Senior Driver Discount
If you're a senior driver, you may qualify for one or more car insurance discounts not available to younger motorists. The amount you can save differs from one insurance company to another, but once you enter the "mature" age group it's worth researching how much you can shave off your premiums while maintaining your current coverage.
What Is a Senior Driver Discount?
Drivers age 65 and older accounted for 17.4 percent of the people on the road in 2013. For insurance companies, this means seniors make up a significant portion of their clients.
Also called "mature drivers," seniors have more experience behind the wheel than teens and younger adults, a major reason for senior driver discounts. The age at which you can qualify for a reduction in your premiums isn't the same for every company, but you should be eligible by the time you're 55 years old.
Other factors, such as driving habits and the number of miles you travel per year, come into play when insurance companies consider how much of an auto insurance discount to offer. In some cases, you may be able to enjoy compound savings by qualifying for more than one discount.
Savings on Car Insurance for Seniors
To save the maximum amount of money on your car insurance premiums, look into these potential discounts:
- Mature driver—Achieving senior status usually means getting 10% off your current rates.
- Some insurers will give you the same discount when you retire, even if you haven't yet reached the discount's qualifying age.
- Low mileage—When you get older, you tend to drive less because you're not commuting to a job every day, meaning your car insurance carrier can offer you lower premiums.
- Conversely, some people plan on traveling MORE when they're older because they don't have to devote their time to a 9 to 5 job; if this sounds like you, you may need to prepare for an increase in your insurance rates.
- Defensive driving classes—Taking a defensive driving class can save you between 5% and 15% on insurance premiums.
- Insurance companies view taking classes as a responsible way for drivers to stay current with their skills.
- Senior club or organization membership—Belonging to a group such as AARP or the Seniors Coalition can mean paying less for insurance.
- Some organizations offer defensive or safe driving classes to increase the available discount.
- Retired military service member—This discount honors those who have served in the military and are now enjoying a well-deserved retirement.
Your insurance company can give you the particulars on qualification and the total reduction in rates you're able to receive. If another company has the potential to provide you with more savings while offering the same level of coverage, it may be time to consider making a switch.
Qualifying for Your Discount
Some insurance discounts, such as those granted when you reach a "mature" age, don't require any special action on your part. Others are only issued if your driving habits improve when you become a senior.
Pay attention to your mileage, and consider taking classes to brush up on the rules of the road. Years of driving can sometimes lead to sloppy habits, which could disqualify you from certain senior discounts. Becoming aware of and correcting these mistakes makes you a safer driver, and insurance companies are more than happy to compensate clients who take steps to reduce risks out on the road.
If you feel you may qualify for a discount, call your agent to discuss your options. You may discover you're eligible for discounts you didn't know about. Your agent may also be able to give you information regarding driving classes in the area or groups they partner with to provide savings for older drivers.
Keep Up with Safe Driving Habits
Since several senior driver discounts are related to proficiency behind the wheel, having sharp skills is a big factor in your ability to save money.
Drivers in their late 70s have accident rates close to those of drivers in their 20s, and people over age 85 have the highest rates of injury from auto accidents.
These statistics mean as you get older, you'll need to take extra steps to prove your proficiency as a driver. Making safety a priority does ultimately lower your premiums, but also ensures you and others on the road are protected from avoidable mishaps.
As you get older, pay attention to changes in your eyesight and reaction time. Get regular eye exams, including when you renew your driver's license, and talk to your doctor if you begin to experience symptoms of a medical condition with the potential to impact your driving abilities. As long as you stay sharp and maintain a clean bill of health, you can continue to drive and take advantage of the applicable car insurance discounts.
Maturity, experience, safety, and yearly driving mileage can all contribute toward senior auto insurance savings. Check with your provider to see which discounts are available to you, and take the necessary steps to qualify. Year-over-year savings can add up, allowing you to put more money towards the people and activities you love.