As you enter your senior years, you may face an unpleasant surprise. Car insurance companies can make it as difficult for older citizens to buy car insurance as they do for new drivers. Because of this, senior drivers should take the time to examine their own condition and adjust their driving habits and expectations accordingly. Insurance companies prefer to cover safe drivers. As a senior, a driver should know a few things about what car insurers expect from them.
Be prepared to take a physical exam if your insurance carrier requires it.
Depending on how far you are into your senior years, some insurance companies will not issue a policy until a physician approves your physical and mental health. This can come as a jolt to some seniors the first time it is encountered. However, with the issues of dementia, loss of strength, slower reflexes and other problems that can occur with aging, it is understandable that insurers might want some proof of a person’s ability to function as a driver.
Because seniors often drive fewer miles, they can often qualify for cheaper car insurance.
Since you no longer have to report to a job every day, this can lower the annual miles driven by a considerable amount. Once the annual mileage drops below about 7500 miles, most car insurance companies will reduce the premiums. Along with driving fewer miles, many seniors get a more practical car that comes with lower insurance rates.
If you can afford it, pay cash for your car or pay it off.
If you have a decent nest egg, not having any debt on your car is a good thing. As long as you can afford to repair or replace it if you have an accident, you can drop your collision insurance. This one move alone can save you hundreds of dollars per year. If you are a good driver, staying accident free for five years or so might save you enough in premium reductions to buy a good used car.
Keep drivers under 25 from driving your car.
While letting the grandkids borrow your car may seem like a nice thing to do, it will cost you money. If your insurance company discovers that you are allowing young drivers to operate your car, they will send your premium costs through the roof. As hard as it is, you may want to tell young drivers “no” when it comes to using your car.
If you do not drive much, consider asking one of your children to own your car.
This may sound a little far-fetched. If your adult child is rated as the main driver on your car, it could save you money. Depending on your age and condition, becoming a part-time driver on someone else’s car can save big bucks. If you can be designated as an occasional driver, your insurance rates could easily be cut in half. Of course, you have to trust your child not to just take the car. As long as you can keep it in your driveway or garage and drive it once a week or so, this arrangement can work. You would pay for the upkeep of the car and the insurance.