Life Events & Situational – Car Insurance for Seniors

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: May 22, 2020

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Steps for Older Drivers to Stay Safe on the Road from the CDC:
Follow a regular activity program to increase strength and flexibility.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review medicines–both prescription and over-the counter–to reduce side effects and interactions.
Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. Wear glasses and corrective lenses as required.
Drive during daylight and in good weather.
Find the safest route with well-lit streets, intersections with left turn arrows, and easy parking.
Plan your route before you drive.
Leave a large following distance behind the car in front of you.
Avoid distractions in your car, such as listening to a loud radio, talking on your cell phone, texting, and eating.
Always wear your seat belt and never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs/medicines.
Consider potential alternatives to driving, such as riding with a friend, ride share services, or using public transit, which you can use to get around.

For more on the CDC’s recommendations for improving the safety of older drivers, visit their web site.

You may be shopping for car insurance for yourself or for a parent or other loved one. If you are looking for yourself, you want the best coverage at an affordable rate. If you are looking for a parent, you want to make sure they will be taken care of and covered in the event of an emergency.

These are all things you take into consideration when looking for insurance, no matter your age. You want to find a company that offers the best rates and that won’t leave you hanging if you need a repair or are involved in an accident.

We are going to focus on senior citizens and which company has the best rates and discounts.

You may also be wondering when you are getting a quote — am I a senior citizen? We will look at what ages qualify you to get the senior discounts and what you can do to make sure you are getting the best coverage and rates.

Need a quote now? Go ahead and enter your ZIP code here and check out the cheapest rates in your area.

Facts and Stats Regarding Car Insurance for Seniors

Do senior drivers get in more accidents than teens or other adults? We have some interesting statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, and we will also look at safe driving habits for seniors.

You can get a senior menu at Denny’s if you are over 55 years of age, but can you get a discount on your car insurance at that age?

We will take a look at that and more below.

How old are seniors in terms of senior car insurance?

Most companies have a set age of 55 years or older for a mature discount. We will take a look below at companies that offer senior, or mature, discounts for drivers.

Check with your company to verify the age at which you can apply the discount.

What are some traffic statistics regarding senior drivers?

Accidents happen, but do they happen more to senior drivers than others? Let’s take a look at some data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.

Involvement of the Older Population in Traffic Fatalities by Gender, 2006 and 2015

The table below shows how many older drivers were involved in fatal accidents for 2006 and 2015.

First, let’s take a look at all traffic accidents that involved older drivers:

Driver2006 TotalAge 65+Percentage of Total2015 TotalAge 65+Percentage of TotalTotal Percentage change from 2006 to 2015Age 65+
Total298380371640.12321419477610.150.080.29
Male146647157330.11158229210900.130.080.34
Female151733214310.14163190266710.160.080.24

Next, we’ll review the number of older drivers that were involved in fatal crashes:

Driver2006 TotalAge 65+Percentage of Total2015 TotalAge 65+Percentage of TotalTotal Percentage change from 2006 to 2015Age 65+
Total5784659960.14861364900.13-0.160.08
Male4222341600.13547246360.13-0.160.11
Female1475318340.121222018530.15-0.170.01

The table below shows how many older drivers were killed in auto accidents:

Driver2006 TotalAge 65+Percentage of Total2015 TotalAge 65+Percentage of TotalTotal Percentage change from 2006 to 2015Age 65+
Total2734837390.142215038580.17-0.190.03
Male2073225420.121714728000.16-0.170.1
Female661011950.18499410580.21-0.24-0.11

And finally, here are the total traffic fatalities that involved older drivers:

Driver2006 TotalAge 65+Percentage of Total2015 TotalAge 65+Percentage of TotalTotal Percentage change from 2006 to 2015Age 65+
Total4270860450.143509261650.18-0.180.02
Male2984935400.122489939050.16-0.170.1
Female1284225030.191016622580.22-0.21-0.1

Data shows there has been a decrease in fatalities overall in the older population of drivers.

Fatalities by State and Age Group

We looked at information comparing the older population in different years, but what about comparing the older population against younger drivers?

Let’s take a look at fatalities in all states separated by age groups.

StateTotal FatalitesFatalities
Age 65+
Percentage of TotalAge <40Age 40–64Age 65–69Age 70–74Age 75–79Age 80–84Age 85+Age Unknown
Alabama84912514.70%42629544221122263
Alaska651320.00%3220244300
Arizona89316518.50%38833643412431264
Arkansas5318415.80%25519029171210162
California3,17649415.60%1,5821,093152948372937
Colorado5469417.20%25120128261312150
Connecticut2664416.50%117105141073100
Delaware1261814.30%5652653220
Dist of Columbia23417.40%118111100
Florida2,93953918.30%1,2921,075148109898710633
Georgia1,43026018.20%67649288625523322
Hawaii941516.00%4234131643
Idaho2163717.10%99801396630
Illinois99819119.10%47133460312722512
Indiana82114818.00%36830535313225250
Iowa3207322.80%1411062011815190
Kansas3556618.60%16512426989140
Kentucky76111815.50%36327934351819121
Louisiana7269513.10%37725231231512142
Maine1563421.80%67554751080
Maryland5138917.30%23918425171514181
Massachusetts3067022.90%147872317131072
Michigan96318319.00%45532545412826430
Minnesota4119924.10%16514727172115190
Mississippi6779413.90%3372463523101790
Missouri86916619.10%41229144382830260
Montana2244017.90%117671893370
Nebraska2463514.20%12388936890
Nevada3255918.20%159107141514880
New Hampshire1142320.20%4348443570
New Jersey56212822.80%24119334242319280
New Mexico298360.121168941559430
New York1,12125122.40%48238255523939666
North Carolina1,37926919.50%63247770535447451
North Dakota1311713.00%7638461240
Ohio1,11022420.20%51037560525224361
Oklahoma64311017.10%3152182625252680
Oregon4477917.70%186182341712880
Pennsylvania1,20024220.20%53042775394541421
Rhode Island45511.10%2713121010
South Carolina97713313.60%48935545292716160
South Dakota1332115.80%5458864120
Tennessee95818118.90%42735061423422220
Texas3,51646213.10%1,8621,17313211691675619
Utah2765319.20%1378615156890
Vermont571221.10%1926522030
Virginia75314919.80%31928250322524183
Washington56812421.80%26118327332119240
West Virginia2684416.40%12110314117390
Wisconsin56613924.60%24218540192520350
Wyoming145117.60%7955523010
U.S. Total35,0926,16517.60%16,55312,2811,7991,3161,0699161,06593

The highest rate of fatalities is in the group of drivers 40 years of age and younger. You see a steady decline in fatalities as the age groups go higher. Once you reach 85 years and older, fatalities begin to increase.

Do seniors have a right to drive indefinitely?

If you are looking for great rates for a parent or other elderly loved one, you could be wondering how long they should drive. Or maybe you are looking for yourself and you are beginning to worry about your own driving skills.

As drivers age, memory, and vision loss become a concern. Often, medications taken can also cause alarm with side effects not conducive to driving.

But can the older population continue to drive? The answer is more complex than a simple yes or no. Each driver is unique in their own situation.

Constitutionally, the older population has the right to drive due to age discrimination laws. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 allows seniors to work without being discriminated against due to age; therefore, this is often used as an argument when seniors are faced with driving restrictions.

So while there are no set requirements prohibiting driving at a certain age, we strongly suggest that if you have concern over a loved one driving, please approach them with your concern.

What are some safe driving habits every senior should know?

Let’s take a look at some safe driving tips for seniors.

If you or your loved one is still driving, here are some great driving habits from Visiting Angels:

1. Get your eyesight and hearing checked. Ensure your vision is clear, that you are wearing the proper eyeglasses, and that you can adequately hear noises around you. Wear a hearing aid if necessary to ensure you can hear properly.

2. Consult with your doctor regarding medications and health conditions. Some medications and health concerns can affect your ability to drive safely. Talk with your physician to ensure there are no conflicts with the prescription drugs you are taking.

3. Get enough sleep. Ensuring you have a full night’s sleep will help you to be alert and aware as you drive.

4. Choose the right car. A car with automatic transmission, power steering, and brakes makes the work of driving easier.

5. Be a defensive driver. Today’s drivers have many more distractions than ever before. Cell phones, GPS, digital music players, and more make it difficult to concentrate on the road. Pay extra attention so you can avoid accidents.

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State Licensing Laws

Each state has laws governing how a driver renews their license. Factors include, but are not limited to, vision screening, the time between renewals, and in-person renewals.

Let’s take a look at how the older population renews their license and how it may be different than the rest of the population.

Curious about your state’s license renewal requirements?

States have strict guidelines in licensing requirements for teens, but their restrictions and requirements are not as strict for the older populations.

Different requirements include:

  • Stricter vision screening
  • Shorter renewal periods
  • In-person renewals

Find your state below and click to see the guidelines for your state.

Saving on Auto Insurance

Most don’t live the life of the rich and famous. We live on budgets and we want to save where we can. When shopping for your car insurance, remember to ask for discounts.

Most companies offer discounts to older drivers.

Do insurance companies give senior discounts?

Companies offer various discounts for customers. Adding a teen driver, purchasing a new vehicle, having good credit, and more can help you save on your car insurance.

Below is a brief list of two popular discounts seniors can use.

InsurerLow Mileage DiscountSenior Driver Discount
21st Centuryx
AAAx
Allstatexx
American Familyx
Amicax
Country Financialx
Esurancexx
Farmersxx
Geicox
Liberty Mutualx
MetLifexx
Nationwidex
Progressivex
Safecox
State Farmx
The Generalxx
The Hanoverxx
The Hartfordxx
Travelersx
USAAxx

Mature driver and low mileage are great discounts to inquire about when getting a quote.

What are some specific company discounts?

Let’s take a look at some specific companies and how they accommodate mature drivers with discounts.

Nationwide

Nationwide offers a Defensive Driver Discount for drivers over 55 years of age. Eligible drivers are required to take an approved safety course to receive the discount.

Farmers

Farmers insurance offers mature drivers a similar discount. Some states require drivers to be at least 65 years of age, while others have an age requirement of 55 years of age. Drivers must meet the required age and take an approved defensive driving course to qualify.

Allstate

Allstate offers a retired discount for eligible drivers. Drivers must be at least 55 years of age and not actively looking for work.

Geico

Geico offers older drivers a Prime Time Contract. This can be used for drivers over 50 years of age. This contract may not be available in all states. You must have a clean driving record and have no drivers under the age of 25 years of age living in the house.

Esurance

Esurance also offers a defensive driver discount. In most states, the driver must be 50 years of age or older. There are some states that have no age requirements.

How can senior citizens save on auto insurance?

The best way to make sure you are getting the cheapest rates for any driver is to shop for your insurance. Get quotes from various companies to make sure you are truly getting the best rate for your needs.

Communicate with your insurance agent as well. Let them know what type of coverage you are looking for to meet your specific needs. Shopping discounts can also add up. Don’t only ask for mature/senior driver discounts; there are many more that you may be eligible to receive.

What other factors affect the cost of senior car insurance?

Do seniors have more difficulty getting car insurance compared to other drivers?

State law requires all drivers to have car insurance, no matter the cost or how difficult it may be to find coverage. So is it harder for seniors to obtain car insurance?

Some older drivers may think it is harder to get insurance, but we found some interesting data to prove otherwise.

This information was taken from the Senior List website: “The fact is that the number of seniors killed in car crashes is on the decline, a fact that AARP indicates comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The number of seniors ages 70 and older killed in vehicle accidents decreased by 18 percent over the past several years.”

We suggest finding a company that gives the mature driver or senior discounts to lower your insurance rates.

Conclusion

Finding car insurance at any age can be a difficult task. As daily tasks become more automated, some seniors feel left behind and can be confused about their options when shopping for insurance.

We want to make this process as easy as possible. That is why we offer free, no-obligation quotes. Enter your ZIP code here to start getting cheaper rates for your car insurance.

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