Driving is like any other skill in that the more often you do it, the better you become at it. Unlike some activities where muscle memory eventually takes over, though, driving always requires a certain amount of cerebral input.
Thus, while adults with decades of experience typically make the best motorists, most senior citizens eventually struggle to respond to roadside hazards because cognitive functioning declines gradually with age. Conditions like arthritis can also make it hard for seniors to twist and turn when surveying their surroundings, and prescription medication can affect alertness and overall driving performance.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, older motorists have higher fatal crash rates per mile driven than any other demographic excluding new drivers. This is partly due to their frailty—seniors are less likely to recover from serious injuries—and partly due to the unique risks that aging poses when it comes to tasks like driving.
Do Seniors Pay More for Car Insurance?
Considering the challenges that seniors must contend with when behind the wheel, including reduced flexibility and slower reaction times, it is natural to assume that they pay more for auto insurance. In fact, after teenagers, seniors have some of the highest premiums.
According to Nasdaq, 16-year-old motorists have the most expensive insurance rates of any demographic. Fortunately, teenagers who follow the rules of the road and maintain a clean driving record can expect their premiums to decrease gradually with every passing year.
Barring any aggravating factors like DUI convictions, motorists will continue to see slightly reduced rates into their forties and fifties. The average premium increases somewhere between 55 and 65, though, and it continues to rise after that.
How Can Seniors Save on Car Insurance?
U.S. News reports that the average age of retirement is 62. As a result, most senior citizens are on a fixed income. And since people are living longer thanks to advancements in medical technology, it’s more important than ever to save money wherever possible.
Fortunately, there are dozens of ways seniors can save on car insurance. From shopping around for the best deals to seeking out discounts, it is worth trying everything in order to secure an affordable rate.
Read on to learn about some of the most effective ways older motorists can save on coverage:
1. Invest in Valuable Safety Features
Auto manufacturers come up with new innovative safety features every single year, and for a lot of senior citizens, it is worth upgrading their current vehicle to a newer model. Even if your insurance provider does not offer a discount for features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive lighting, having a car with such capabilities could help you avoid accidents, which will prevent higher premiums in the future.
2. Remind Your Insurance Provider of Your Employment Status
Unless you plan on buying an RV and touring the country upon retiring, you will probably end up driving a lot less once you stop working. According to ABC News, the average commuter drives 12,000 miles annually. For retirees, on the other hand, that figure is closer to 7,000.
If you drive a lot less now that you are retired, let your insurance provider know. Chances are it will result in a reduced rate.
3. Take a Driving Class
Everyone can benefit from taking a refresher course on safe driving. Ask your auto insurance provider for a list of approved classes in your area. After completing one successfully, you can get a discount on your premium.
In general, senior citizens can expect to pay a little more for car insurance than they did when they were younger; however, there are various ways to achieve discounted rates so their premiums remain affordable for as long as they continue to drive.