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How Age Affects Car Insurance Rates
As car insurance companies calculate your premiums, they may place a large stock in your age if you or another driver in your household is under 25 years of age or over 70.
While this may seem like age discrimination at first glance, the policy is based on solid evidence that these age groups, along with new drivers, are more dangerous on the roads and therefore are a higher risk for the company to take on. The result is higher car insurance rates.
Teenagers and other new drivers are subject to much higher costs because they are statistically found to be less safe on the road than drivers with a few more years of experience.
The higher rates for young drivers and other new drivers are based on convincing data that these groups are more likely to be in accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provides the following information on teen drivers in the United States:
- Teenagers driver fewer miles than most adults but have much higher crash and death rates.
- The rate of accident-related deaths per mile among 16 year olds to 19 years old is 3 times higher than for drivers over 20 years old.
- The rate of crash-related deaths per mile among drivers 16 years old and 17 years old is 2 times higher than it is for drivers 18 years old and 19 years old.
- Teens are less likely to drink and drive than adults but are far more at risk of getting into a crash when they do.
Teens and new drivers are likely to be in accidents because of their inexperience compared to mature drivers. Additionally, teens:
- Have a greater tendency to speed.
- Are less likely to realize that they are in a serious situation.
- Are more likely to tailgate the car in front of them.
- Are less likely to wear their seatbelt each time they get behind the wheel.
Money-Saving Strategies for New Drivers
You can fight higher rates by:
- Going through driver’s education.
- Driving carefully to avoid accidents.
- Driving a car with good safety features.
Also, check whether your car insurance company offers student driving discounts, and see whether placing the teen or young driver on a more experienced driver’s policy can get you a lower cost.
From the time you turn 25 until the time you turn 70, your car insurance rates are likely to gradually decrease as long as you maintain a good driving record.
Additional factors that are more important than age during these years include:
- What kind of car you drive.
- Where you live.
- How many miles you drive.
Rates typically begin to increase again starting at age 70. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) explains that higher costs of insuring this age group come in part because of:
- Impaired vision.
- Poorer cognitive functioning.
- Changes in physical functioning, such as arthritis.
- Use of prescription medications.
Older adults are likely to sustain more serious and costly injuries as the result of being in an accident.
Money-Saving Strategies for Seniors
There are many strategies you can take to get and maintain affordable auto insurance. These include:
- Maintaining a clean driving record.
- Taking a defensive driving course to lower your rates.
- Check car insurance rates for different carriers online.
- Changing the primary driver on your policy if no longer drive as much (e.g., if your child now does a majority of driving for you).
- Looking into senior car insurance discounts.
It may be a good idea to check the rates of other companies online by getting a few free quotes. What worked in the past may not be the best option as you age.
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