How Can Seniors Lower Auto Insurance Costs?
As people near or reach the age of retirement, they may find that their auto insurance rates are more expensive than they were when they were younger.
According to AAA, senior citizens tend to have more car accidents than younger drivers, which leads insurance companies to charge higher premiums to them. Senior citizens are also likelier to suffer injuries in accidents because they are more fragile.
Automobile insurance can become more expensive as you age, but there are a few steps that you can take to reduce your costs.
Invest in Driving Lessons
According to Insurance.com, 34 states have laws that mandate insurance companies to give discounts to seniors who take driving lessons. If you live in a state that mandates such a discount, you can reduce your insurance rates by taking a driving course. This senior discount ranges from five percent to 15 percent and could help save you money on your premiums while also improving your defensive driving skills.
Even if you live in a state that doesn’t mandate discounts for driver safety courses, insurers often still offer discounts for taking them. AARP offers an online driver safety course that you can take in the comfort of your home. You will have up to 60 days to complete it. For the discounts in your state to apply, there are different age restrictions. So, you will need to check with your state to find out what the requirements are.
Choose a Safe Car
Insurance companies charge lower premiums to people who drive safer cars. If you are in the market to purchase a vehicle, consider buying one that has high safety ratings. You should also look for additional safety features that come with some cars, including the following:
- Rearview cameras with backup assistance
- Lane departure warnings
- Automatic braking systems
- Front collision avoidance
- Parking assistance
Even if your insurance company does not offer additional discounts for these types of features, they can help to prevent your premiums from going up in the future by helping you to avoid accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration releases the safety ratings of new cars every year. You can check on their website to see the ratings of different cars, so you can choose the safest one.
Update Your Car Safety
If you are not planning to purchase a new car with the previously mentioned safety features already installed, think about how you can improve the safety of your current vehicle. New safety technology can be incorporated into your existing vehicle at your dealership.
Insurance companies may also give you a discount if you agree to install a tracking device. These devices track the driving habits of people who are insured by the companies. Data from your car’s different computer systems is tracked and stored by the device and transmitted back to your insurance company. The company then analyzes the data. If it determines that you are a safe driver, it may reduce your rates.
Some companies give discounts when you agree to install their tracking devices. Like any other type of device that makes you give up a degree of your privacy in exchange for a potential benefit, you should approach the idea of installing a tracking device with caution. According to U.S. News, some companies penalize drivers that they determine to be bad drivers from the analysis of the data that they receive.
Report to Your Insurer That You’ve Been Driving Less
Insurance companies offer lower rates to people who do not drive as much each year. This is because people are less likely to get into accidents when they spend less time on the roads. If you are no longer commuting to work and are driving less than you used to drive, let your insurance company know.
Insurance companies generally define low mileage driving as less than 5,000 or 7,500 miles per year. Seniors may be able to save up to 10 percent on their premiums, depending on where they live. You may be asked to have your odometer readings verified on a regular basis.
Some companies also offer pay-per-mile policies. These policies bill you each month based on the number of miles that you have driven. Finally, pay-as-you-drive policies offer discounts according to the miles that you drove based on the installation of the tracking devices that were previously discussed.
Shop Around and Compare Quotes
If you are like many people, you may have stuck with the same insurance company for years out of a sense of loyalty. You may have worked with the same insurance agent and have gotten to know him or her fairly well. Now that you have grown older, you might have noticed that your premiums have been creeping up. Your insurance premiums may now be reaching a level at which they are becoming too expensive for you to afford. While you might feel a sense of loyalty to your current company, it makes sense for you to shop around and compare quotes.
Different insurance companies that offer policies in the same areas may charge different rates. Insurance companies use algorithms to help them to determine the risk levels of the drivers that they insure. One company’s program may place you at a higher level of risk than another one might.
You should not feel bad about switching insurance companies. The companies offer protection to you, but they are in the business to make money. By shopping around and comparing quotes, you might be able to find a company that offers you much lower rates than what you are paying. You can begin your search for lower-rate auto insurance policies for seniors by searching online.