked up for speeding recently, Chubb, Eire and Allstate are among your best bets to keep your premium affordable. When we ran the numbers, Chubb increased rates about 14% while Eire increased rates by roughly 22% after a speeding ticket.

Among the best car insurance companies for senior citizens with speeding ticket:

Company% increase
Chubb14%
Erie22%
Allstate23%
State Farm24%
National25%

Among the best for seniors with bad credit: Kemper, Nationwide and Chubb

If you're a senior with less than stellar credit, Kemper, Nationwide and Chubb are excellent choices. Our data shows that these three insurers were among those with the smallest premium increase for drivers with bad credit with between a 29% and 45% jump.

Among the best car insurance company for seniors with bad credit:

Company% increase
Kemper29%
Nationwide36%
Chubb45%
Hartford52%
Mercury58%

Among the best for accidents: State Farm, American Family and Erie

State Farm was among the best when we looked at the best rates for seniors after an accident. An accident claim on your policy can result in a dramatic premium increase, but our analysis found that State Farm will only push your rates up 30%. State Farm is consistently ranked as one of the best insurance companies for seniors, making it an excellent choice for senior drivers.

Other companies that senior drivers with an accident on their record should look at are American Family and Eire.

Regardless of the insurer you use, make sure you are getting all the discounts that you are qualified to receive. Ask your agent to conduct a discount review to make sure all discounts are being applied to your policy.

Among the best car insurance company for older driver with an accident:

Company% increase
State Farm30%
American Family33%
Erie45%
Chubb51%
National54%

Among the best for DUI: Farmers, American Family and Progressive

A DUI is going to result in a dramatic premium increase regardless of your age, but Farmers had the lowest increase of the insurers we surveyed. The company bumped rates up 58% after a DUI. While American Family increased rates 64% and Progressive hiked premiums 73%, these were still among the lowest increases.

Among the best car insurance for DUI

Company% increase
Farmers58%
American Family64%
Progressive73%
Mercury78%
National79%

Is there cheap car insurance for drivers with prior incidents?

If you have a speeding ticket, accident, or other traffic violation on your driving record, you will pay a higher rate than a driver with a clean record. How much your premium will jump up will depend on the type of infraction as well as your other rating factors.

When we ran the numbers, a speeding ticket could push your rates up a whopping 70% while an accident on your record could result in a 108% increase. However, the rate increase will often vary depending on your insurance company as well as what state you call home.

If you have recently been in an accident or received a speeding ticket, shopping for your coverage is typically the best way to keep your premium affordable. Shop a variety of insurance companies and make sure you are comparing similar coverage limits and deductibles.

Senior auto insurance by decade

To see how your age may affect your insurance costs in your 50s and beyond, let's compare a full coverage policy with comprehensive insurance, collision insurance, and liability coverage limits of 100/300/100.

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 – this group has lots of experience but still has good health, quick reflexes and reliable hearing and vision.

The average rate for full-coverage auto insurance for a 55-year-old is $1,517.

Auto insurance in your early 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 $1,565.

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 70-year-old is $1,676.

The average rate for full-coverage auto insurance for a 75-year-old is $1,847.

Auto insurance for seniors over 80

Driving becomes increasingly hazardous for people 80 and up. According to the 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 an 85-year-old is $2,165.

If you're not driving as much and have lowered your insurance to liability limits only, dropping comp and collision, then here are how senior car insurance rates would compare as you are age:

Average Rate of Auto Insurance For Senior Driver

AgeLiability 50/100/50
55$599
60$600
65$633
70$689
75$722
85$958

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%. Most insurers define "low mileage" as 5,000 to 7,500 miles or fewer, but others are more generous.
  2. Bring in Big Brother. Some seniors can save up to 40% with usage-based or pay-as-you-drive insurance 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. Discounts vary by insurer by can go as high as 40%.
  3. Have some class. Mature driver courses offered by AARP and others, as discussed earlier, can reduce your premiums by 5% to 15%. 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. Keep a clean record. The bells and whistles on your car that can keep you out of an accident can really pay off if you are able to keep a driving record free of violations or accidents. Having a clean record for the last three to five years should give you a good driver discount that ranges from 15% to 40%.
  7. Join the club. Membership in organizations such as AARP can enable you to access promotional pricing. It's called an "affinity discount."
  8. 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.
  9. Bundle it up. If you haven't yet checked on the cost of buying auto and home insurance with the same insurance company, do that now. It is a nice perk to have just one company to deal with for home and auto policies, plus you can get a discount that on average is around 11%.
  10. 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 rearview mirror when backing up or changing lanes, and receiving multiple traffic tickets or warnings. AAA gives guidance on how to evaluate your driving abilities.

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.

How seniors can find cheap insurance rates

Once you pass a certain age threshold, typically 65 years old, your car insurance rates may start climbing. Statistics show that senior drivers are involved in more accidents than middle-aged drivers. According to the CDC, in 2018, roughly 7,700 drivers aged 65+ were killed in traffic crashes, and over 250,000 were treated in emergency departments for crash injuries which translates to more than 20 older adults being killed and 700 injured in crashes every single day.

While your rates are more than likely headed up after 65, there are some things you can do to keep your premium affordable. Here are a few tips to keep your car insurance rates in check:

  • Shop your coverage: This is one of the best ways to lower your insurance costs. Insurers rate risk differently which can result in dramatic differences in premium quotes. There are insurers that specialize in insuring older drivers, The Hartford is an excellent example, they have partnered with the AARP to offer car insurance and discounts to drivers over the age of 50. Get at least five quotes when shopping and make sure you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to coverage levels and deductibles.
  • Your driver status: Insurers use a variety of factors to set a rate and one of those is how often you drive. If you are retired and no longer commuting on a daily basis your rates should go down. Inform your insurance company you are no longer driving as many miles and ask them to rerun your rates, you should see a drop.
  • Defensive driving courses: Defensive driving courses aren't just for teenagers, older drivers can benefit from a refresher course and many insurers offer a discount to senior drivers who complete a defensive driving course. Check with your insurance company for a list of classes that meet their requirements and ask about a discount once you have passed the course.
  • Look for senior discounts: Many insurers offer discounts aimed at seniors. Look for long-term customer discounts as well as discounts for seniors who are driving less daily. Ask your insurer to review your policy to make sure all senior discounts are being applied to your policy.

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 aged 60, 65, 70 and 75 in all states.

Top Car Insurance Companies for Seniors

Select your age and state below to see the average annual and monthly rates.

Currently showing results for age 60 in California
Company NameAvg. Annual PremiumAvg. Monthly Premium
 

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 senior driver

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(GHSA) about the differences by state:

StateSenior-related license restrictions
AlabamaNone
AlaskaNo mail renewal after age 69
ArizonaFive-year renewals after age 65; no mail renewal at 70
ArkansasChoice of 4- or 8-year renewal after age 70
CaliforniaOnline or mail renewal after 70 (ends Dec. 31, 2022)
ColoradoAfter age 80, online renewal requires passage of vision exam within the prior 6 months
ConnecticutChoice of 2-year or 6-year renewal at 65; mail renewal only if a hardship
DelawareNone
District of ColumbiaNo electronic renewal at 70; medical certification required
Florida6-year renewal with vision test at 80; Must have a physician's letter if renewing by mail or online
Georgia5-year renewal at 60 and vision test required for renewal at 64
Hawaii2-year renewal at 72
Idaho4-year renewal at 63
Illinois2-year renewal between 81 and 86; every year at 87; and road test at 75
Indiana3-year renewal between 75 and 84; 2 years at 85; no electronic or mail renewal at 70
Iowa2-year renewal after age 78
Kansas4-year renewal at 65
KentuckyNone
LouisianaNo mail renewal at 70
Maine4-year renewal at 65; vision test at every renewal at 62; vision test at every other renewal between ages 40-61
MarylandVision test at 40
MassachusettsRenewal in person only at 75
MichiganNone
MinnesotaNone
MississippiNone
Missouri3-year renewal at 70
Montana4-year renewal at 75
NebraskaNo electronic renewal at 72
NevadaMail renewal needs medical report at 70
New HampshireRoad test at 75
New JerseyNone
New MexicoYearly renewal at 75
New YorkNone
North Carolina5-year renewal at 66; parallel parking not required on road test for 60 and over
North Dakota4-year renewal at 65
OhioNone
OklahomaRenewal fee reduced for drivers aged 62-64; renewal fee waived for 65 and older
OregonVision test at 50
PennsylvaniaChoice of 2-year or 4-year renewal after 65
Rhode Island2-year renewal at 75
South Carolina5-year renewal with vision test at 65
South DakotaVision statement required for 65 and older
TennesseeRenewal fee reduced for drivers 60 and over; No expiration date for 65 and older
Texas2-year renewal at 85; no electronic or mail renewal at 79
UtahVision test at 65
VermontNone
Virginia5-year renewal with vision test at 75
WashingtonNo electronic renewal after 70
West VirginiaNone
WisconsinNone
WyomingNone

If you realize that you may have passed your prime as a driver, talk to your physician. You may come up with a plan of how to address your limitations, decide that it is time to give up driving or get a license with limits. Some states offer a restricted license, such as not driving at night if that is your problem area.

It may also be time to look at alternative modes of transportation, such as community offered senior rides, Lyft or Uber. If you sell your vehicle, you could easily offset other transportation costs from the savings you receive from no longer owning and maintaining a vehicle.

FAQs

How does age affect auto insurance rates?

Car insurance rates will be impacted by your age throughout your life. A teen typically pays three to four times what an experienced driver in their 30s or 40s might pay. This is due to their inexperience out on the road and their age. Once a driver hits 25 and has some experience under their belt, their rates should start to drop (around a 30% decrease) as long as they have kept their driving record clean.

Rates typically stabilize in your 30s but once you hit 65 and up there is a good chance that your rates will start to climb again. Older drivers tend to have slower reaction times and are involved in more accidents which makes insurance companies nervous, leading to higher rates.

Does car insurance go up as you get older?

If you are a teen, the answer to this question is no, but if you are over the age of 65, the answer is absolutely. Rates tend to be high for young drivers, drop down for middle-aged people and then start to climb again after the age of 65. This is because teens and seniors have higher accident rates than drivers who fall into the middle of the age range. You can expect your premium to increase as you get older.

How does a defensive driver course for seniors work?

Many insurance companies offer discounts to both teens and seniors who take a defensive driving course. Contact your insurer to make sure they offer a discount for seniors and get a list of approved defensive driving courses.

Once you have found an acceptable course, you simply sign up and take the course. Present the completion certificate to your insurance company and they should apply the discount to your policy.

Is car insurance for seniors worth the cost?

Yes, and it's required in almost every state in the country. Legally you cannot be out on the road without basic liability coverage. Each state sets its own minimum liability limits which can range from $15,000 to around $50,000. If you are not carrying the proper amount of insurance when driving, you will not be legal out on the road.

While collision and comprehensive are not required in any state, if you are not carrying these coverages and your vehicle is damaged or destroyed in an accident you will be covering the cost to repair or replace your vehicle out of pocket.

Do seniors pay more for auto insurance?

Yes, in most situations, a senior will pay more for car insurance than a driver in their 30's or 40's. However, they often pay less than a teen. According to our data, the average full coverage rate for an 85-year-old driver is $2,165, which is a 20% increase from age 75 rates and a whopping 44% increase from the cost of car insurance for a 60-year-old driver.

--Additional reporting by Michelle Megna

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