The irony of being a senior driver is that although you have gained a great deal of driving experience over the years, at a certain age insurance rates often start to go up. While insurance companies have reasons for these increases, it can be frustrating to anyone with a long history as a safe driver.
Fortunately, seniors have some great choices when it comes to auto insurance, thanks to several companies that have decided to reward years of safe driving. With great rates and added benefits, these auto insurance programs are a perfect fit for seniors.
The Basics of Auto Insurance for Seniors
Senior drivers are not required to meet any additional requirements than any other driver when it comes to auto insurance. Like everyone on the road, seniors have to carry a legal minimum amount of coverage based on the laws in their state of residence.
If you own your car outright, you do not have to carry comprehensive coverage and collision coverage (if you still have a loan, this will likely be required), but unless the vehicle is of low value, it is a good idea. Since seniors are frequently on a fixed income, the cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle in the event of an at-fault accident may present a financial burden. Full coverage insurance can protect you from that problem.
Seniors can continue to benefit from the variety of auto insurance discounts available to most drivers, including multi-policy discounts. In addition, there may be some other discounts that only seniors can enjoy.
Specifics of Auto Insurance for Seniors
There are a couple of differences in your auto insurance as a senior that can actually help bring down your rates.
If you have retired, make sure to let your auto insurance company know right away. Now that you are no longer commuting, the reduced time behind the wheel means your car can be rated for pleasure use. That means a lower rate. Most insurance companies rate based on how many miles you drive on average each year, so if you’re spending more time at home, you can save.
Defensive Driving Course:
Many companies offer seniors a discount for completing a defensive driving course. Not only will this sharpen your driving skills, it will mean a better rate. Be sure to ask your insurance company what discounts they offer to mature drivers.
Our criteria for the best auto insurers for seniors were basic: they should offer senior-friendly rates and discounts, in addition to rewarding the many years of driving experience.
We chose companies with excellent customer service records and those that are highly rated for claims satisfaction. All of our picks have comprehensive auto insurance programs that will provide the protection you need for the financial stability you have worked hard to achieve.
All of our top picks offer coverage nationwide, and while companies like USAA have a strong offering, we selected only those that provide insurance to the general public, and do not have eligibility requirements.
Finally, we looked for the added perks mature drivers have earned to increase the value of the policy over other insurers.
Our Top Recommendations
These three companies all give seniors great coverage, with discounts and rewards earned by years of experience on the road.
It is no surprise that AARP’s partnership with The Hartford has resulted in one of the best insurance programs available to seniors anywhere. The 50+ AARP branded insurance program has a 12-month locked-in rate and a guarantee that you will not be dropped as long as you pay your premiums – no matter what.
The program offers discounts for passing a defensive driving course and packs in extra benefits such as RecoverCare, which provides home assistance after an accident as you recover. The Hartford ranks consistently high in claims satisfaction as well as overall customer satisfaction, and they are a solid company. Senior drivers cannot go wrong here.
GEICO’s appearance on this list may (unlike The Hartford) come as a surprise to some, but they are actually a very senior-friendly company. Like the AARP program, they offer a guaranteed renewal program to drivers over 50 called Prime Time (available in most, but not all, states) that promises you will not be dropped. They also have a good range of discounts that include defensive driving course completion and special discounts for retired government employees and veterans.
GEICO is the second largest insurance company in the country, with a solid financial footing. GEICO is also known for low rates overall, which means seniors can save.
The biggest insurance company in the country also offers good discounts and programs for senior drivers. Although they may be on the more expensive side, they actually perform very well in rate tests, especially well when you apply multi-policy discounts. Their Drive Safe and Save program allows seniors to prove their excellent driving skills and qualify for a discount in return.
State Farm also offers a Mature Driver Improvement Course discount as well as a defensive driving discount, and they come with a great reputation and rock-solid financial standing. Their captive agent system means seniors can get the personal service and advice they desire, in addition to getting a great deal on a senior-friendly policy.
Shopping for Senior Insurance
If you have been with your insurance company for a long time and finding that your rates are going up simply due to your age, it may be time to shop around. Even if your current insurer offers a discount in return for taking a driving course, it may be possible to find a better deal elsewhere.
When you are shopping for insurance, be sure to ask about mature driver and other discounts available. If you have already completed a driving course, some quoting systems will allow you to enter it and see the discount right away.
Online quotes can offer a baseline, but it is a good idea to get a representative on the phone to discuss what is available to you as a senior, since those discounts may not appear in an online rate quote. Making a few phone calls may save you a lot of money.
Bear in mind that one of the biggest discount opportunities for seniors is bundling. Typically, it is best to shop your home insurance and auto insurance together. In addition, do not forget life insurance – if you have a policy, that same company may offer you an additional discount.
The Bottom Line
The rate increases handed down to seniors may be frustrating, but you can fight back by turning to insurance companies that value experience and a long driving record. Take advantage of all of the discounts that are available you and look for good value in your policy, in addition to a good rate. Fortunately for senior drivers, some of the best and biggest names in insurance are on your side when it comes to covering you on the road.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.