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Senior Citizen Car Insurance: Is It More Expensive?

From the moment you first began driving, you had to protect your finances with car insurance. That coverage is more expensive when you’re younger and becomes more affordable afterward. However, many older drivers worry that the price of seniors’ car insurance will creep back up. 

Is senior citizen car insurance more expensive in California? And what can you do to keep your rates down? Keep reading to discover the answers and learn everything you need about coverage for the mature driver. 

Understanding How Age Affects Car Insurance Rates 

To properly understand whether car insurance for seniors will get more expensive, you need to understand how age affects your car rate. While it’s nothing you can control, your age is important to your carrier because it helps them assess how risky you are as a driver. 

That’s why automobile coverage is always much more expensive for teenagers. By definition, these drivers have only recently learned how to operate a vehicle, and they are statistically more likely to get into accidents as they master the rules of the road. Fortunately, most people see their coverage prices decrease as they get into their 20s and 30s. In later years, however, prices may increase because carriers worry about factors such as declining vision and slower reflexes. 

Debunking Myths Around Seniors Car Insurance 

One of the most common myths about car insurance for seniors is that prices are guaranteed to rise. While this could start happening when you’re about 65, it depends on factors such as your carrier and your driving record. 

Many people wonder, “Am I too old to qualify for car insurance?” That’s another common myth, as well as seniors not being able to get discounts on their policies due to age. In reality, many car insurance discounts for seniors are available, and you may already qualify for one or more of them. It’s always advisable to ask your carrier about discounts because the monthly savings add up and can seriously help your budget. 

Remember, if you are unhappy about rate increases, you may be able to save money by switching to a new carrier. This holds even more significance if the new provider offers discounts not offered by your previous carrier! 

Why Seniors Might See a Rate Increase 

As noted earlier, it’s not uncommon for your automobile insurance to increase once you turn 65. Such an increase isn’t inevitable, but it’s more likely than you might think. The primary reason for this increase is that carriers know drivers who are 65 or older are statistically more likely to get into accidents. As with teenage drivers, the carrier’s typical response to this is to charge those in this age bracket more for their premiums. 

However, the increase isn’t inevitable because your carrier will carefully consider your driving record. Suppose you have gone a very long time without an accident or any moving violations (like driving with a suspended or revoked license). In that case, you may be considered a safe driver and not receive a price hike on your premium. 

The Role of Health and Driving Habits in Determining Rates 

As you get older, it may not seem fair that companies are likely to charge you more for coverage. While this won’t make the prospect any less frustrating, you should know one of the carriers’ biggest concerns is actually the physical health of the driver behind the wheel. 

For example, if a senior gets into an accident, they are more likely to get injured with a longer recovery period. That creates medical bills, and other expenses carriers might have to pay, depending on your coverage. To account for their own increased risks, carriers often charge more to insure the elderly. 

Tips for Seniors to Secure Affordable Car Insurance 

You’ve already gotten the bad news: While it’s not guaranteed to happen, you may start paying more for automobile coverage once you turn 65. The good news, though, is that there are many things you can do to keep your premiums low. To start with, you should consider shopping around for policies from different companies in order to discover if better prices are available. 

Additionally, you should stay on top of vehicle maintenance to reduce the chance of accidents; otherwise, you should focus on being a safe driver. That could naturally lower your rate even before getting a discount for it. 

If you have enough money to pay out-of-pocket in case of an accident, you can raise your deductible. This will lower the cost of your premium and may be a great choice for safer drivers. 

Finally, how much coverage you buy and how you pay can lower your premium. For example, by bundling two or more policies from the same carrier, you can save on each one. And signing up for automatic payment can sometimes lower how much you pay. 

Embrace Safety and Defensive Driving Courses 

Below, we’ve got a breakdown of some other discounts available for senior drivers. But it’s worth highlighting that you can usually immediately qualify for one discount by completing safety and defensive driving courses. 

Such courses typically qualify customers for a discount because they are now considered safer than the average driver. Taking such courses when you are older can help refresh you on the best practices of safe driving, further reducing your odds of getting into an accident. 

Understanding Discounts and Benefits for Seniors 

Almost every carrier offers special insurance discounts for those who meet certain criteria. A handful of these discounts are easier to qualify for when you are younger, including discounts for maintaining good grades. 

Other discounts are available regardless of age, including discounts for adding anti-theft devices to your car and for completing a defensive driving course. There are even discounts that favor seniors; for example, you can typically get a discount for being a member of AARP! 

Adjusting Policy Details to Fit Your Lifestyle 

Most drivers rarely tweak their insurance policy. However, if you want lower premiums, it’s worth considering making certain changes. One highlighted above was raising your deductible. This lowers your premium but increases the out-of-pocket costs in the event you have to file a claim. 

You might also simply need less coverage. For example, comprehensive coverage may have seemed like a great idea when your car was new, but you may not need it if your vehicle is on the older side. By dropping something like comprehensive coverage from your policy, you can instantly lower your premium. 

Consider Usage-Based Insurance Plans 

Older drivers typically don’t spend as much time behind the wheel as when they were younger. Does this sound like you? In that case, you should consider asking your carrier about a usage-based insurance plan. 

As the name implies, such a plan will consider the amount you drive. If you rarely get behind the wheel, that means a lower price. Consider that the insurance provider may request to install a device in your vehicle that tracks and reports your driving duration back to them. 

Planning Ahead: Future-Proofing Senior Car Insurance 

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably worried about your car insurance rates increasing now that you are older. While it’s wise to be concerned, you should know there are a few easy ways to basically future-proof your costs. 

Don’t believe it? Below are some things you can do to take control of your premiums before they take control of you. 

Retirement and Its Effects on Car Insurance Premiums 

The primary way retirement affects your car insurance is that moving to a new place may affect how much you have to pay. Whether you’re hoping to retire to somewhere like Florida or just downsizing in your own California town, a change in zip code can increase your rate if the carrier sees more people in the new area filing insurance claims. Fortunately, you can make this work in your favor by retiring to a safe area where your prices may very well decrease. 

Anticipating and Responding to Age-Related Cost Increases 

Now that you know you’re likely to pay more for coverage once you get older, you can take steps to anticipate and respond to such an increase. Specifically, you need to maintain a safe driving record, stay on top of vehicle maintenance, ask your carrier about discounts, and complete a defensive driving course. If you take all of these steps as soon as possible, you can keep your premium from creeping higher as you age. 

Why Choose Us for Your Senior Car Insurance Needs 

Now you understand the ins and outs of senior car insurance and how to minimize expenses. But do you know where to find an insurer who is just as devoted, committed to cost savings, and offers competitive rates? 

Here at Cost-U-Less, we think age should be rewarded, not punished. That’s why we’re waiting to offer the prices you’ve been dreaming of and the customer service that you deserve. Call us at (800) 390-4071 or get a fast and free car insurance quote online. You can also find a Cost-U-Less office near you

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