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  • Senior Guide To Car Insurance

    Senior Drivers and Car Insurance

    Senior Guide To Car Insurance

    Americans are living longer than in previous generations. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2030 the population over 70 years old will increase from 29.7 million (2012) to 52.7 million. This means that senior drivers are an increasing presence on the road and in the car insurance market.

    If you are a senior driver, you can benefit from knowing about car insurance for seniors and coverage considerations for older drivers.

    Finding Senior Discounts

    One of the perks of aging is becoming eligible for senior discounts. Most auto insurance companies offer reduced rates to drivers who reach a certain age (e.g., 50 years old).

    In addition to the typical senior driver discount, you may be able to save money using one of the following methods.

    • Brush up on your driving skills. Senior drivers are often eligible for a discount by completing and passing a defensive driving course.
      • Accepted courses vary by state.
    • Ask about a low-mileage discount. If you’ve cut down your driving time (for example, because you’re retired), let your car insurance provider know; you can usually save money if you stay under a certain mileage cap per year.
    • Buy a safe car. Cars determined “safe” or “low-risk” by car insurance companies, such as those listed as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), will often qualify you for a discount.

    Getting the Right Coverage

    While auto insurance discounts are often given to drivers who reach mature age, insurance rates tend to increase for drivers beyond that age.

    Because reflexes slow and vision decreases as you get older, seniors present increased risk to their auto insurance companies. This increased risk results in higher premiums.

    There may be options, however, to save money. When you are assessing your car insurance policy, consider the following:

    • Your deductible. If you are driving fewer miles, you may wish to raise your deductible to save money over the long-term.
    • Your coverages. You might find that some of your optional coverages no longer make sense if you driving significantly less than you used to. If you decide to drop collision and comprehensive coverage, for example, you can lower your premium.
    • The primary driver. If you are no longer doing the majority of the driving in your car (e.g., if you child drives you), you can potentially save money by changing the primary driver on your policy.

    Taking the time to create a policy that works for you and takes your current driving habits into consideration can ensure you get the best, most cost-effective car insurance coverage.

    Cutting Back on Your Driving

    Giving up your car is one of the most difficult parts about aging. For many, it symbolizes a loss of independence. However, it is something that you need to think about as you or your parents grow older.

    It may be unsafe to continue driving if you notice either you or your parents are:

    • Consistently driving faster or slower than the general flow of traffic.
    • Having a medical condition or being on a medication that impairs:
      • Vision.
      • Reaction time.
      • Concentration.
    • Getting lost in familiar areas.
    • Having frequent small accidents or scares.
    • Regularly being stopped for moving violations.
    • Experiencing decreased hearing, vision, or mobility.

    Being an Educated Driver

    Get the most out of your car insurance by:

    • Being a safe driver.
    • Investigating the possibilities for senior discounts.
    • Choosing the best coverage for your situation.

    Finally, keep monitoring yourself or your parents for signs that it is time to give up driving. If you are not yet ready to stop driving, consider cutting back, such as driving only in good weather or near home.