Who Has the Cheapest Car Insurance for Seniors?

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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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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

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: Jun 2, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • State Farm offers the cheapest car insurance rates for seniors in most states
  • At least 34 states mandate that drivers aged 55 or older who pass a driver safety test must be given a senior discount
  • Car coverage for seniors is determined on the assessment of risk

Aging doesn’t come without perks. There’s the financial security, the greater wisdom—and of course, the prospect of senior discounts on goods and services. 

When it comes to car insurance, however, the truth is that 65-year-olds often spend significantly more for coverage than their 55-year-old counterparts. In fact, despite causing far fewer fatal accidents than young drivers, seniors can see their auto insurance rates increase for no reason other than age.

While all’s fair in love and car insurance, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a plan that is comprehensive and offers affordable rates. 

Because of its size and customer service, State Farm offers the cheapest car insurance for seniors in most states. But that isn’t true across the board. Simply put, there just isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to finding the cheapest car insurance for seniors. That’s why we’ve assembled this guide on affordable car insurance for seniors.

Companies With Low Rates and Special Discounts

First things first: Geico, State Farm, and USAA tend to offer the cheapest car insurance rates across the board. As we’ve noted, State Farm is often the most affordable option for seniors. In contrast, USAA offers the best discounts for veterans. Finally, Geico offers low car insurance rates nationwide.

But keep in mind there are other companies that offer significant discounts for eligible seniors. 

The most important thing to do when shopping for car insurance, especially for seniors, is to compare rates and communicate your specific needs to an insurance agent. In doing so, you might discover that you’re eligible for specific perks related to your employment history, driving record, or age. For example, at least 34 states mandate that drivers aged 55 or older who pass a driver safety test must be given a senior discount on their auto insurance.

A handful of insurers actually provide car insurance discounts specifically designated for seniors, including:

  • 21st Century – 21st Century’s mature driver discount offers an average of 2% in savings for drivers aged 55 and older.
  • Allstate – Allstate offers up to 10% in savings for qualified drivers who are both retired and aged 55 or older.
  • Esurance – Esurance provides both a senior driver discount and a defensive driver discount for people aged 50 or older who complete a driver safety course.
  • Farmers – Farmers offers a senior defensive driver discount for drivers aged either 55 or older or 65 or older, depending on the state, who have completed a driver education course approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • The Hanover – The Hanover offers a defensive driver discount to drivers aged 55 and older who take a safety course with AARP.
  • The Hartford – The Hartford’s AARP Auto Insurance Program offers significant savings to eligible members aged 50 and up.

But many more insurers offer other perks available to seniors and other drivers, such as low mileage discounts, retired discounts, and defensive driver discounts. 

It’s important to compare these options before choosing the right car insurance plan for you or your loved one.

How Personal Driving History Affects Rates

Even if you and your neighbor are the same age, that doesn’t mean you’ll pay the same car insurance rate.

Like most insurance policies, automobile coverage for seniors is determined based on an assessment of risk. While it may seem unfair that seniors are charged more on average for coverage despite accounting for fewer fatal accidents and having presumably decades of experience behind the wheel, insurers typically determine their rates based on the higher risk of mental or physical impairment that accompanies the process of aging.

Other personal factors that affect your car insurance rate include:

  • Credit score – A higher credit score is associated with greater trustworthiness. If your score is less-than-ideal, keep in mind that some car insurers cater specifically to drivers with low credit scores.
  • Homeownership – Likewise, people who own their homes are considered less risky investments. You might also get a discount by bundling your car insurance with your homeowner’s insurance.
  • Location – Driving in urban areas can increase the risk of an accident. Insurers will consider the number of claims filed in your geographic area to determine your rate.
  • Driving record – Safe drivers with a clean driving record pay less for insurance than those with recent traffic violations and accidents on their records.
  • Car make and model – It’s less expensive to make repairs on an economy vehicle than on an antique luxury vehicle. This is reflected in your rate.
  • Gender – Despite accounting for fewer accidents, women pay more on average for car insurance than men. While this is certainly not fair, this disparity can actually prove beneficial to senior women, who are statistically more likely to be eligible for safe driving discounts.
  • Who else is on the policy – If you’re sharing your family auto insurance policy with a high-risk driver—whether a teenager or a loved one with a recent DUI—their driving record could be the main factor driving up rates. Look for insurers who can offer the best rate for all covered drivers.

After taking a look at such factors as your age, gender, marital status, credit score, and driving record, an insurer might offer you car insurance discounts for safe driving, company loyalty, purchasing a bundle plan, or even owning multiple vehicles. 

Check with an agent and be sure to give them as much personal information as possible in order to take advantage of as many deals as you can.

Comparing Costs to Get the Right Rate

Don’t settle for the first car insurance quote you get. Compare it with other offers in order to make sure you’re optimizing both your own specific discount qualifications and the unique options each insurer has to offer to seniors looking for car insurance.

By comparing costs, you can make the best and most informed decision based on your own needs. We understand that shopping for insurance can be both difficult and time-consuming, but we promise that patience is key.

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What Can Older Drivers Do to Lower Costs?

Beyond taking advantage of the discounts mentioned above, senior drivers can make use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guide on transportation safety, which provides handy advice and simple steps for ensuring safety on the road.

In addition to such universal precautions for drivers as wearing a seatbelt, avoiding unsafe conditions, and never operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the CDC suggests that older drivers follow these steps to drive safely:

  • Use routine exercise and a healthy diet to keep yourself strong and agile
  • Check with your pharmacist about any side effects from medication
  • Get your vision checked once a year and wear glasses or contacts if necessary
  • Plan your route with safety in mind and try to learn it in advance
  • Don’t tailgate the car in front of you
  • Avoid distractions such as cell phone use or eating food while driving
  • Use rideshare services or public transit whenever possible

While most of these steps are important for any driver to follow, they are even more crucial for seniors. Not only will they keep you and others safe, but they will also help you to keep your car insurance cost down by taking advantage of any relevant driver safety discounts you might find while comparing car insurance quotes.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that your car’s safety features, such as airbags and alarm systems, are both up to date and functional.

Deciding When to Hang up the Keys

If your main goal is reducing costs, you might also consider whether you want to maintain the costs of owning and operating a car at all.

Fortunately, the Constitution protects seniors from age-based discrimination. This applies most commonly with employment disputes, but also often extends to seniors who face driving restrictions. 

What this means, however, is that seniors and their loved ones must make an informed decision regarding their ability to drive safely. While this might be difficult for those who see driving as an essential aspect of their independence, it is certainly something that should be considered at some point for any driver.

The good news is that there’s never been a better time to take advantage of public transportation of ridesharing services. Additionally, there’s no sense in paying for car insurance as a senior if you no longer operate a vehicle!

Find the Right Policy With Car Insurance Comparison

With car insurance and with life, the right decision is often the most difficult one to make. That certainly applies when it comes to comparing rates to ensure you get the right coverage and a competitive price for car insurance, either for yourself as you age or for a loved one. 

With so many factors to consider, it’s important to do as much research as possible to find who has the cheapest car insurance for seniors. That means comparing rates and coverage options for large national chains like State Farm, USAA, and Geico alongside local and regional options.

The easiest way to see your rates is Car Insurance Comparison’s free online tool. Just input your personal information and view rates side-by-side. That way, you’re sure to take advantage of all discounts to find the right insurance provider for you and your family.

Sources: 

Forbes. Here Are Factors That Affect Your Car Insurance Rates. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/factors-in-rates/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Older Adult Drivers. https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/older_adult_drivers/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fmotorvehiclesafety%2Folder_adult_drivers%2Findex.html 

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