Over-80 Car Insurance

Insurance for seniors can increase with age. There are many reasons why insurance rates go up, with age being one of them. You can mitigate high costs by getting insurance quotes, or by taking safe driving courses.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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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. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • According to research, drivers older than 80 have higher accident rates than other senior drivers, but not by a huge margin
  • Car insurance rates for senior drivers start to increase after the age of 60.
  • Comparison shopping and applying for discounts can help senior drivers lower their car insurance rates

Usually, more driving experience leads to lower car insurance rates. But does car insurance go up after age 80?

Many people who are fortunate enough to reach the age of 80 do not have the faculties they used to. Reflexes are slower, and vision and hearing worsen with age. For these reasons, over-80 car insurance rates sometimes do increase.

When you look at average car insurance rates by age and gender, it’s clear that age groups more at risk of causing accidents receive higher quotes. That includes teenagers and senior drivers. In this guide, we cover the reasons why car insurance increases for drivers over the age of 80, as well as what to do should insurance costs become too much.

If you’re a customer who needs to look at insurers to find a better rate, we offer a free online comparison tool that can help you. Enter your five-digit ZIP code into the box and you’ll be able to compare both companies and prices.

How much is car insurance for seniors over 80?

Everybody in the over-80 car insurance demographic is different. There are some seniors who are as sharp as some 50 or 60-year-old drivers. However, after a certain point in life, the risk of injuring someone on the road multiplies.

For seniors over 80, the driving risk is similar to a teen driver on the road. According to a study at Carnegie Mellon University, 75 to 84-year-old accident-related deaths are equal to that of teenagers. After age 85, that ratio is four times higher than teen drivers.

However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that the fatality rate for senior drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents has decreased by 15 percent since 1997.

So, does car insurance go up at age 80? Unfortunately, even experienced drivers over that age threshold see a slight increase in rates compared to 60-year-old and 70-year-old drivers.

Senior Driver Monthly Car Insurance Rates
Driver DetailsMonthly Car Insurance Rates
60-year-old female$169.83
60-year-old male$137.74
65-year-old female$158.30
65-year-old male$136.99
70-year-old female$156.21
70-year-old male$134.92
75-year-old female$214.30
75-year-old male$221.82
80-year-old female$214.16
80-year-old male$221.66
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Unlike 17-year-old car insurance rates, which are substantially higher than average, auto insurance rates for seniors are more reasonable despite the fact that some senior drivers are at times equally high-risk on the road. They are still more experienced, which is generally looked at as being a safe driver for insurance purposes.

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How to Save on Over-80 Car Insurance Policies

The most affordable car insurance for drivers over 80 will change depending on where you live and what your driving record looks like. We suggest performing a car insurance comparison for older drivers to find your lowest rates.

Seeking out discounts is another great way to get the best car insurance for seniors, though you may not be able to find a specific senior discount. Generally discounts are offered for things such as a clean driving record, or whether a driver has proven their safety with a safe driving course. Looking at a list of car insurance discounts can help in finding the lowest rates on the market.

Fortunately, there is no limitation on the number of carriers who offer over-80 car insurance policies. As long as the purchaser is able to maintain premiums, there is no restriction on insurers.

AAA and AARP are strong proponents of helping seniors maintain their independence with safe driving courses and programs. For this reason, AARP car insurance for seniors through The Hartford is one of the most recommended choices for those over the age of 80.

Participation in safety driving programs through senior connections not only helps to save in premiums, but they also help to lessen the number of accidents.

Since most seniors drive less distance in older vehicles, over-80 car insurance policyholders can also save by decreasing the amount of coverage they need or getting low-mileage car insurance discounts. This may not be advisable should you still drive long distances, and it’s ill-advised to drop coverage on vehicles belonging to high-risk drivers.

You may also want to discuss with your insurance company to see if they offer discounts for protecting your vehicle against theft with tools such as alarms, disabling devices, tracking systems, or getting the VIN number etched onto the windshield.

It’s also advisable to pay for more out of pocket in the event of an accident or other repair needs if you can afford to do so. Having a higher deductible may help to decrease your monthly premium.

Another consideration is to bundle your car insurance with any other insurance needs, such as renter’s or homeowner’s insurance.

Over-80 Car Insurance Industry Policy

The insurance industry is in the business to sell insurance to any and everyone who is willing and able to purchase it. The recent stand on the issue is that senior liability is less than that of teens.

Many seniors exercise self-regulation when it comes to deciding when it is time to give up driving independence.

The insurance industry does not want to engage in age discrimination, and therefore, does not promote placing restrictions on drivers whom they believe to be more responsible than the teen demographic.

Senior premiums are only slightly higher than the average rate. The over-80 car insurance crowd still pays less than teen drivers.

DMV Policies on Drivers Over 80 Years Old

The position that state legislators, such as former senator Tom Hayden of California, promote is to have the DMV require more frequent renewals with vision and road tests after a certain age. The problem is the issue of age discrimination which is upheld by senior advocates like AARP.

The following table shows the various mandates for license renewals by state.

License Renewal Requirements by State
StateLicense Renewal Requirements
Alabama4 years regardless of age.
Alaska5 years. Age 69 and older must visit DMV for in-person renewal.
ArizonaLicenses expire on the 65th birthday. Age 65 and older renew every 5 years, with a vision test. Age 70 and older must renew in person.
Arkansas4 years regardless of age.
California5 years. Age 70 and older must renew in person and take a written exam and an eye exam.
Colorado10 years. Age 61 must then renew every 5 years. Age 66 and over must provide certification of an eye exam if renewing by mail.
Connecticut6 years regardless of age.
Delaware8 years regardless of age.
District of Columbia8 years. Age 70 and older must renew in person and provide a doctor’s certificate stating they are fit to drive.
Florida8 years until age 80, then renew every 6 years. Age 80 and over must pass an eye exam.
Georgia8 years until age 59, then renew every 5 years. Age 64 and older must also pass an eye exam.
Hawaii8 years until age 72, then renew every 2 years.
Idaho8 years until age 64, then renew every 4 years.
Illinois4 years. Age 75 and older must take a road test and vision test. Age 87 and older renew annually.
Indiana6 years until age 75, then every 3 years.
Iowa5 years until age 70, then every 2 years.
Kansas6 years until age 65, then every 4 years with an eye exam.
Kentucky4 years regardless of age.
Louisiana4 years. Age 70 and older must renew in person.
Maine6 years until age 65, then every 4 years. At age 40 an eye exam is required every other renewal until age 62, then an eye exam is required at every renewal.
Maryland5 years. Age 75 and older must renew in person and have an eye exam.
Massachusetts4 years regardless of age.
Minnesota4 years regardless of age.
Mississippi6 years regardless of age.
Missouri6 years, until age 70, then every 3 years.
Montana8 years until age 75, then every 4 years.
Nebraska5 years. Age 72 and older must renew in person.
Nevada4 years. Age 71 and older must renew in person or provide doctor’s certification to renew by mail.
New Hampshire5 years regardless of age.
New Jersey4 years regardless of age.
New Mexico8 years until age 67, then every 4 years. Age 75 and older renew annually. Drivers of all ages must take a vision test with each renewal.
New York8 years regardless of age.
North Carolina8 years until age 66, then every 5 years.
North Dakota6 years until age 78, then every 4 years.
Ohio4 years regardless of age.
Oklahoma4 years regardless of age.
Oregon8 years. Age 50 and older must take a vision test with each renewal.
Pennsylvania4 years regardless of age.
Rhode Island5 years until age 75, then renew every 2 years.
South Carolina10 years until age 65, then every 5 years. Vision test required for age 65 and older.
South Dakota5 years regardless of age.
Tennessee5 years regardless of age.
Texas6 years until age 85, then every 2 years. Age 79 and older must renew in person.
Utah5 years regardless of age.
Vermont4 years regardless of age.
Virginia8 years until age 80, then must renew in person and pass an eye exam.
Washington5 years until age 65, then must renew in person.
West Virginia5 years regardless of age.
Wisconsin8 years regardless of age.
Wyoming4 years regardless of age.
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The DMV allows driver’s license renewal by mail every five to six years in most states regardless of your age. Only a handful of states require renewals every two to four years for seniors over the age of 65.

Only three states require drivers over the age of 75 to show up in person for renewals or require road tests. About 16 states require vision tests.

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Restrictions and Penalties for Drivers Over 80 Years Old

Should the over-80 car insurance demographic be assessed yearly for driver’s license renewal? Some people are pushing for more driving restrictions, but who is in the position to establish an age when senior drivers should lose driving privileges?

You can report a person whom you believe to be unfit for the road. Law enforcement, physicians, family, or friends can contact DMV and request a reevaluation of anyone they believe to be a danger to themselves and others.

Recently, Florida experienced issues with accidents involving seniors who received a slap on the wrist for fatal car crashes. Other states also reported climbing numbers in incidents of this nature.

Nobody wants to throw an 80-year-old in jail for manslaughter, but families are losing loved ones and are speaking out as a result.

On the other hand, some studies have shown that losing your license as a senior driver can actually be detrimental to your overall health.

Should insurance carriers, state legislators, or DMV take a stand, or should it be left up to the family to say when their loved one is no longer fit to drive? Currently, who takes responsibility for the changes that happen as we age is still up in the air.

However, senior drivers usually realize it is time to surrender their car keys after a serious accident takes place.

Restrictions may be placed on the small percentages that have to take vision and road tests. Some of those restrictions include:

  • Daytime driving only
  • No highway driving
  • Refraining from driving during rush hour
  • Mandatory right side mirror
  • Area restrictions
  • Mandatory driving aids

These restrictions, albeit mandatory, are not highly regulated. If you know you have a restriction, it would be advisable to adhere to them every time you are behind the wheel.

If you are diagnosed with a medical condition that could affect your driving, it should be reported to your insurance company. While this could increase your monthly premium, you don’t want to be given a fine or be prosecuted if you are in an accident caused by your condition. You also want to ensure that your driving skills are still sharp. Affordable rates aside, you don’t want to put anyone at risk by not reporting your restrictions.

Age is a serious consideration when it comes to driving, and drivers should take it seriously as well. Making sure that you are not a high-risk driver, keeping your driving skills sharp and safe, as well as ensuring you have the proper coverage, can keep everyone on the road safe.

Don’t forget about our comparison tool, which will help you to compare quotes and find the cheapest car insurance from various companies.

  1. https://www.iihs.org/topics/older-drivers

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