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A Guide to Car Insurance for Seniors

Everything you need to know about senior car insurance

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If you're over the age of 65, then your car insurance premiums are probably more expensive than they were a decade ago. It may be the right time to shop for a more affordable auto insurance provider. You may also want to find a plan that better suits your current needs and lifestyle. Our needs change as we get older and enter new stages of life, which also applies to our driving and car insurance needs. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about car insurance for seniors, from coverage recommendations and costs to getting the best deal on your policy.

Recommended Coverage for Seniors

Pink car and magnifying glass over clipboard with checklist

If you're retired, then you may not drive as much as you did when you were younger. You can take advantage of pay-per-mile car insurance or another policy with a lower premium. If you have a full schedule and you need your car to run errands, visit friends, and attend your weekly club meetings, however, we recommend making sure you have extra coverage related to risks and how often you drive.

When you sign up for auto insurance, you'll typically have six coverage options.

  • Auto liability coverage: This coverage consists of property damage and bodily injury, and it's required by most states.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: If you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist and it wasn't your fault, then this coverage will protect you. It's required in many states. As a senior driver, it will cover you or your passengers for economic losses, pain, and medical bills as a result of the accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Comprehensive coverage: When you're involved in a non-collision incident such as theft or fire, comprehensive coverage helps take care of the cost of damage to your car. As a senior driver, it may be helpful to add this optional coverage to your policy if your car remains parked in an uncovered spot or you live in an area prone to theft.
  • Collision coverage: This optional coverage pays for damage to your vehicle if your car collides with an object. We recommend getting this optional insurance to avoid expensive out-of-pocket repairs or replacement costs for your vehicle after an accident.
  • Medical payments coverage: If you or your passengers are injured in a car accident, then this optional coverage will help compensate you for medical expenses — regardless of who is at fault. Medical costs can really add up, and most medical payments coverage policies cover the cost of surgery and doctor or hospital visits. This coverage is optional in most states.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): This coverage helps cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, or even funeral costs — regardless of who's at fault for the car accident. We recommend medical payments coverage instead of PIP coverage, unless PIP is required in your state. The limits and costs of PIP may be higher and often cover lost wages, which retired drivers may not need.

Nearly every state requires drivers to carry bodily injury liability or property damage liability coverage to cover costs related to injuries or death, along with property damage to another vehicle or property. We recommend increasing these coverage amounts and adding optional coverage to your policy. Older drivers are at higher risk of so a robust policy is more important than ever.

Did You Know: Senior drivers are at greater risk for accidents than younger drivers, but today's older drivers get in fewer accidents than previous generations of seniors. 

Additional Coverages for Seniors

Make sure you're familiar with your state's laws to determine whether certain insurance coverages are mandatory or optional. In addition to the types of coverage listed above, there are other types of coverage you can add.

  • Roadside assistance insurance: If your car has a flat tire, breaks down, or runs out of gas, roadside assistance insurance can come in handy. If you have an older car model, then we recommend adding this coverage as a precaution.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage: This is an optional coverage that will compensate you and your passengers (or your families) if they sustain severe injuries or death and dismemberment due to a car accident.
  • Gap insurance: Gap insurance helps pay for the gap between the depreciated value of your car and what you still would owe on your vehicle. This coverage may be available only if you're either leasing or financing a new car.
  • Glass coverage: This coverage can help cover the cost of damage to your vehicle's windshield or glass.
  • Towing and rental car coverage: This optional coverage can cover or reimburse you for the costs related to having your car towed or using a rental car.

How Much Does Car Insurance for Seniors Cost?

Car insurance typically becomes more expensive as you get older. The exact age when rates begin to increase will vary by person and provider. Auto insurance rates may start to increase for seniors at age 65, while drivers in their 50s and early 60s may pay less for auto insurance. According to Progressive, rates will likely begin to increase for people aged 75 and

Money-Saving Tip: Older adults can save on more than just car insurance! Check out our full list of senior discounts for more deals.

The average car insurance premium for seniors varies depending on the state you live in, as well as credit score, driving history, gender, and age. We found that car insurance for seniors ages 70 to 79 starts with an average yearly premium of $1,556, or an average monthly premium of $130 to $145. People 80 or older may pay average yearly premiums as high as

Is Car Insurance More Expensive for Seniors Than Younger Drivers?

You may wonder why car insurance rates get more expensive as you get older, especially if you have paid your premiums on time and maintained a good driving record. Insurance providers view seniors as more of a liability with a higher risk of being in an accident than younger drivers. Senior drivers are also more likely to have impairments that may affect their driving, including cognitive, physical, or vision

FYI: Want to learn more about the types of insurance and ways to save on premiums? Read our 2022 guide to insurance for seniors.

Factors That Impact the Cost of Car Insurance

Several factors may impact the cost of your auto insurance.

  • Age: In general, teenagers and older drivers pay more for car insurance than other age groups. Car insurance rates tend to decrease as you get older and more experienced, but they begin to increase again around age 65.
  • Gender: Insurance rates for male drivers tend to be higher than females, but the difference in rates between genders decreases with age.
  • Location: Insurance premiums may fluctuate depending on where you live. Car insurance in Maine, for example, is much less expensive than car insurance in Louisiana.
  • Driving history: Insurance providers will look into your driving history, and they'll consider past accidents and traffic violations when calculating rates.
  • Mileage: Car insurance may cost more if you have a long commute or use your car quite a bit. If you're retired and don't put a lot of miles on your car, then you may pay less for car insurance since you're not likely to be a major risk to the insurance provider.
  • Credit score: Providers can take into account your credit score and whether you've been able to maintain good credit. That may impact your insurance premiums or whether insurance is available from certain providers.

How to Get the Best Deal on Car Insurance for Seniors

Pink piggy bank, car insurance policy, and pot of flowers

There are several ways to get the best deal and save on car insurance.

  • Take a mature driver or defensive driving course: Some providers, such as Farmers Insurance, offer discounts for seniors over 55 who have completed safe driver training.
  • Bundle coverage or get a multi-vehicle discount: Consider bundling your auto and home insurance to save up to 5 percent on your car insurance, or consider insuring other family members and opt for multi-vehicle discounts for two or more vehicles.
  • Ask about veteran discounts: Several insurance providers, including Farmers Insurance, Allstate, Geico, USAA, and Nationwide, offer veteran or military discounts. Inquire about these discounts with each provider you consider.
  • Consider discounted AARP car insurance from The Hartford: If you're an AARP member, then you can get affordable car insurance coverage and savings of up to 10 percent.
  • Opt for paperless billing and automatic payments: If you opt for paperless billing or automatic payments, then you may save as much as three percent on your car insurance premiums.
  • Choose pay-per-mile car insurance: If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, then we recommend looking into providers such as Metromile that offer flexible pay-per-mile car insurance for seniors. It could help you save as much as $947

How to Sign Up for Car Insurance

Before signing up for car insurance, we recommend speaking with an insurance agent and comparing quotes online or over the phone. Here's a checklist to get you started as you shop for affordable car insurance for your unique situation.

  1. Speak with an agent: You can speak with an agent to help you decide what type of coverage you need, find things you can remove to reduce your premiums, and let you know what discounts are available.
  2. Get an instant car insurance quote online or over the phone: Many insurance providers can quickly help you get a free auto insurance quote. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code and some personal information to get a customized quote on a provider's website or over the phone. We recommend doing this with multiple providers so you can compare rates.
  3. Find car insurance discounts: Before switching providers or plans, look into whether they offer multi-policy, senior, veteran, or other discounts to lower your premiums and help you save.
  4. Switch if necessary: If you're paying too much for auto insurance, it's not a bad idea to switch to another provider that offers more benefits. Weigh the pros and cons and consult with an insurance agent for more information.
  5. Buy insurance online or over the phone: If you're purchasing car insurance online, then you should have the following documents and information handy: Social Security number, driver's license number, estimated driving distance to work, past driving accidents or claims, and the make and model of your car.
Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt