Car Insurance for Seniors: What You Need to Know

Getting appropriate coverage and saving a few dollars along the way are good priorities when shopping for car insurance for seniors.

Smiling senior woman driving a car and wearing a hatShutterstock

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Car insurance may have been a part of your life for decades already, but as you age, it is worth revisiting whether your car insurance is still serving you fully. Life changes such as driving less or choosing a different car that is more comfortable and safe can prompt you to reevaluate your options. When shopping for car insurance for seniors, a little additional research may offer you more or better coverage than you currently have.

What to Know About Car Insurance for Seniors

The statistics show that senior citizen drivers are typically a very safe group to insure. This seems to be due to a combination of being highly experienced drivers and being at an age where impulsivity and aggressive driving are less common. Of course, individual drivers vary from the averages, but this often bodes well when obtaining insurance quotes for seniors.

That being said, driving safely can become more of a challenge after certain points, and this is mostly associated with health conditions ranging from eyesight to stiff joints. Kaiser Permanente points out that drivers age 70 and older are more likely to experience traffic accidents than other age brackets, besides drivers under 25 years old. In addition, age can increase injury recovery time and the chance of fatality for those 70 or older if they are involved in a car crash. So, it's worth taking as many precautions as possible.

Find a Car That Feels Comfortable and Safe

One of the major ways that you can improve your experience as a driver is to own a car that maximizes your comfort and safety. Car insurers do pay attention to how often a vehicle is in wrecks and the degree of their severity, so some cars may have lower insurance rates. However, be careful about picking a car loaded with advanced safety features just for the insurance savings. Some of those features can make the rare accidents the car experiences actually more expensive to repair.

Some cars are going to feel uncomfortable, and that discomfort can translate into less awareness and confidence when behind the wheel. Luckily, many cars have adjustments available that can improve these issues. In addition, there are programs — such as Car Fit — that help to educate older drivers about how their cars can adapt to fit them well.

Work With a Friend or Family Member to Get Online Quotes

There is a big range in internet usage among senior citizens, from people who've been building computers in their basements for decades to those who simply opt out of digital communication altogether. If you aren't particularly confident about using the internet, or if you have a relative who is in this situation, it could be worthwhile to sit down with someone who can help with an online search for car insurance for seniors.

Both insurers and aggregation sites have made it easier and faster to compare insurance quotes online by showing how different coverage options and policies will affect your costs. Because the calculations are all made online, you don't have to write to or call an agent, wait for their response, and continue from there. With online quotes and comparisons, it is typically easier to get a big-picture idea of your options than it was in the past via phone and in-person meetings.

If you or a family member are a little leery of entering information into an online system, know that many insurers will talk through the specifics of your quote with you once you've evaluated your options online. There will still be an opportunity to ask questions in person or on the phone with a live agent, so you certainly don't have to buy your car insurance over the internet if you don't want to.

Take Advantage of Low-Mileage Discounts and Consider GPS Tracking Systems for Driver Impairment

If you find yourself getting rides to places more often than not or if you avoid driving during evening outings, you might want to revisit the estimated total miles you drive per month with your car insurer. If you were previously commuting but drive less now, you can likely save money on car insurance for those fewer miles of risk. Some companies will even let you switch to a per-mile rate, which can be a source of savings if you are driving rarely.

There is unfortunately no set time when it becomes definitively unsafe to drive anymore — each family and individual will have to decide when the risks associated with things like medication side effects or visual impairment are too high to continue driving.

Comfort and Confidence Helps Senior Drivers

One of the ways that a senior citizen motorist can feel more confident and comfortable behind the wheel is by finding the right car insurance for seniors for the right price. Because minimizing accidents is also part of keeping car insurance rates low, finding the right car for you and making sure you feel confident in your driving abilities at any given age can also contribute to the goal of protecting yourself and having confidence when you're on the road.

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Laura Leavitt
I love a good spreadsheet and will happily calculate compound interest all day, but my biggest focus is helping people achieve their financial goals. That could be saving up for a dream car or calculating the right car payment for your budget so you can get a reliable daily driver. I research and write about personal finance so that making great financial choices becomes easier for us all.