When it comes to car insurance costs, age matters. Car insurance for seniors can be costly. In fact, auto insurance for seniors slowly gets more expensive after you pass 65 years of age.

Fortunately, shopping around and comparing policies can get you the lowest auto insurance rates for seniors.

For example, the average annual cost of car insurance for a 70-year-old driver is $1,626. However, you can get considerably cheaper coverage from auto insurance companies such as Progressive ($724) and USAA ($903).

This page will review ways to get low-cost senior car insurance, how age and other factors affect costs, and the best auto insurance for seniors.

Five best car insurance companies for seniors

Finding the right senior car insurance company depends on many factors. The wrong insurer for one driver might be the perfect insurer for another.

Seniors have their own needs when shopping for auto insurance. Insure.com rates the following five companies as having the best car insurance for seniors:

Editor’s note: Due to their limited membership to military members only, we did not include USAA in the top five car insurance companies for seniors ranking. However, they would have been one of the top scorers otherwise.

Progressive

Progressive offers seniors the best deal on premiums, at an average annual cost of $724. It also has a strong National Association of Insurance Commissioners Complaint Ratio, at just 0.67.

However, Progressive’s J.D. Powers Claims Satisfaction Rating is the lowest of the top five in our survey, at 856 (out of 1,000).

Progressive does not offer any specific seniors car insurance discounts. However, careful driving can save you money, regardless of age. Progressives Snapshot program determines your rate based on your actual driving behaviors. The company says drivers who join Snapshot and agree to let Progressive monitor their driving behavior save an average of $145.

Farmers

Farmers is another good choice for seniors car insurance, according to our Insure.com analysis. Its annual average premium of $1,165 is second-best among the companies that made our top five. Farmers’ J.D. Powers Claims Satisfaction Rating of 872 (out of 1,000) actually tops that of Progressive, the most affordable insurer on our list.

However, Farmers’ National Association of Insurance Commissioners Complaint Ratio of 0.74 – while still strong – ranks third on our list.

Farmers also offer a Senior Defensive Driver Discount. To qualify, you must be 65 (or 55 in some states) and complete a driver's education course that your state's department of motor vehicles approves. Upon finishing the course, you must provide an approved agency's certificate of completion to Farmers.

Geico

Both Geico’s annual premium ($1,175) and J.D. Powers Claims Satisfaction Rating (872 out of 1,000) land it squarely in the middle of our top five senior car insurance insurers.

However, Geico lags in its National Association of Insurance Commissioners Complaint Ratio ranking. At 2.04, it ends up in fifth place among our five insurers.

Senior car insurance discounts at Geico include the Prime Time contract, which offers automatic renewal to customers 50 and older. This gives peace of mind to aging drivers who worry that their insurers will abandon them as they age.

You have to meet specific criteria to qualify, and the program is not available in all states.

Discounts also are available for retired federal workers and retired members of the military.

Erie

Erie’s annual premium of $1,185 ranks fourth on our list. Even better, the insurer’s J.D. Powers Claims Satisfaction Rating of 880 (out of 1,000) is second among our companies, just below State Farm.

The insurer’s National Association of Insurance Commissioners Complaint Ratio of 1.1 is not as strong, putting it ahead of only fifth-place Geico.

Erie policyholders earn an automatic discount when they turn 55. Price breaks also are available to older drivers who don't have any claims against their policies and complete an accredited driver-training course.

Finally, drivers in some states who are 55 and join Erie for the first time qualify for a discount if they have successfully completed an approved training course within the past three years.

State Farm

State Farm has the best J.D. Powers Claims Satisfaction Rating -- 872 (out of 1,000) -- among our top five insurance companies for seniors. It also has the top National Association of Insurance Commissioners Complaint Ratio, at 0.66.

But State Farm’s annual premium cost of $1,369 ranks last among our five insurers. State Farm also does not offer senior-specific discounts.

Best overall: State Farm

When it comes to car insurance, cost is not everything. State Farm is Insure.com’s best auto insurance company for seniors, even though State Farm’s annual premium cost of $1,369 is the highest among our five companies.

So, what makes State Farm best? It gets top marks for claims satisfaction and for garnering relatively few customer complaints.

Best for rates: Progressive

If price is your “bottom line,” Progressive is the right company for you. Its annual average premium of $724 is far below the national average of $1,626 and is best among the companies in our top five insurers.

Best for claims: State Farm

State Farm is our winner again. It has the best claims ranking among our five companies, just edging out second-place finisher Erie.

Cheapest car insurance for seniors

Focusing purely on price – and ignoring everything else – can be a mistake when shopping for car insurance. But price is important, and it is the single most significant factor in determining where they buy a policy for many drivers.

We did some of the work for you, running rates to share the national annual averages based on a policy with 100/300/100 liability coverages (bodily injury per person/per accident and property damage) as well as comprehensive and collision with a $500 deductible.

Here is a list of the cheapest car insurance companies for seniors, by age:

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

About half of the top 10 cheapest companies for seniors are smaller insurers. The cheapest company on our list is Concord, a regional insurer available in New England states. It has a relationship with Auto-Owners, which is better known and available in more states. And, Depositors is a subsidiary of Nationwide.

"There is nothing wrong with choosing a smaller auto company for your coverage. If you haven't heard of them before, take time to check out reviews on their customer and claims service as well as their financial strength rating," says Penny Gusner, senior consumer analyst for Insure.com. "If having a website or app is important, make certain to look at those as well."

You don't have to be an expert to find out information about a company, no matter how big or small it is. Start with your state's department of insurance website to check that the company is legit and also find out if any complaints have been made against it.

Average car insurance rates for seniors

The cost of car insurance for older drivers changes over time, with a slow and steady rise in premium prices as the calendar advances. So, car insurance for seniors over 60 typically will cost less than car insurance for seniors over 70.

Coverage costs also are higher if you choose more robust coverage that better protects you.

Following are some examples of how age and coverage levels (from state minimum up to full coverage) impact your auto insurance rates:

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

Car insurance rates for seniors by age and state

In addition to age, where you live can significantly impact the price you pay for auto insurance.

Ten most expensive states for auto insurance if you are 70 years old

StateAge 70
Michigan$3,468
Rhode Island$2,423
Louisiana$2,412
Nevada$2,308
Kentucky$2,251
District of Columbia$2,082
New York$2,023
Florida$1,991
Maryland$1,949
Montana$1,893

Ten least expensive states for auto insurance if you are 70 years old

StateAge 70
Maine$940
New Hampshire$1,044
Ohio$1,095
Massachusetts$1,104
Virginia$1,127
Indiana$1,142
Idaho$1,171
Iowa$1,187
Wisconsin$1,188
North Dakota$1,294

If your state didn’t make the top ten least or most expensive lists, find your state in the table or map below based  average annual rages for full coverage  (100/300/100 liability along with comp and collision).

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

Best cars to save on car insurance rates for seniors

Something as simple – and often overlooked – as purchasing the correct vehicle type can get you the best auto insurance rates for seniors. Some cars are more expensive to insure than others.

Following are the ten best cars for those hoping to get cheap car insurance for seniors:

  1. Chrysler Voyager
  2. Honda CR-V LX
  3. Mazda CX-3 Sport
  4. Fiat 500X Trekking
  5. Honda HR-V LX
  6. Jeep Compass Sport
  7. Mazda CX-5 Sport
  8. Subaru Outback 2.5l
  9. Subaru Forester 2.5l
  10. Jeep Wrangler JL Sport

Factors that affect senior auto insurance rates

While age may be the rating factor at the forefront of most seniors, many different factors can impact the cost of car insurance for senior citizens. Rules can vary by state. But typically, factors that influence rates can be divided into two categories:

Driving and car-related factors

Driving Record: Your driving record is important to car insurance companies. The more traffic offenses you’ve committed, the greater a risk you are to an insurer, and the more you’ll pay for auto insurance. By contrast, a good driving record will help you get better rates.

Driving Experience: A novice driver of any age will pay more than a veteran driver. Seniors who have been driving for decades should reap the rewards of that experience in the form of lower rates initially, but rates can climb as they age.

Vehicle Type and Use: The type of vehicle you purchase will impact how much you pay to insure it. Your vehicle’s value and the model’s popularity among thieves also will impact the cost to insure. So will the cost to repair your vehicle and any safety features it has or lacks. Also, a car used for personal use will cost less to insure than for commercial purposes.

Annual Mileage: If you drive less, you pay less for car insurance, as being on the road less frequently poses a reduced risk to your insurer. If you recently started driving less – such as after retiring from work -- tell your insurer, as your premiums might fall.

Coverage and Deductible: If you have higher coverage limits, your rates typically cost more. Despite this fact, we still recommend 100/300/100 liability coverage. Reducing these limits won’t save you a tremendous amount in premium costs, and having higher coverage limits gives you much better protection. If you want to save money, raise your deductible instead. Your deductible is what you pay out of pocket before your insurance policy kicks in.

Insurance History: It’s important to stay on top of your bills and not have a car insurance coverage gap. Drivers with continuous coverage get better rates.

Claims History: If you’ve been claims-free for at least three years, you’ll typically receive a discount. But if you have had a few fender-benders in the last several years, you’ll be seen as a bigger risk on the road and end up with higher premiums.

Violation typeCar insurance rate before violationCar insurance rate after violation% increase$ increase
At-fault accident$1,626$2,13031%$504
Speeding ticket$1,626$2,04926%$423

Non-driving car insurance factors

Age: Teens and older drivers are the highest-risk categories, but for different reasons. Teens are inexperienced novice drivers. On the other hand, seniors -- who are mature and experienced -- have reflexes on the decline. California, Hawaii and Massachusetts don't allow auto insurers to rate on age.

Gender: Women typically have fewer accidents -- and fewer serious wrecks -- than men. They also have fewer driving-under-the-influence accidents. So, they tend to pay lower rates, especially during their teen and twilight years.

Location: Where you and your car reside matters. There are different risks depending on whether you live in an urban or rural area or if your ZIP code is prone to severe weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes or frequent hail storms. 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're considering.

Marital status: Married folks tend to pay less for car insurance, as they are deemed less risky than single drivers. Losing your spouse can thus affect your rate as you move from married to single status. Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and Montana don't allow marital status as a rating factor. And, other states, like Pennsylvania, have rules in place to keep a "widow's penalty" from occurring.

Credit history: Most states allow insurers to charge higher auto insurance rates if your credit isn’t stellar. The reason is insurers have shown that those with low credit scores tend to make more claims – and thus come across as a higher risk.

How to save with car insurance discounts for seniors?

Although seniors face higher insurance rates as they age, there are ways to reduce your auto insurance costs. Although these are not specific discounts for seniors, any senior may qualify for these insurance discounts:

  • Drive carefully: 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.
  • Bundle your coverages: You may get a discount for insuring both your house and car with the same insurance company.
  • Raise your deductible: If you drive less, it also may be a good idea to increase your deductible. A deductible is an amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in to cover your claims. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible to $1,000 could help you save 40% on insurance premium costs.
  • 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 collision and comprehensive coverage, for example.
  • Take a course: You can take a defensive driving course through your local senior center or AARP. Doing so can often get you a defensive driving course discount.
  • Drive a safer car: Buying a car with safety technology -- such as rearview cameras and collision alarm systems – can result in both lower car insurance costs and fewer accidents and claims.
  • Agree to 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.

Frequently asked questions about auto insurance for seniors

How can I add a senior driver to my insurance?

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

If the senior plans 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. An insurer may not require a senior to be added to your policy if the senior still has a car and insurance. However, it may ask for a copy of the senior’s policy to make sure it is valid.

If the senior doesn’t have a car or policy, you’ll definitely need to add him or her to your policy if the senior plans to drive your vehicle. Not doing so could result in significant out-of-pocket expenses -- or even worse, losing your insurance -- if the senior gets into an accident while driving your car. Claims in this situation would likely be denied.

Does car insurance go up after 80?

Car insurance rates rise steadily as a driver ages and reflexes – and other aspects of a person’s physiology, such as vision and hearing – begin to decline. The risk of an accident grows as a senior age, which presents a greater risk to the car insurance company.

"As a result of the increased risk that senior drives pose, insurers often charge drivers more for insurance as they age," states Gusner. "Typically, the uptick is seen as early as in your 60s but by age 80 it really is impacting your rates. We found that from age 75 to 85 the rate hike on average is around 24% or $350 annually."

Who offers the best insurance rates for seniors with low income?

An annual Insure.com survey found that Progressive offers the lowest average annual insurance costs. So, if you are on a tight budget, Progressive might be the right insurer for you.

Many insurers offer senior citizen auto insurance discounts that can lower your costs if you are an older driver.

"As always, the best way to lower the cost of car insurance for the elderly is to shop around and compare quotes," says Gusner. "Your specific situation will determine your rates, so what we offer is a jumping off point for you to go on and compare rates with multiple companies to see who is cheapest based on your specific situation."

What should I do about my car insurance if I can’t get my license renewed?

If you are a senior driver, there may be special provisions to getting your license renewed that are specific to your state. Those provisions may include a road test, written test, vision exam, hearing exam and other physical and mental examinations. If you are not approved for license renewal, this means you no longer have a legal driver’s license and may not operate a vehicle. This also means you can drop your car insurance unless someone else is driving the vehicle. If someone else is using the vehicle, speak with your insurance company about what your options are.

"Many insurers will try to work with you if you're no longer driving but need a caretaker to use your vehicle," notes Gusner. "One solution is for the caretaker to be listed as the primary driver on your policy, thus rated on their driving record, while you are excluded due to not having a valid license. Just don't sneak out for a driver on your own, you won't be covered."

When is it time for a senior to stop driving?

If you or a senior loved one starts to exhibit any of the following warning signs, it may be time to stop driving.

  • Multiple tickets or accidents in the last two years
  • Erratic driving
  • Inability to stay inside lanes (weaving)
  • Missing stop signs and other traffic signals
  • Getting lost when driving in familiar places

The most important thing about being on the road is safety, both for yourself and others. There is nothing to be ashamed of if it is time to stop driving. On the contrary, it is admirable to recognize the warning signs and put safety first.

If you are approaching this topic with a loved one, do so sensitively. Voice your concerns respectfully without making them feel that they are being attacked. Acknowledge and be sympathetic to their potential concerns about feeling a loss of independence. Work together to come up with a plan that can give your senior loved one the independence they need.