Over the age of 65 but feel 45? That’s great, a positive and healthy outlook on aging may help you live a longer life. What that feeling won’t help you with is car insurance rates. Your age on paper is what matters to car insurance companies and auto insurance rates for seniors begin to creep up after you pass 65 years of age.

Driving as you get older comes with several considerations and potential challenges, especially when it comes to insurance and safety issues. These changes will affect your car insurance rates as you age.

On this page, we'll review ways to get low cost senior car insurance, how age and other factors affect costs, best auto insurance for seniors and licensing requirements by state.

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How to get cheap auto insurance for seniors?

If you’re considered a senior, you’re not alone. There are over 52 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 40% from 2008 to 2018, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration. As of 2018 there were over 45 million senior licensed drivers in the U.S.

Seniors face higher insurance rates as they age, we’ll discuss why in a bit, however, there are ways to reduce your auto insurance costs.

Here are tips on how seniors can get cheap auto insurance premiums:

  • Drive carefully: Your driving record matters a lot to car insurance companies. You can get a decent discount -- if you maintain a clean driving record as you pose a lower risk to insurers.
  • 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. If you have retired, begun to work from home or in general drive less now be sure to call your insurance company to ask whether they offer this discount. Discount is typically around 3 to 5 %.
  • Bundle your coverages: If you haven’t looked into getting a discount by insuring both your house and car with the same insurance, you really should. The average discount is around 11%. If you bundle a life policy, renters or condo with auto you can also get discounts that range from 2 to 10%.
  • 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.
  • Decrease or drop coverages that aren’t needed: Double-check your policy to make sure all the coverages and limits are accurate for your needs. If you own an older car it may be time to drop down to liability only coverage on it. Collision and comprehensive max payout is the value of your vehicle and if that isn’t much then it may be wise to drop these coverages and instead save for a replacement car.  Also, if you have an extra car in your household, you likely don’t need rental car reimbursement on your policy so ditch it and save.
  • 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. A typical discount is around 4 to 5%.
  • Drive a safer car: Increasing the safety of their vehicle is another way seniors can reduce their liability. Taking advantage of available technology, such as rearview cameras and collision alarm systems is an easy way to try and avoid crashes, that will result in claims and pricier car insurance costs.
  • Have your driving monitored: Many car insurance companies offer discounts if you agree to install a monitoring device on your cars so your driving behavior can be tracked. If you exhibit safe driving behavior, your premiums can be cut drastically, up to 40% with some insurers. The feedback you receive from the device may also help you correct some bad habits or driving behaviors that you may not be aware of.

Factors that affect senior auto insurance rates

The tipping point from being in the preferred auto insurance driver tier for mature, experienced drivers to one of higher risk tends to be around age 70.

“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 an estimated 20% of all licensed drivers. According to data from the NHTSA, seniors account for 19% of all traffic fatalities during the year. The highest fatality rate for seniors were in the age group for those 85 and older.

In 2018 (the most recent year data is available), 6,907 seniors were killed in car crashes and another 276,000 injured.

While age may be the rating factor at the forefront of seniors, it is just one factor that affects your car insurance rates.  All drivers are rated on risk factors, which can vary by state (depending on state laws) and insurance companies (due to their own internal guidelines).The common rating factors that insurance companies look at are made up of both items that are connected directly with your car and driving and non-driving factors.

Driving/car related rating factors:

Driving record: If your driving record is clean or littered with violations is highly relevant and very important to the car insurance company. The more traffic offenses you’ve committed the risker you are to an insurer and the more you’ll pay. If your years behind the wheel have given you maturity on the road and an excellent driving record, it will help you get much better rates.

Driving experience: A novice driver, of any age, will pay more than an experienced driver.  That is a plus for seniors that have been driving for decades who should reap rewards in the rates department for being an experienced driver.

Vehicle type and use: The value of the vehicle, theft rate, accident rate, safety features and cost of repairs all will affect the cost of your insurance (more so if you carry comp and collision on it). A car used for personal use will cost less to insure than one that is used for commercial use.

Annual mileage: If you drive less, you pay less for car insurance as you’re less of a risk. If you recently started driving less, let your insurer know to see if your premiums can be reduced. If you retired and barely drive now, it is important to convey this to your insurer so your rates can reflect this decreased risk.

Coverage and deductible: If you have higher limits your rates typically cost more, but we still recommend 100/300/100 liability coverage as a reduction in limits doesn’t save much but the higher limits give you much better protection. Instead, it’s better to change your deductible to save. Your deductible is what you pay out of pocket before your insurance policy kicks in, so if you pick a higher deductible your rates will be lower.

Claims history: If you’ve been claims free for at least three years, you’ll normally receive a discount. But if you have had few fender benders in the last few years, then you’ll be seen as a bigger risk on the road and end up with higher premiums. One at-fault auto accident with damage of over $2,000 can raise your rates about 31% on average.

Insurance history: It’s important to stay on top of your bills and not have a gap in car insurance coverage.If you have had continuous coverage, you get better rates. If you had a lapse in car insurance coverage, then your rates can be hiked up as that shows you to be a bigger risk. An increase of 9% for a lapse is the average.

Non-driving car insurance factors:

Age: Teens and older drivers are the highest risk categories for opposite reasons. Teens are novice drivers who are inexperienced and seniors who are mature and experienced but have reflexes that are on the decline. California, Hawaii and Massachusetts do not allow drivers to rate based on age for car insurance. However, California does all for years of driving experience which should be a plus for seniors.

Gender: Genders rates typically level out during the middle years, as you get older the men begin to pay more than women, just like the teenage years. The difference in gender starts out around age 55 with a smaller 3% increase for men and by the age 85 males are paying around 7% more than female senior drivers. Not all states allow insurers to rate by age. California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania all do not all gender as a rating factor or require unisex rates.

Location: Where you and your car reside matters because there are different risks depending if you live in an urban or rural area and also if your ZIP code is prone to severe weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes or even frequent hail storms. Michigan is banning insurers from using your ZIP code for setting car insurance rates, however, it is be replaced by territories. If you’re looking to retire and plan on moving, check out our cost of living tool to see if car insurance rates for seniors are better or worse in the cities you are considering.

Marital Status: Married folks tend to pay less for car insurance as they are deemed less risky than drivers that are single. Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and Montana do not allow this as a rating factor. Losing your spouse can thus affect your rate as you move from married to single status. Some states, like Pennsylvania, have tried to keep this “widow’s penalty” from occurring by making insurers prove that rate increase is statistically sound and if they cannot, the insurer must continue to use the lower “married” rate widowed drivers.

Credit History: States all but California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan allow insurers to increase auto insurance rates if you credit isn’t stellar. The reason is insurers have been able to show those with low credit scores tend to make more claims – and thus come across as a higher risk. So, make sure you stay on top of paying your bills on time and keep a good credit rating.

Cheapest car insurance for seniors

How to get the lowest auto insurance rates for seniors means comparing rate quotes from multiple car insurance companies. There is not one car insurance company that is perfect for everyone as each driver has their own personal profile, which is basically built on rating factors we detailed above. It takes shopping around to find the company that is best suited for your current situation.

You can shop for car insurance at any time, but the easiest time is typically when you get your renewal notice in from your current insurer. It should tell you what your next six-months or 12-month policy will cost. From there, head out and compare at least three other companies’ rates to make sure you’re getting the cheapest car insurance available to you.

To get the best rates, comparison shop by comparing apples to apples, meaning the same coverages, limits and deductibles when getting quotes. If you like what your policy has now, use that as your reference as you shop around.

We looked at average car insurance rates for drivers ages 60 to 75 to identify the companies offering the cheapest rates. Among the auto insurers surveyed, we found both regional and national companies made the list of cheapest car insurance companies for seniors.

Here are the top 10 cheapest car insurance companies for drivers 60 to 75 years young looking at national averages based on a policy with 100/300/100 liability coverages as well as comp and collision with a $500 deductible:

Company Age 60 Age 65 Age 70 Age 75
Concord Group Ins.$594$615$616$681
Progressive$665$699$724$848
USAA$810$844$903$1,001
Depositors Ins. Co.$1,001$1,031$1,142$1,270
GEICO$1,038$1,051$1,175$1,269
Erie Ins.$1,082$1,138$1,185$1,278
Farmers Ins.$1,040$1,081$1,165$1,359
Norther Carolina Farm Bureau$1,100$1,131$1,141$1,141
Safety Ins. Co.$1,121$718$737$748
Texas Farm Bureau$1,161$1,264$1,264$1,324

The cheapest company is Concord, a regional insurer that is available in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Concord has a relationship with Auto-Owners Insurance, which is available in 26 states so if you live outside the New England area Concord serves, you may want to check Auto-Owners out.

About half of the top 10 cheapest car insurance companies for seniors are smaller insurers, including Concord, Depositors (a subsidiary though of bigger carrier, Nationwide), Safety (available in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine) and both the North Carolina and Texas Farm Bureaus. There is nothing wrong with choosing a smaller auto company for your coverage, but if you have not heard of them before be certain to check out reviews on their customer and claims service as well as their financial strength rating.

The bigger companies on the list include: Progressive, USAA (offers policies to military members present and past), GEICO, and Farmers.

No matter who you are shopping with for coverage make sure to look for discounts. Any that you’re eligible should lower your costs; if they don’t automatically then ask for them. Keeping your annual mileage down, taking a mature driving course or bundling home and car together are all decent discounts to acquire.

While there are some rating factors that you cannot control, such as your age or gender, many you can and to get the cheapest rates try to offer yourself up as low risk. Having good credit, no claims and a clean driving record will go a long way towards getting the cheapest car insurance offerings for seniors.

If you find that your current insurer has the best rates, renew with it. If not, then switch to another company, just be sure to check out their reviews and ratings on customer service.

Best auto insurance for seniors

For over 10 years, Insure.com has surveyed policyholders of top car insurance companies to help with your quest to find the best auto insurance company for your needs.

We asked about customer service, claims service, price, usefulness of website and apps. We also see if they recommend their insurer and if they plan to renew, as both are good indicators of how well a person likes the company.

The companies that those over 55 ranked at the top were:

  • Auto Club of Southern California
  • USAA
  • CSAA Insurance Group
  • Allstate
  • The Auto Club Group (ACG)

Claims:

  • CSAA Insurance Group
  • The Auto Club Group (ACG) - AAA
  • Esurance

Price:

  • Auto Club of Southern California
  • USAA
  • Progressive

Customer Service:

  • The Auto Club Group (ACG) – AAA
  • Auto Club of Southern California
  • USAA

Website and apps:

  • USAA
  • The Auto Club Group (ACG)
  • Allstate

Check out more on these insurance companies, including their A.M. Best financial strength rating by viewing our Best Car Insurance Companies page.

Here you can review overall results, filter results by age and region and view individual pages on the companies to find out more on their offerings and their NAIC complaint ratio. That will let you know if a company’s complaint level if above or below average. The A.M. Best rating alerts you to the financial strength of a company. It’s important to know that the company you are sending your premiums to has the financial means to pay out on claims.

Average car insurance rates for seniors

As we’ve discussed, car insurance rates rise as you age. Here are the average car insurance rates for ages 60 to 75 for:

  • state minimum liability coverages
  • liability only coverage but with higher limits of 50/100/50 (meaning $50,000 per person with max limit of $100,000 for bodily injury liability and $50,000 property damage liability)
  • “full coverage,” or 100/300/100 liability limits plus collision and comp (with $500 deductible)
AgeState Minimum50/100/50100/300/100
60$536$598$1,507
65$555$622$1,547
70$594$665$1,626
75$674$758$1,808

The rates creep up after you hit 65. Differences as you age:

  • 60 compare to 65 – Rates are up 3 to 4% (depending on coverage level)
  • 60 compare to 70 – Rates up 8 to 11%
  • 60 compare to 75 – Rates up 20 to 27%
  • 65 compare to 70 – Rates up 5 to 7%
  • 65 compare to 75 – Rates up 17 to 22%
  • 70 compare to 75 – Rates up 11 to 14%

For example, our data shows that drives age 75 pay an extra $300 annually on car insurance, a 20% increase, compared those age 60.

Also, from age 75 to 85 there is a decent hike in rates of around 24%, which results in an increase of about $350 annually.

Car insurance rates for seniors by age and state

As we mentioned, rates vary by age and by location. After age 65 rates tend to start heading upward, with the rates slightly higher for males than females by 3% to 7%. Here are the full-coverage auto insurance averages (100/300/100 with $500 deductible for comp and collision) for four senior age groups by state:

State Age 60 Age 65 Age 70 Age 75
Alaska$1,275$1,378$1,466$1,625
Alabama$1,439$1,468$1,543$1,734
Arkansas$1,516$1,580$1,674$1,915
Arizona$1,577$1,652$1,725$1,951
California$1,655$1,640$1,781$1,925
Colorado$1,737$1,764$1,816$1,960
Connecticut$1,698$1,746$1,861$2,158
District of Columbia$1,923$1,986$2,082$2,337
Delaware$1,736$1,798$1,888$2,145
Florida$1,868$1,917$1,991$2,243
Georgia$1,606$1,662$1,760$2,014
Hawaii$1,589$1,589$1,589$1,589
Iowa$1,114$1,133$1,187$1,308
Idaho$1,057$1,122$1,171$1,386
Illinois$1,269$1,303$1,360$1,521
Indiana$1,067$1,074$1,142$1,281
Kansas$1,400$1,438$1,466$1,671
Kentucky$2,065$2,141$2,251$2,555
Louisiana$2,317$2,430$2,412$2,402
Massachusetts$1,364$1,045$1,104$1,163
Maryland$1,703$1,856$1,949$1,949
Maine$942$936$940$933
Michigan$3,079$3,166$3,468$3,910
Minnesota$1,332$1,402$1,448$1,637
Missouri$1,488$1,513$1,568$1,726
Mississippi$1,375$1,411$1,474$1,726
Montana$1,736$1,825$1,893$2,250
North Carolina$1,288$1,319$1,387$1,438
North Dakota$1,231$1,253$1,294$1,421
Nebraska$1,260$1,280$1,399$1,552
New Hampshire$945$987$1,044$1,161
New Jersey$1,724$1,751$1,756$1,929
New Mexico$1,382$1,436$1,516$1,742
Nevada$2,144$2,180$2,308$2,640
New York$1,871$1,930$2,023$2,261
Ohio$1,012$1,044$1,095$1,228
Oklahoma$1,586$1,591$1,628$1,761
Oregon$1,345$1,356$1,415$1,589
Pennsylvania$1,443$1,471$1,569$1,763
Rhode Island$1,987$2,396$2,423$2,467
South Carolina$1,358$1,427$1,495$1,722
South Dakota$1,293$1,334$1,360$1,517
Tennessee$1,222$1,318$1,462$1,762
Texas$1,581$1,669$1,745$1,915
Utah$1,306$1,338$1,395$1,591
Virginia$991$1,058$1,127$1,270
Vermont$1,178$1,237$1,302$1,488
Washington$1,390$1,441$1,515$1,661
Wisconsin$1,119$1,140$1,188$1,325
West Virginia$1,410$1,462$1,525$1,747
Wyoming$1,440$1,489$1,567$1,780

Hover over map to see the average annual rates for ages 60 to 75

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DC DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY

License issues for seniors

Seniors can face more strenuous licensing requirements to make sure your driving abilities are still strong enough to permit you on the road. Its for your safety as well as other drivers that your vision, motor function and cognitive skills are up to par since older drivers have a higher risk of collisions and injuries.

Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have provisions for senior drivers that include specific requirements for license renewals. These vary by state but can include: fewer years in between license renewal, restrictions on renewing through the mail or online, requiring a vision exam and/or demanding you take a road test.

Here are the differences by state:

State Senior-Related License Restrictions
AlabamaNone
AlaskaNo mail renewal starting at age 69
ArizonaFive-year renewals at 65 or older and mail renewals require positive vision exam within prior 3 months; no mail renewal at 70
ArkansasNone
CaliforniaNo mail renewal at 70
ColoradoFive-year renewals at 61; no electronic renewal at 66 and mail renewal requires positive vision exam within prior six months
ConnecticutTwo- or six-year renewal at 65; mail renewal only if a hardship
ColoradoFive-year renewal at 61; no electronic renewal at 66 and mail renewal requires positive vision exam in six previous months
DelawareNone
District of ColumbiaVision test, possible reaction test, and physician letter needed at 70
FloridaSix-year renewal with vision test at 80
GeorgiaFive-year renewal at 60 and vision test at 64
HawaiiTwo-year renewal at 72
IdahoFour-year renewal at 63
IllinoisTwo-year renewal between 81 and 86; every year at 87; and road test at 75
IndianaThree-year renewal between 75 and 84; two years at 85; no electronic or mail renewal at 70
IowaTwo-year renewal at 70
KansasFour-year renewal at 65
KentuckyNone
LouisianaNo mail renewal at 70
MaineFour-year renewal at 65; vision test at every renewal at 62; 40-61 vision test every other renewal
MarylandVision test at 40
MassachusettsRenewal in person only at 75
MichiganNone
MinnesotaNone
MississippiNone
MissouriThree-year renewal at 70
MontanaFour-year renewal at 75
NebraskaNo electronic renewal at 72
NevadaMail renewal needs medical report at 70
New HampshireRoad test at 75
New JerseyNone
New MexicoYearly renewal at 75
New YorkNone
North CarolinaFive-year renewal at 66
North DakotaFour-year renewal at 78
OhioNone
OklahomaNone (perk though of 62-64 reduced renewal fee and at 65 renewal fee is waived)
OregonVision test at 50
PennsylvaniaNone
Rhode IslandTwo-year renewal at 75
South CarolinaFive-year renewal with vision test at 65
South DakotaNone
TennesseeNone (perk though of at 60 reduced renewal fee and at 65 no expiration)
TexasTwo-year renewal at 85; no electronic or mail renewal at 79
UtahVision test at 65
VermontNone
VirginiaFive-year renewal with vision test at 75
WashingtonNone
West VirginiaNone
WisconsinNone
WyomingNone

Source: Governor's Highway Safety Association

When is it time to stop driving?

There may come a time when it us 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
  • Have a caregiver provide 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 the senior drivers 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.

If an elderly parent, relative or friend is not receptive to talking about the situation and you feel action must be taken, try reaching out to their physician if possible as he or she has a duty in most states to report issue they see to the DMV. The DMV will use that information and make an assessment, in some cases that may mean putting restrictions on a license and not taking it away completely. Check with your DMV about what actions to take if talking to the physician is not an option. Many have guides on safe senior driving, such as this one put out by the California DMV.

How to add a senior driver to your insurance?

If you have an aging parent who shares your home and plans to drive your vehicle, it’s important to let your car insurance company know.

If they plan to drive your vehicle, you must alert your car insurance company of their presence at your home and ask if you must add them to your insurance. If your parent still has their own car and insurance, then your insurer may not require your parent to be added. However, it may ask for a copy of the parent’s policy (to make sure it is valid).

If you parent doesn’t have their own car or policy, you’ll definitely need to add him or her to your policy if they’ll be driving your vehicle. 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. Claims in this situation would likely be denied as household residents like this need to be reported to your insurer and added for proper

If your parent moves into your home and doesn’t plan to drive, you still should inform your insurance provider and make certain the parent doesn’t have to be added. Insurers get reports on household residents and if they see your person (your parent) on there that isn’t listed, they may try to list that person and adjust your rates accordingly.

If the parent turned in their license, then you’ll need to let the insurer know. If he or she wants to keep their license but not drive, you can ask if you can exclude the parent as a driver so you don’t get charged for them. Excluding a driver means no insurance coverage would be extended to that party if they used your car ever – even in an emergency. So, only exclude a parent if they’re not going to drive your vehicle at all.

Final tips for navigating car insurance for seniors

As the U.S. population ages and lives longer, there are 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.

Make it a habit at least every couple of years to double-checking that your auto insurance coverages are still the best for your needs and that your rates are the lowest by shopping around. In fact, an overall insurance check of auto, home, life and health is advisable to make sure your needs are covered and your assets protected properly.

And, if you experience changes to your vision, mobility and reaction time, it may be time 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.