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If you’re looking for cheap car insurance for senior citizens, you’ve probably noticed that there are dozens of companies vying for your business. So how can you separate the wheat from the chaff to find the best policy for your needs?
To help you save time, our team compared car insurance quotes from nine top providers to help you find low cost auto insurance for seniors. In the table below, you will find the results of our study:
|Massachusetts||Plymouth Rock Assurance|
|New Hampshire||State Farm|
|New Mexico||State Farm|
|New York||State Farm|
|North Dakota||State Farm|
|South Dakota||State Farm|
|Washington DC||State Farm|
|West Virginia||State Farm|
FAQs About Cheap Car Insurance for Seniors
Are Older Adults More Likely to Be Involved in Car Accidents?
No. Although the risk of being involved in a fatal crash starts to increase when drivers reach the age 70 to 74, that fact is attributed to a higher vulnerability to fatal injuries rather than a reduction in driver performance. However, any age-related reduction in vision or cognitive performance could increase a driver’s risk of being involved in a collision.
What Can Senior Citizens Do to Reduce Their Risk of Being Involved in a Car Accident?
The following steps will help older adults reduce their risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident:
- Exercise regularly
- Undergo regular vision tests
- Do not take medications that cause drowsiness before driving
- Avoid driving in poor weather
- Try to drive only on well-lit roads
- Maintain a safe following distance at all times
What Are Some Medical Conditions That Could Affect an Older Adult’s Driving Performance?
The following medical conditions could affect a senior citizen’s performance behind the wheel:
- Macular Degeneration
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Alzheimer’s Disease
How Can Senior Drivers Save On Car Insurance?
Unfortunately, even if you have a clean driving record, it is likely that your insurance premium will increase once you reach 65-70 years old. Insurers consider senior citizens to be a higher risk group because of factors like increased medical conditions and decreased reaction times. There are some things you can do, however, to make sure your premiums don’t soar too high.
One of the best things you can do to show insurers you’re serious about road safety is taking a driver improvement course for senior citizens. These classes are like the defensive driving classes you’ve likely taken over the years, but they’re tailored specifically toward issues aged drivers may face. They also provide information on technological advances like cruise control and lane-departure warning systems. Many insurance companies reward participants for keeping their skills sharp by offering discounts.
Another way to save is to show off your skills. A lot of companies offer an option for drivers to install a diagnostic test that tracks how good of a driver you are. You can save money for things like when and where you drive and how well you handle the car. Minimizing hard braking and sudden accelerations or decelerations can have a huge payoff.
Additionally, if you know you’ve begun to limit your driving, you should let your insurer know. The less you drive, the less risk you pose and the less chance you’ll get into an accident. Look around for limited or low mile discounts. Qualifications may vary.
Can Seniors Opt to Not Carry Car Insurance?
It’s illegal to drive without some form of car insurance in all 50 states for everyone. Insurance is designed to protect drivers in the event of a crash by reducing the resulting financial burden. Not having it is a risk to yourself, your fellow drivers, and the community at large. Penalties and conditions differ among states, but typically, being caught without it could result in heavy fines, points on your license, and even jail time.
What Does it Mean to be a “Fault” or “No Fault” State?
In the aftermath of a car crash, drivers will quickly see one topic rise to the forefront of the discussion: money. Specifically, the problem is who is going to pay for the damages sustained in the incident. The United States is currently divided on the issue. The two current factions are “fault” and “no fault.”
Fault states require whoever is determined to have caused the accident to pay. Multiple people can be found to be responsible if multiple people can be determined negligent, and the percentage they have to pay depends on the degree of responsibility. This more traditional approach is also more likely to come with more affordable insurance coverage options. If a driver cannot pay, however, he or she can be sued.
As the name suggests, no one is at fault for a crash in no fault states. Instead, insurance companies provide all of the support crash victims need without making them go through hoops to prove they didn’t cause the incident. Victims also can’t be sued except in extreme cases, like death. While this is extremely beneficial if a crash does happen, it also means higher insurance premiums and increased coverage requirements. This is also known as personal injury protection, or PIP.
Currently, 18 states are no fault and the rest are fault. Kentucky, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania offer citizens the opportunity to choose which system they prefer and acquire insurance accordingly.
Senior Citizens and Distracted Driving
While technology has done much to improve driver safety, it could also prove to be a huge distraction. Anything that takes your eyes away from the road, from texting to brushing your hair, is a liability that is putting yourself and those around you at risk. Losing concentration for even a few seconds could have devastating consequences.
Senior drivers are less likely than their younger counterparts to text behind the wheel, but they are still susceptible. A 2017 study conducted at the Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety (TREDS) program at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine found that 60 percent of seniors surveyed spoke on the phone while driving. It also found that senior citizens may have a skewed sense of their ability to multitask. To avoid the temptation to answer the phone, consider leaving your phone somewhere out of reach and on silent so it doesn’t startle you if it rings. Let friends and family know before you leave so they don’t bother you while you’re driving. You should also plan a route in advance so you don’t have to constantly refer to a map or GPS and so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Paying attention to the road should be your only priority when you’re in the driver’s seat. Besides endangering others, unsafe driving could also lead to increased insurance premiums. If you really need to take a call, look up directions, or do anything other than drive, make sure you pull over to a safe area and come to a complete stop first.
Senior Citizens and Driving Under the Influence
Typically, as people get older, they also begin to experience an increase of medical conditions. This could lead to a variety of new medication regimens, which in turn could impact driver safety. You may not realize it, but certain medications could make you drowsy, slow your reaction time, and increase your chance of getting into a crash. Even if it doesn’t result in an accident, your erratic driving could attract the attention of law enforcement and could lead to penalties, fines, or suspensions, among other consequences. It could also lead to raised insurance premiums, if your insurer doesn’t drop you for the DUI charge.
You should consult with your doctor about how any new medication will affect your ability to drive before you get behind the wheel.
License Renewals for Senior Citizens
The requirements for license renewals vary state to state, but senior citizens should pay special attention. Many states alter the rules once a driver reaches a certain age to ensure they remain fit enough to drive. For example, in California, drivers 70 and older must renew in person instead of online or via mail so they can take a written exam and an eye test. Hawaii mandates that drivers 72 and older renew their licenses every two years instead of the standard eight for younger drivers, and in Nevada, drivers older than 70 must include a doctor’s note and a vision-screening report if they want to renew via mail.
Check the laws where you live to make sure everything is up to date with your license renewal and that you meet all the requirements. Getting caught with an expired license can lead to fines, points on your record, a vehicle impoundment, and most likely raised insurance rates. If you get into an accident with an expired license, insurance companies have the right to deny coverage because you were operating your car illegally.
Seat Belts and Senior Citizens
Everyone in a moving vehicle should wear a seat belt, including senior citizens. Even though many of today’s elderly drivers predate seat belt laws, they are still an important part of keeping the roads safe. They have proven to be highly effective at minimizing injuries and saving lives, so make putting them on a habit. Drivers are also responsible for making sure kids and all other passengers are buckled up. Penalties for infractions vary between states, but the most common are fines or points on your record.
Useful Facts and Statistics for Senior Drivers
- The number of drivers age 65 and older reached 40 million in 2015. That marks a 50% increase compared to 1999.
- Older drivers between the ages 65 and 74 are more likely to wear their seat belts than younger adults. Senior citizens are also less likely than younger adults to drive in poor weather conditions.
- There is a lower incidence of alcohol-related accidents among senior drivers compared to young adult drivers.