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As you get older, life gets sweeter in a lot of ways – but it can also get more costly. If you’re in your fifties, you probably do not have to worry about the prospect of rising car insurance premiums quite yet, but as you reach your sixties and seventies, even standard coverage can start to get more and more expensive.
If you are smart though, it does not have to be this way. Many insurance companies offer discounts to mature drivers, as well as those who use drive tracking apps, take defensive driving courses, and have up-to-date safety features on their vehicles. If you’ve recently retired and have stopped commuting to and from work every day, you also might be eligible for a discount for driving less.
Best Overall: The Hartford AARP Program
This program is tailor-made for older drivers and their needs. The biggest perk is that once you purchase a policy, it is guaranteed that you won’t be dropped unless you fail to pay your premiums or maintain a valid driver’s license. You can also get a three percent discount for taking a defensive driving course.
The Hartford has a 24/7 claims hotline and is consistently rated highly for their customer service. If you are in an accident and need help with household chores such as walking the dog or cooking, RecoverCare kicks in and covers the cost of these services if Medicare doesn’t.
With an AARP plan, you have the option of purchasing a plan with a vanishing deductible, meaning that for each year you are accident-free, your deductible will decrease. Alongside special AARP discounts, The Hartford program also offers classic car, golf cart and boat insurance discounts for older customers.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Amica Insurance
Amica is a small but mighty insurance company, and a great fit for older drivers. Their customer satisfaction ratings are among the highest in the industry, and they receive far fewer complaints.
If you take a defensive driver course through SafetyServe, you’ll be eligible for discounts on Amica premiums. You also get automatic discounts for paying your premium in full or owning your own home. Standard policies also come with some pretty sweet perks, such as zero deductible on lock replacement (whether your keys are stolen or you just lose them).
Best Discounts: Allstate Insurance
On top of being a stellar insurance company, Allstate provides a “senior discount” to those policyholders who are retired (or working only part-time) and above the age of 55. If you’re a safe driver and are looking to save even more, you can get a discount just because you use their Drivewise app to track your driving habits – and another discount every six months that you keep driving safely. Basically, you get discount after discount just for being yourself! If you have anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft system, or a new car, you will rack up savings for those things, too.
Though it may not hold true for you personally, on average, older drivers are more prone to accidents due to slower reflexes and other age-related changes. Older people who are injured in accidents also take longer to recover and are therefore more expensive to treat if they are injured. These risk factors all combine to lead to rising premiums.
Best for Guaranteed Renewal: GEICO
GEICO offers a unique contract for seniors 50 years or older that could guarantee policy renewal. Their Prime Time contract can be added to new policies or to renewal policies. Qualifying for a Prime Time contract is relatively easy: you must be at least 50 years old, your policy can’t have anyone under age 25, you must not have had any violations or accidents within the past 3 years, and the vehicle can’t be used for business.
In addition to the Prime Time contract, seniors over age 50 may qualify for multiple driving discounts. For example, there are discounts offered for completing a defensive driving course, owning multiple car insurance policies, being a retired government or military employee, and having a five-year good driving record.
GEICO can also save you money when you purchase a new car and they offer accident forgiveness after your first at-fault accident which means you won’t have to worry about sky-rocketing rates. Note that accident forgiveness is not available in California, Connecticut, or Massachusetts.
Best for Occasional Drivers: Metromile Insurance
If you only drive for part of the year, you may want to consider a plan that is designed for those who drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year. Plans from Metromile are often much cheaper than a standard policy because they are broken into a base fee per month and a per-mile rate that only kicks in if you drive your vehicle. Do not worry, you won’t have to calculate your mileage – the policy comes with a plug-in device. That same device can also help you find your parked car and calculate your gas mileage, and the app that it comes with can give you alerts on no parking times so that you can avoid getting unnecessary tickets!
One downside is that Metromile is only available in California, Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, Arizona, and Washington.
Best for High-Risk Drivers: Dairyland
Unfortunately, some older drivers might be disqualified from standard insurance policies simply because of their age. If you are unable to get a standard insurance policy, Dairyland insurance might be a good option. The company also has pay-as-you-go plans, perfect for elders on a tight budget who could not otherwise afford to drive under a high-risk plan. Of all the nonstandard car insurance companies, Dairyland consistently has the fewest number of customer complaints, making it a good option if you need this type of coverage.
If you are an older driver, you should also make sure to keep your license up to date: many states will require you to renew it every four to five years. No matter what policy you choose, you should also make sure to get regular physicals to make sure you are healthy enough to drive, and to understand the side effects of any medications you are taking.
Best for Veterans: USAA
If you served our nation, you’ll have access to a wide array of veterans benefits, including the option of purchasing a policy from USAA. USAA often offerings are available for among the lowest premium prices, and the company is consistently rated extremely highly for customer service, claims fulfillment and affordability. Older drivers who have been insured by USAA for 40 years will receive a Senior Bonus payment toward their annual premium amount.
Best for Multiple Policies: Farmers Insurance Group
Farmers Insurance Group provides insurance for automobiles, homes, motorcycles, businesses, and even offers life insurance. Seniors can receive a discount by getting multiple insurance policies through Farmers.
Farmers also offers a senior defensive driver discount for policyholders as low as 55 years of age (the specific age depends on the state). To qualify for the discount, seniors can take a Driver’s Education course approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles and provide Farmers with the certificate of completion for the discount.
The company also offers plenty of other discounts that seniors can take advantage of to lower their car insurance rate. Get a discounted rate when you pay your full premium in one lump sum or when you enrolled in automatic electronic funds transfer payments. If you’re planning to switch from another insurer, you can qualify for a discount if you switch with no lapse in coverage.