Age can play a major role in how much your car insurance costs. Young drivers often see higher rates. But senior drivers can also have higher costs. In general, you may see a rise in your rates after the age of 60. Insurers also consider senior drivers to be “mature” and less accident-prone. Because of this, insurers may offer you a senior driver discount.
Some senior discounts apply only because you celebrated a birthday, though this is rare. In other cases, there are insurance discounts that cater to older people. This includes defensive driving, retirement, and safe driving discounts.
This article will tell you about all of the discounts that senior drivers can take advantage of. This includes why insurers offer discounts for senior drivers, even despite raising their rates when they reach an older age. You’ll learn about how to qualify for senior discounts. Finally, we’ll list major insurers that offer a senior driver discount.
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Discounts Can Help Seniors Counter a Rate Increase
Generally, insurance providers will raise your rates when you’re a senior driver. This is because, as people age, they’re more likely to get into an accident and file a claim. Mainly, it’s because of a decline in three areas:
- Cognitive abilities (dementia and other cognitive issues are common as people age)
- Motor function
The spike in senior drivers’ rates usually isn’t large, but any rise is worth noting. Despite this rise in cost, insurers consider older drivers to be mature because of their experience. This is one of the reasons why senior drivers can qualify for more discounts. Your age and years of driving experience can also help you get a discount. Discounts are the best way to counter the rise in your rates.
Types of Senior Discounts
There typically isn’t something called a senior driver discount to look for. Normally, insurers offer various discounts that cater to you if you’re a senior driver. Below is a list of common discounts that are especially useful for senior drivers:
Safe Driver Discount
Safe driver discounts are great for seniors. They can save you up to 40% on your insurance rates. The exact amount will depend on the insurer. You can usually get this discount if you maintain a record that’s ticket and accident-free for about five years. Avoid getting into accidents and filing claims to get this discount.
This discount is really easy for older drivers to get because they have more time to build a clean record. Older drivers also tend to make smarter decisions, which points toward a cleaner driving record.
Senior Defensive Driving Discount
As a senior driver, you can take steps to show insurers that you’re trying to be a safer driver. Some insurers offer a discount for seniors who take a defensive driving course. For this discount, you usually need to take a defensive driving course that your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles offers. Then you’ll be able to show a certificate of completion to your insurer.
To qualify for this discount, you’ll typically need to be at least 65 years of age (or 55 in some states). Then, the only step left is to take the driver’s education course that your insurer needs for the discount. Not all insurers provide this discount. Be sure to speak with your agent about whether they have this discount. They can also help you figure out how to get it.
Retired Government and Military Discount
Some insurers offer discounts for those who are former government employees or military service members. This type of discount is a good fit for seniors because they’re likely to be retired. Not all insurers offer this discount. It’s worth checking with your insurer if you’ve retired from a government job or military role.
You may also be able to get a military affiliation discount. This is where you save money just for being affiliated with the military in some way. The military discount can usually save you up to 15% on your auto rates.
Low Car Mileage Discount
It’s common for seniors to drive less. This is mainly because they’re often retired and don’t need to commute. If you are between 7,000 and 12,000 miles per year, you could be in line for a discount. Keep in mind that most insurers don’t offer a low mileage discount, but will lower your rates if your yearly mileage is low.
Customer Loyalty Discounts
Insurers will often reward you for being a loyal customer. This can take the form of carrying a policy with them for a long time. It can also mean buying more than one product from them. For instance, bundling your home and auto insurance with the same provider can get you a discount. Having multiple cars on one policy can also get you a discount.
These discounts will usually slash a big percentage off of your rates. The exact savings can vary. But as an example, GEICO claims that their customers can save up to 25% with a multi-vehicle discount.
Where to Get Senior Driver Discounts
Almost all insurers offer some form of senior driver discount to help you save money. Here’s a list of some top insurance companies that offer some or all of the discounts that we’ve outlined above:
- State Farm
- Liberty Mutual
- American Family
- NJM Insurance
You should be sure to speak with your agent about which discounts can help you if you’re a senior. Pretty much all discounts that insurers offer can help curb the rise in your rates because of your age. Your agent will be able to tell you exactly how much you can save if you qualify for any discounts. You can also find out how much you can save as a senior by requesting and comparing car insurance quotes from several companies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should seniors use pay-per-mile insurance?
A: Pay-per-mile or usage-based insurance is a good option for seniors. It’s common for seniors to not drive many miles. So, pay-per-mile insurance would make sure that you only pay for what you need. Companies like Metromile offer pay-per-mile insurance. But other top insurers offer their own programs as well. It would be a smart idea to compare prices between pay-per-mile and traditional insurers. To do this, you’ll need to get insurance quotes and find the best deal.
Q: Do senior citizens pay more for car insurance?
A: In general, senior citizens pay a bit more for car insurance than middle-aged drivers do. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), older drivers are at a higher risk of getting into accidents. They say that this is especially true for drivers who are 85 years and older. Because of this risk, insurers charge seniors more for their car insurance. Fortunately, you can take advantage of any senior driver discount to lower your costs.