The Best and Cheapest Auto Insurance for Seniors Over Age 65

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Seniors car insurance – beware of scams

But make sure when you’re scouting for that affordable auto insurance that you don’t fall victim to any scams. According to the National Council on Aging, financial scams “targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered ‘the crime of the 21st century.'”

The rationale for these scammers is that it is assumed seniors have money accumulating in their accounts, and that they are particularly vulnerable and trusting.

There are several scams that seniors should watch out for, according to AARP:

  • Stealing your premiums: An agent pockets your insurance premiums instead of sending it to the insurer. Crooked agents may steal your premiums to support their business, feed a gambling or drug habit, or buy luxury goods such as cars or jewelry.
  • Selling phony insurance: An agent or company rep sells you fake coverage from a phony insurance company. Or the agent sells you bogus coverage using a legitimate company’s name, or a name that’s similar to a legitimate insurer. You might receive an official-looking policy or proof of insurance that’s worthless. You could lose thousands of dollars if you suffer a loss and don’t have a real policy to pay your claim.
  • Selling coverage you don’t want or need: Maybe the coverage is real, but it’s expensive, unnecessary, and your current policy may already cover that risk.
  • Worthless investments: You may be urged to invest in insurance-like instruments. One is viaticals, which are investments in life policies taken out on sick or terminally ill people. Viaticals can be a legitimate investment, but some can also be phony or misleading. Another scam is promissory notes, in which agents promise quick, high and certain returns for investing in promissory notes supposedly backed by insurance. Often the promissory notes don’t exist, they’re just a scam to steal your money.

If you’re looking for a low-income auto insurance for seniors and find a rate that seems too good to be true, make sure to check the company out first. You can check out their financial strength with AM Best and check with your state’s Department of Insurance to make sure they are a legit company.

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Compare Best Car Insurance for Seniors

Company Price (Average for a 67-Year-Old Driver)  Purchasing Options  Available Discounts  Other Available Coverage  State Farm Best Overall and Best on a Budget $880 Online, phone, local agent  Vary by state Homeowners, renters, life, boat, ATV, motorhome, farm and ranch, identity theft, health, disability, commercial, pet USAA Best for Veterans  $772  Online, phone, local agent 14  Homeowners, renters, life, boat, flood, umbrella, health, long-term care, commercial, pet, travel  The Hartford Best for AARP Members  $1,178  Online, phone, local agent 6 Homeowners, renters, life, classic car, commercial, renters, umbrella, flood 

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Why Do Auto Insurance Rates Increase for Seniors?

Car insurance companies take age into account when calculating rates because some age groups are more likely to have accidents and file claims than others. Generally, teenagers and seniors pay more for car insurance than other drivers, all else being equal, when you average auto rates by age. (Note that age is not a factor in setting auto rates in California, Hawaii or Massachusetts due to state laws.)

Auto insurance rates begin to increase as you hit age 65 because insurance companies deem this part of the senior set to be more at risk for accidents and claims. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that adults ages 65 and older are more than twice as likely to report experiencing a medical issue that makes it more difficult to drive than motorists ages 24 to 64.

Senior drivers are far more experienced on the road than teens, but age-related physical and mental changes can make it more challenging to be a safe driver.

The main age-related issues that can cause seniors to have trouble driving include declining vision and cognitive abilities, muscle disorders and changes in general physical fitness. Medication and its side effects can also increase risk by affecting concentration and impairing driving abilities.

The aging body’s diminished coordination, flexibility and strength can affect reaction times, making it difficult for older drivers to avoid accidents. Also, the CDC finds that the risk of being killed or injured in a traffic accident increases as drivers age.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety observes that fatal crashes increased notably at ages 70 to 74 and then are highest in drivers 85 and older. That is mainly because senior drivers in this age range are more susceptible to crash injury, especially chest injuries and other medical complications. More severe accidents for older drivers then result in higher car insurance rates.

Trying to stay in top shape physically and mentally as you get older may help. Also, adjusting your driving habits to remain a safe driver can assist you in keeping your car insurance rates more reasonable. Having a driving record free of accidents or traffic violations is a great signal to car insurance companies that you’re still sharp behind the wheel and deserve reasonable rates.

What Are the Different Types of Car Insurance for Seniors?

Seniors can purchase all the same types of car insurance that younger drivers can get. Depending on your state, you will need to have at least a minimum coverage policy with liability insurance. However, it’s a good idea to upgrade to a full coverage policy, which includes collision insurance and comprehensive insurance, as well as medical payments coverage. Senior drivers may also be eligible for car insurance endorsements, like accident forgiveness, new car replacement coverage, gap insurance (for leased or financed vehicles), and emergency roadside assistance.

Optional car insurance coverages for seniors

As you age, your car insurance needs may change. Coverages or policy features that made sense for you in years past may no longer be right for your needs and could require adjustments. As you reach your senior years, you may want to consider the following coverage changes:

  • Higher liability limits: You may have more wealth and assets to protect in your senior years than you did when you were younger. Choosing higher liability limits gives you more financial protection if you cause an accident.
  • Car rental reimbursement: Many seniors downsize their cars if all members of the household are retired. If you only have one vehicle, this coverage could be helpful. If you are in an accident and your car is not driveable, this coverage will pay for a rental car up to your policy limits.
  • New car replacement: If you have purchased a new vehicle, you may want to consider adding this option. Each company’s new car replacement coverage works a bit differently, but typically this endorsement will pay to replace your totaled vehicle with a comparable new vehicle, rather than paying you the depreciated value which is what a standard policy would include.
  • Accident forgiveness: Although the specifics will vary by company, this optional coverage typically forgives one at-fault accident every three to five years, which could help keep your premium from increasing if you cause an accident.

Talking to your agent or a representative from your insurance company about your changing car insurance needs could help you identify gaps in your coverage or potential features you should take advantage of.

What Is the Average Cost of Car Insurance for Seniors and Older Adults?

Although individual personal factors, driving history, and location will affect your car insurance costs, in general, your premiums should decrease or stabilize as you get older. Statistically, adults in their 50s and 60s get the best car insurance rates. As you age, you may be able to qualify for better rates based on:

  • The number of discounts you qualify for
  • Your driving experience
  • Hopefully fewer claims
  • Driving less once you retire

As always, we recommend comparing quotes from several insurers to see which ones offer you the best combination of coverage and value for your situation.

Drivers in their 70s may notice rising premiums because of a higher likelihood of accidents. For example, our research revealed increases of $300 to $500 on average from ages 60 to 75, and Progressive notes that rates start to increase for drivers aged 75 and up. If you’re in or approaching your 70s, it may be even more worthwhile to compare quotes from your current company as well as a few others.

How much is auto insurance for seniors?

According to our findings, auto insurance in your 50s is usually cheaper than it is for younger and older drivers. This age group is considered the safest on the road in terms of health and safe driving. You’re in your prime for driving.

In your 50s, you’ve got a lot of experience behind the wheel, quick reflexes, good health and reliable hearing and vision. That’s how car insurance companies view it. As you push into your 60s is when rates tick up a bit, so it becomes essential to find out who has the cheapest car insurance for seniors.

Based on Insurance.com’s 2021 findings, here are the average costs for four different age groups and three types of insurance coverage. We include the cost of a bare bones state minimum policy, a liability-only policy with higher limits of $50,000 for bodily injury coverage per person injured in an accident caused by you, $100,000 for everyone injured in the accident and $100,000 in property damage coverage, written as 50/100/50. We also included a policy with liability limits of  plus collision and comprehensive, with a $500 deductible.

Expert tip: You need collision and comp coverage if you have a financed or leased car, or a newer car you want to protect.

Average Car Insurance Cost for SeniorsAgeState minimum50/100/50100/300/10055$494$560$1,36365$515$585$1,40275$630$718$1,65485$778$887$1,987

When you hit 65, is when you’re likely to see a bump in your car insurance premium. You’re wiser, more mature, and quite possibly having the time of your life. But auto insurance companies see aging as a bit of a risk, so when you turn 65, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your current insurance and compare to others that cater to car insurance for seniors.

How seniors can find cheap insurance rates

Though auto insurance rates typically go up for drivers older than 65, you may also gain new coverage and discount options. Senior citizens shopping for auto insurance should consider a variety of factors, including prices, discounts and whether an insurer can offer a renewal guarantee. There are many ways to keep your car insurance costs low.

Change your driver status

After 65, many drivers start to think about retirement. Most insurers offer a discount when you change your driving status from “commuter” to strictly driving for pleasure. This means the miles you drive every year will be greatly reduced, which can save you significant money. When you get a quote online, you can select “leisure” and evaluate how many miles you’ll be driving in retirement.

Take a defensive driving course

Drivers 50 and older can receive a government-mandated auto insurance discount for seniors by taking a defensive driving course in participating states. The eligible age, as well as the discount amount, varies by state. Some of these classes can be taken online from the comfort of your home, while others are offered in person.

You can also get senior discounts on auto insurance by taking courses through companies like AAA and AARP. Most courses cost around $20. Remember, the discount amount will depend on where you live and your insurance provider.

Shop around for senior coverage and discounts

At certain auto insurance companies, seniors can get discounts as they get older. For example, The Hartford, in partnership with AARP, offers car insurance for seniors, as well as special features for policyholders over the age of 50. If you plan on moving in retirement, it’s important to remember that car insurance premiums vary depending on state and neighborhood. So compare quotes from multiple insurers to find your best rates.

Are there government-mandated auto insurance discounts for seniors?

Many states mandate mature driver discounts for seniors who enroll in and complete state-approved driving courses. AARP, AAA, and The National Safety Council (NSC) are among the organizations that provide qualified classes.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 70-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

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