dcsimg
Prefer to talk to someone? Call a licensed agent: 1-855-289-9175
Car Insurance Quotes
Get Personalized Car Insurance Quotes
ZIP

Valid zip code required

AGE

Please enter valid age between 16-100.

CURRENTLY INSURED?

Please select your current insurer.

MARRIED?
HOME OWNER?
SERVED IN MILITARY?
Shop - Auto insurance comparison shopping made easy!
COMPARE COMPANIES
Get matched instantly with up to 20 insurers in your area. Shopping made easy.
COMPARE QUOTES
We suggest choosing at least 3 companies to find one that works best for you.
SAVE MONEY
Comparison shopping can save you hundreds of dollars or more.

Auto insurance for seniors guide

GettyImages-491267652-compressorThere are 46 million seniors in the U.S., a number that is expected to balloon to 98 million by 2060. The number of licensed senior drivers increased by 38 percent from 2006 to 2016.

Driving as you get older comes with several considerations and potential challenges, especially when it comes to insurance and safety issues.

On this page, we'll review what you need to know about car insurance for seniors, how age affects costs, licensing requirements by state and ways to keep down your auto insurance costs.

Auto insurance costs for seniors

How your age affects rates

License issues for seniors

Ways to keep down your auto insurance rates

How to add a senior driver to your insurance

When is it time to stop driving?

Navigating car insurance for seniors 

 

Auto insurance costs for seniors

Car insurance rates for seniors vary by state and age.

"Maryland prohibits higher rates by law for those that are 65 or older. Similar laws exist in New Jersey. Other states, like California, have recently passed laws that ban using gender to determine insurance rates, so passing laws to make insurance rates are fair for seniors could be something we see gain traction elsewhere," says Eric Poe, chief operations officer of the not-for-profit CURE Auto Insurance.

Similar to teenage drivers, seniors drivers often face higher insurance rates. Insurance companies typically view senior drivers as a higher risk. Seniors may encounter age-related impairments that affect their vision and mobility.

"Auto insurance rates are typically more expensive for seniors because insurers consider them to be high-risk drivers. As people age, their eyesight, hearing, reflexes, and so on tend to deteriorate, and insurers see this as a liability," says Tony Arevalo, a licensed insurance agent and founder of the company CarSurance. "On top of this, seniors have a tendency to suffer more grave injuries during accidents, thus being more expensive to treat."

Seniors make up 19 percent of all licensed drivers. They account for 18 percent of all traffic fatalities during the year.

In 2016 (the most recent year data is available), 6,764 seniors were killed in car crashes. However, that figure represents a decline over a 10-year period, though.

 

How your age affects rates

Government data indicates that the risk of fatal crashes per miles traveled is higher among seniors age 70 to 74 and those 85 and older. This group also has higher crash rates in general than other age groups. Along with age-related vision and mobility changes, this may account for why insurance rates tend to be higher for older drivers.

Auto insurance rates for seniors usually increase as you age. Here are the average rates by age for three coverage sets:

AgeState minimum50/100/50100/300/100
55$494$560$1,363
65$515$585$1,402
75$630$718$1,651
85$778$887$1,987

Here are the full-coverage auto insurance averages for three senior age groups by state: 

StateAge 65

Age 75

Age 85

Alaska

$1,316

$1,554$1,767

Alabama

$1,409

$1,660 

$2,053

Arkansas

$1,452

$1,776$2,203
Arizona

$1,458

$1,766

$2,185

California

$1,848

$2,152$2,396

Colorado

$1,613

$1,909

$2,332

Connecticut$1,846$2,254$2,854

Delaware

$1,668

$2,047

$2,479

District of Columbia

$1,675

$2,222$2,728

Florida

$2,313

$2,688

$3,487

Georgia

$1,684

$2,057$2,556

Hawaii

$1,287

$1,287

$1,287

Iowa

$978$1,140$1,380
Idaho

$1,054

$1,301$1,622

Illinois

$1,160

$1,493$1,869
Indiana

$1,147

$1,347

$1,673

Kansas

$1,291

$1,477$1,794

Kentucky

$1,561

$1,894

$2,387

Louisiana

$2,565

$2,540

$2,531

Massachusetts

$1,159

$1,238

$1,351

Maryland

$1,721

$1,753

$1,753

Maine

$854

$853

$849

Michigan

$2,720

$3,367

$4,125

Minnesota

$1,178

$1,380

$1,682

Missouri

$1,211

$1,438

$1,794

Mississippi

$1,305

$1,632

$2,076

Montana

$1,460

$1,804

$2,180

North Carolina

$1,126

$1,217

$1,276

North Dakota

$1,039

$1,202

$1,431

Nebraska

$1,125

$1,323

$1,652

New Hampshire

$1,212

$1,534

$1,817

New Jersey

$1,434

$1,508

$1,718

New Mexico

$1,327

$1,709

$2,143

Nevada

$1,773

$2,079

$2,643

New York

$1,743

$1,987

$2,288

Ohio

$941

$1,162

$1,454

Oklahoma

$1,642

$1,920

$2,186

Oregon

$1,391

$1,685

$2,186

Pennsylvania

$1,434

$1,714

$2,082

Rhode Island

$2,082

$2,279

$2,414

South Carolina

$1,590

$1,905

$2,264

South Dakota

$1,107

$1,263

$1,467

Tennessee

$1,169

$1,512

$1,898

Texas

$1,589

$1,867

$2,249

Utah

$1,589

$1,511

$1,848

Virginia

$919

$1,140

$1,468

Vermont

$1,000

$1,261

$1,621

Washington

$1,224

$1,462

$1,815

Wisconsin

$1,058

$1,248

$1,465

West Virginia

$1,309

$1,561

$1,924

Wyoming

$1,314

$1,562

$1,815

 

License issues for seniors

Seniors can face more onerous licensing requirements. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have provisions for senior drivers that include specific requirements for license renewals.

That can include fewer years in between license renewal. Some states require a vision exam for senior drivers. Yet others may demand you take a road test.

Here are the differences by state:

 

State

Senior-related license restrictions

Alabama

None

Alaska

No mail renewal at 69

Arizona

Five-year renewals at 69; no mail renewal at 70

Arkansas

None

California

No mail renewal at 70

Colorado

Five-year renewals at 61; no electronic renewal at 66 and mail renewal requires positive vision exam in six previous months

Connecticut

Two- or six-year renewal at 65; mail renewal only if a hardship

Colorado

Five-year renewal at 61; no electronic renewal at 66 and mail renewal requires positive vision exam in six previous months

Delaware

None

District of Columbia

Vision test, possible reaction test, and physician letter needed at 70

Florida

Six-year renewal with vision test at 80

Georgia

Five-year renewal at 60 and vision test at 64

Hawaii

Two-year renewal at 72

Idaho

Four-year renewal at 63

Illinois

Two-year renewal between 81 and 86; every year at 87; and road test at 75

Indiana

Three-year renewal between 75 and 84; two years at 85; no electronic or mail renewal at 70

Iowa

Two-year renewal at 70

Kansas

Four-year renewal at 65

Kentucky

None

Louisiana

No mail renewal at 70

Maine

Four-year renewal at 65; vision test at every renewal at 62

Maryland

Vision test at 40

Massachusetts

Renewal in person only at 75

Michigan

None

Minnesota

None

Mississippi

None

Missouri

Three-year renewal at 70

Montana

Four-year renewal at 75

Nebraska

No electronic renewal at 75

Nevada

Mail renewal needs medical report at 70

New Hampshire

Road test at 75

New Jersey

None

New Mexico

Yearly renewal at 75

New York

None

North Carolina

Five-year renewal at 66

North Dakota

Four-year renewal at 78

Ohio

None

Oklahoma

None

Oregon

Vision test at 50

Pennsylvania

None

Rhode Island

Two-year renewal at 75

South Carolina

Five-year renewal with vision test at 65

South Dakota

None

Tennessee

None

Texas

Two-year renewal at 85; no electronic or mail renewal at 79

Utah

Vision test at 65

Vermont

None

Virginia

Five-year renewal with vision test at 75

Washington

None

West Virginia

None

Wisconsin

None

Wyoming

None

 Source: Governor's Highway Safety Association

 

Ways to keep down your auto insurance rates

Though seniors may face higher insurance rates, there are ways to reduce your auto insurance costs.

Here are five ways to cut your car insurance premiums:

  • Drive carefully: You can get a discount if you maintain a clean driving record, which will make you a lower risk to insure and thereby reduce your monthly premiums.
  • Drive less: Some insurers offer low mileage discounts if you drive less than the average number of miles annually. If you aren't on the road as much, your risk of an accident is likely lower. Call your insurance company to ask whether they offer this discount.
  • Raise your deductible: If you drive less, it also may be a good idea to increase your deductible. A deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in, to cover your claims. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible could help you save 40 percent for collision and comprehensive coverage.
  • Take a course: You can take a defensive driving course through your local senior center or The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). By taking the AARP's driver safety course, you could be eligible for a multi-year discount on your insurance.
  • Drive a safer car: Arevalo says increasing the safety of their vehicle is another way seniors can reduce their liability. "One of the easiest ways is to take advantage of available technology, such as rearview cameras and collision alarm systems," he says. "Another way is to agree to install a monitoring device on their cars so their driving behavior can be tracked. If they exhibit safe driving behavior, their liability can be cut by almost 40 percent."

     

    How to add a senior driver to your insurance

    If you have an aging parent who lives in your home, whether to add them to your car insurance is a personal decision.

    If they plan to drive your vehicle, you must add them to your insurance. Not doing so could result in significant out-of-pocket expenses -- or even worse, losing your insurance -- if they get into an accident while driving your car and you file a claim.

    Poe says adding a senior driver to your insurance doesn't necessarily make it more cost-effective for a senior to keep insurance on their vehicle, especially since credit scores are a factor in the insurance rate you receive. So, a senior with great credit and a less-than-stellar driving record might end getting a more affordable insurance rate than a younger driver with a better driving record, he says.

     

    When is it time to stop driving?

    Still, there are times when it may be necessary for a senior to stop driving. If you or your family face this situation with an aging parent or another relative, it's important to watch out for warning signs. Those signs include you or your loved one getting multiple tickets or being involved in multiple car accidents in the last two years.

    Other warnings signs include:

    • Erratic driving
    • Weaving in and out of lanes
    • Missing stop signs and missing other traffic signals
    • Getting lost when driving in familiar places

    If you exhibit this behavior as a senior driver or if you're a concerned family member who has seen your loved one drive this way, it may be time to consider other transportation options that help you maintain your mobility, independence -- and most importantly, safety.

    Options include:

    • Public transportation
    • Supplemental transportation services that offer low-cost transportation in your community
    • Paratransit services that provide specially equipped shuttles for seniors as an option to mass transit

    If you're a loved one concerned about a senior driver, it's important to broach the topic with as much sensitivity as possible. Don't attack their driving or demand their keys. Instead, talk about your concerns as respectfully as possible. At the same time, be sympathetic to their concerns about losing their independence.

    Work together to come up with a plan for how they can transition from driving on their own. You also might consider options that increase the safety of their vehicle, similar to what Arevalo suggested, as they transition to other means of transportation.

     

    Navigating car insurance for seniors

    As the U.S. population ages and lives longer, there will be more senior drivers on the road. Being a careful driver, installing additional safety features in your vehicle, taking a defensive driving course and driving less can help you or your loved one avoid costly insurance premiums.

    But if you experience changes to your vision, mobility and reaction time, it may be best to evaluate your driving ability. AAA has a self-rating tool, or you can get a professional driving assessment by finding a trained driving specialist through The American Occupational Therapy Association.

    Taking these steps can help you or your loved one stay safe on the road and keep down auto insurance costs for seniors.

    Ready to get a quote?

    Get quick and easy auto insurance quotes

    Valid zip code required

    Age?

    Please select your Age.

    x

    Please select your current insurer.

    Yes
    No
    Yes
    No
    Yes
    No

    Comments
    Tell us your thoughts
    0 Responses to "Auto insurance for seniors guide"

    No Comments

    What do you think? You can add a helpful comment to this page by filling out the form below.