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Auto Insurance Discounts for Drivers Over 55

Here's what you need to know...
  • Senior drivers are second to young, male drivers in terms of accident rates, which causes their auto insurance rates to be higher
  • Three things can affect a senior’s auto insurance rate: their driving record, geographic location, and health
  • One way for a senior to combat high insurance rates is to see which discounts they are eligible for

Getting older does have its benefits. Some of those benefits are financial, such as the over 55 car insurance discount, while others are more abstract.

But in a day and age when many seniors are having a hard time making ends meet, and the economy shows no signs of rebounding anytime soon, any bit of financial help they can get is appreciated. Some car insurance companies are more than happy to oblige, as long as certain conditions are met.

While it’s true that drivers over the age of 55 can get a discount on their car insurance, there are certain conditions that apply. That’s because insurance companies generally begin looking at a greater risk for these drivers as they age.

That’s reasonable when you consider, that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 19 percent of all traffic accidents involve seniors ages 55 and older. In fact, senior drivers are second only to the younger male drivers between the ages of 16 and 25, in terms of accident rates.

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Safe Driving Record

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The first thing insurance companies will consider before granting discounts to senior drivers is their individual driving record.

Hypothetically speaking, if a 57-year-old driver has been with the same company for a length of 10 to 15 years, he’s more likely to be eligible for discounts if he’s had few or no claims during that period. Obviously, an accident-free record is the ideal situation. But even one or two minor accidents over the lifetime of a senior driver is still fairly negligible.

Along with accidents, car insurance companies also look for speeding tickets and other such violations. Again, the best case scenario would be a senior driver whose record is free of such violations.

Fortunately, most states allow the most common violations to disappear from your driving record after a certain number of years.

More serious violations, such as a conviction for felony DWI or hit-and-run may be a problem for the rest of the driver’s life.

Geographic Location

Geographic location plays a part in determining the price of car insurance for all drivers, regardless of their age.

But believe it or not, the more densely populated a specific area, the more residents of that area will pay for their insurance. A higher insurance rate holds true for seniors to the extent that they are considered a higher risk in the more densely populated areas.

A senior living in a rural area, or small- to medium-size town, will most likely get a discount more substantial than another senior living in a major metropolitan area.

In cases where a senior driver carries comprehensive coverage to cover theft issues, discounts are more difficult to come by in metropolitan areas where car theft rates are high.

Drivers over 55 are more susceptible to car theft because of their age and demeanor.

At the same time, this may not be much of an issue for drivers who own cars that are not high on the list for auto thieves.

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Overall Good Health

Some states require that specific health issues be listed on an individual’s driver’s license and their DMV record. Examples of these health issues would be:

  • Poor vision
  • Hearing loss
  • A tendency to seizures

Unfortunately, if any of these factors affect you severely as a senior driver, you’re unlikely to get any substantial discounts as you age. For this reason, it’s important for those aged 55 or older to do their best to maintain good health.

For things like minor vision and hearing loss, corrective actions can be taken which would still allow such individuals to drive safely. Eyeglasses, hearing aids, and other corrective devices will be listed on your driver’s license in most states.

But as long as senior drivers can meet state requirements for safe driving, use of those corrective devices should not hinder a driver from getting a discount.

Making Sure You Get a Discount

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If you’re a driver age 55 or older, you can be proactive in making sure you get any discounts available to you. First, be sure to contact your car insurance company and ask them about available discounts and whether they apply in your case. In the world of car insurance, you are your own best advocate.

In addition, some states allow for senior discounts if drivers have completed a driver improvement course.

The AAA’s Senior Driving website dedicates significant resources to helping drivers over the age of 55 continued to be safe on the roads. They have information regarding driver improvement programs and how they can affect your insurance rates.

Whether you’re 55 or 25, you can take advantage of our search tool for car insurance rates by entering your ZIP code in the box below.

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