Older Drivers Can Save on Auto Insurance

Older Drivers Can Save on Auto Insurance

Savvy seniors know how to save money. They may curb extraneous spending, order the Early Bird Special at restaurants, or use their AARP membership card at movie theaters, hotels, airlines and retail establishments to secure substantial AARP discounts. But did you know there are ways for older drivers to obtain substantial savings on auto insurance as well?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), licensed drivers ages 65 and up numbered 33 million in 2009. While driving during your senior years can help you maintain your independence, the risk of injury or death due to an automobile accident increases as you age. In fact, in 2008, 5,500 seniors were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Another 183,000 were injured.

Learning to drive defensively can reduce your chance of becoming involved in an accident—and some insurance companies offer their senior customers a discount off their normal rates if they complete a driver safety course. The AARP Driver Safety course will teach you defensive driving techniques in addition to refreshing your understanding of the rules of the road. You can find a classroom course in your area at www.aarp.org/drive or sign up for online study.

Of course, you don’t have to stop there. From adjusting your coverage to buying a new car, there are other ways you can reduce your senior auto insurance costs. Consider the following:

  • Paying your insurance premiums annually can save you money – If you’re able to make your yearly auto insurance premium in one payment, you’re likely to receive a discounted price. Make payments bi-annually, quarterly or monthly and the cost will go up.
  • Combining policies usually results in savings – If you obtain any combination of homeowner’s insurance, life insurance, long-term care insurance and auto insurance from the same carrier, they’ll generally offer you a multi-policy discount.
  • Driving less can help you save as well – Some carriers offer discounts to low-mileage drivers. If you no longer have a daily commute and only use your vehicle for errands around town, check with your insurance professional.
  • Adjusting your coverage can also help – If you’ve paid off your car and it is worth less than ten times your annual insurance premium, experts suggest dropping collision and comprehensive coverage can yield substantial savings.
  • When you buy a car, choose one with the newest safety features – Air bags, automatic seatbelts, antilock brakes and daytime lights can all add up to premium savings at some insurance carriers.
  • You should also consider a low-profile vehicle – If you choose an automobile that is expensive to repair, notoriously easy to steal or has a poor record for safety, any insurance carrier is going to charge you a higher premium. Instead, check out vehicle risk ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at iihs.org/iihs/ratings.

If you currently have an auto insurance policy and are not receiving any discounts, talk to your agent. If your insurer does not offer a means to reduce your rates, you can always contact your insurance broker and shop around for new, money-saving coverage.

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