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 University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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®

UPDATED: Oct 5, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Having a clean driving record helps car insurance rates of older drivers decrease
  • Usually, insurance rates will decrease three to five years after an accident
  • Having a DUI/DWI conviction will likely result in high insurance premiums

The cost of insurance is an expensive part of owning and driving a car, especially for young male drivers under the age of 25 who pay the highest average rates among all drivers on the road.

Female drivers with a clean record will not see as big a decrease in their insurance as their male counterparts, because, in most cases, they are not considered high-risk drivers.

But for both men and women, rate decreases after an accident, violation, or DUI/DWI conviction are another matter entirely.

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Table of Contents

When does car insurance go down if I have a clean record?

If you’re a young male driver, expect your insurance rates to remain high until the age of 25.

Male drivers between 16 and 25 represent the highest risk of accidents to insurance companies, so their premiums are significantly higher. At age 25, male drivers enter an insurance pool made up of men who are up to 49 years old, and who represent a lower risk of accidents.

Drivers between the ages of 50 and 75 represent the lowest risk, so the typical male will see another rate drop at age 50.

Other factors can play a significant part in reducing the insurance rate of high-risk drivers.

For instance, most people don’t know that married males are much less likely to have accidents or violations than their single counterparts.

Getting married before age 25 will lower your car insurance cost in most cases, albeit not as significantly as turning 25.

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When does car insurance go down after an accident?

When a driver makes an accident claim, his insurance company will rate the accident based on several criteria including:

  • Who is at fault
  • Whether recklessness or negligence was involved
  • Whether a violation or crime such as DUI occurred

For a serious accident where recklessness or negligence is part of the equation, your rates will go up significantly.

For minor at-fault accidents, you may only see a slight surcharge rather than a rate hike.

In all these scenarios, remember that each insurance carrier is different.

On average, car insurance rates come down three to five years after an accident.

Accidents and violations are recorded consecutively, meaning they are stacked on top of another as they occur.

Most car insurance companies allow the ones at the bottom of the stack to expire and be dropped off your driving record after three years or more. However, some companies ignore this practice.

When does car insurance come down after a DUI/DWI?

In the case of a DUI/DWI conviction, your car insurance policy will probably be canceled if you are involved in an accident.

For you, it’s not a matter of when does car insurance come down but rather an issue of having to purchase special high-risk insurance.

High-risk insurance is more costly because you have proven to be an inherent risk behind the wheel. You will be forced into this high-risk pool as long as the DUI/DWI remains on your record which, in some states, can be as long as 10 years.

If you are convicted of DUI/DWI where no accident is involved, your insurance company may not decide to cancel your policy, but your rates will still go up.

The typical rate increase lasts a minimum of three years and also puts the driver on a probation of sorts.

Future accidents or violations during a probationary period will almost always result in cancellation of a policy and the forcing of the driver into the high-risk pool.

Reducing Car Insurance Rates

Because car insurance rates are primarily dependent upon the amount of risk a driver presents, the best way to keep your car insurance premiums low is to avoid becoming part of a high-risk pool.

Obviously, you can’t do anything about your age, but you can drive safely and legally at all times, keeping your insurance rates as low as possible.

In a nutshell, you can help your car insurance go down by being the safest driver you can be.

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Does car insurance get cheaper with age?

  • The standard age at which car insurance premiums decrease is 25
  • Though you may be under 25, there are ways you can lower your premiums based on your driving record and your performance in school
  • Insurance rates have a tendency to increase again once an individual reaches the age of retirement

Although there is no law stating at what age car insurance rates are lowered, for most insurance companies, the age is 25.

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Different ages signify different milestones, but to an insurance company, the age 25 signifies responsibility.

At 18, you are still a teenager–young and inexperienced. At 21, you are legally allowed to drink, but you may still make poor choices about drinking and driving.

Of course, many adults in various age ranges are not responsible drivers; however, the insurance companies need some sort of standard to classify young drivers and experienced drivers so that they can adjust car insurance premiums accordingly.

At age 25, you are probably working or attending college, and you may already be married.

The more responsibility you have, the more you can expect to save on your car insurance premium.

Getting Car Insurance for a Young Driver

As soon as a young driver is ready to sit behind the wheel, it is time to get insurance.

You most likely will not be able to insure a young driver on a policy by himself. Since age is one significant factor that determines a person’s car insurance premium, most insurance companies will not issue a car insurance policy to anyone who is under 25.

However, you can add almost anyone to your existing policy.

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In order to add a young person to your car insurance policy, you need to contact your insurance company.

They need to know the name and age of the driver and the relationship between the new addition to the policy and the policyholder.

Your policy most likely bans all drivers under the age of 25 from your car insurance coverage.

In order to have someone explicitly covered, he or she needs to be named on the policy. This allows that specific young adult to be covered by your insurance policy as an exception.

While this allows your teenager or young adult driver to be covered by your policy, it does not allow any other drivers under the age of 25 to be covered.

It is imperative that your young driver does not allow anyone else to drive your car, even if they have their own insurance policy.

Reducing Car Insurance for a Young Driver

Young drivers are not considered to be the most responsible because of their age and inexperience.

However, some young drivers are very responsible and are able to lower their car insurance premiums as a result.

  • One of the most common ways to reduce car insurance for a young driver is to prove the student receives good grades. Most car insurance companies give Good Student Discounts to reward students for being responsible in school.
  • Driving safely may not help you reduce your premiums any further, but it keeps your premiums from increasing. Following the rules of the road is a great way to keep your premiums low.

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How Age Affects Car Insurance

As you can see from above, 25-years-old is the age a person’s car insurance rates go down in most instances.

By the time you turn 25, you may have graduated college, gotten married, started a family, and most likely began a career. Responsibility tends to accompany the aging process, resulting in a decrease in insurance premiums.

You also probably have 9 or 10 years of driving experience by the time you turn 25.

Since experience is one of the best teachers, especially when it comes to driving, your car insurance goes down at this point. Of course, this is only the case if you have a good driving record.

If you maintain a good driving record and avoid moving violations and insurance claims, your insurance premiums can continue to decrease as you age.

However, once you become a senior driver, you may see a rise in your insurance premiums.

This is because there are several medical conditions that seniors are more prone to, such as heart attacks and strokes. Also, reflexes may be slower, affecting reaction times.

Vision and hearing can also impact a senior’s driving ability. Senior drivers are considered a risk just as young drivers are, thus car insurance rates increase.

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References:

  1. http://strandinsurance.com/getting-married-affects-your-insurance/
  2. http://www.urbelislaw.com/operating-a-motor-vehicle-to-endanger-negligent-or-reckless-oper.html
  3. https://www.statefarm.com/insurance/auto/resources/high-risk-auto-insurance
  4. http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/dui-and-dwi/elements-a-dui-case/dui-dwi-dwai-per-se.htm
  5. http://www.iii.org/article/nine-ways-to-lower-your-auto-insurance-costs