With the desire to remain active and the availability of car features that make driving easier, Americans remain on the road well into their senior years. Abilities shift over time, but it is possible to remain a good driver if you adapt to health changes and continue to take steps to ensure the safety of yourself and others. As you age, you may also have new questions about auto insurance. Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions senior drivers have.
Frequently asked questions about auto insurance for senior drivers
Will my premium increase as I get older?
Insurers take multiple factors into consideration when determining the cost of your coverage including your driving record, where you live, the type of car you drive and your age. Young drivers are considered the riskiest to insure, making their premiums relatively high. Since senior drivers also are more prone to accidents, they pay more than those who are middle-aged. The amount your premium will increase varies by provider, but you probably will pay more for insurance as you get older.
When will my premium increase?
Generally, drivers see an increase in their premium around the age of 65, but remember that the amount differs by insurer. This may also be the impetus that you need to research other insurance carriers and make a switch. Some companies will be better for senior drivers, and an increase is not definite in any case.
What can I do to reduce auto insurance costs?
Returning to the list of factors that determine cost, keep in mind that your driving record also is a significant determinant of your premium. One of the best ways to avoid paying too much for your insurance is to prevent accidents and drive safely.
As you age, health issues may begin to interfere with your ability to operate a vehicle. Night-driving becomes more difficult as vision problems surface, but even daytime driving poses a greater risk. Senior drivers may find it confusing to navigate a roundabout and harder to park in a crowded lot. You can reduce your risk of an accident by understanding your limits. Many senior drivers will opt not to drive at night or during high traffic times such as the morning commute. You also may choose to avoid intersections or areas that are difficult to navigate.
Most importantly, listen to the advice of doctors. If a medication has been changed recently or has side effects such as drowsiness, your doctor may advise staying off the road. Never attempt to drive if you feel lightheaded or generally unwell.
Will driving classes reduce my premium?
Efforts you take to drive safely may have an impact on your premium. If you enroll in approved courses such as defensive driving, your insurer may discount your auto insurance. These courses are specifically designed to help prevent accidents, thereby reducing the chance you will need to make an insurance claim. Contact your insurer to find out more about the specific discounts they offer. AAA offers defensive driving courses that may help you save on car insurance. Visit SeniorDriving.AAA.com to find classes near you.
Is a lower deductible plan better for senior drivers?
If you are on a fixed income, you need to have predictable expenses. A lower or $0 deductible plan may cost more in terms of your premium, but it can help you to avoid unanticipated expenses if you have an accident and even if your car is stolen. The premium will be higher, but once it is paid, the amount you potentially owe out-of-pocket is lower.
Do I need separate car insurance for my winter home?
Depending on the climate where you live, you might travel to another part of the country during the winter months. Insurance mandates vary by state, so make sure to check the laws that pertain to your secondary home. Often, the determining factor is whether you leave your car at your winter home or drive back and forth for certain months during the year. In either case, keep in mind that once a car is registered in another state, it also must carry insurance for that state.
If your insurance carrier is licensed in both states, you can likely use the same agent to navigate the process of insuring your vehicle in multiple places. This can help to simplify the process and allow you to communicate with the same agent should you have any issues or concerns.
Are there any other ways to reduce costs?
If your auto insurance premium has increased, and you are seeking other ways to lower expenses, consider bundling your policies. Many insurance providers will offer discounts if you bundle your coverage, and now may be the time to streamline your insurance by relying on one insurer to protect your home and car.
With older Americans remaining behind the wheel for longer, questions about auto insurance arise. Consult with your insurance provider about these recommendations and other tips specific to senior drivers. As you age it is possible to remain safe on the road while controlling costs.
Have another question you’d like answered for the senior driver in your life? Visit AAA.com/Insurance to view all of the options available for senior drivers.