The Benefit of Hands-on-the-Wheel Experience: Auto Insurance for Older Drivers
Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Just how valuable experiences when it comes to driving? It turns out that insurance companies reward people for their years behind the wheel. Often, they will offer senior discounts for drivers between the ages of 55 and 70. Older drivers have a lifetime of knowledge driving in dangerous conditions and sticky situations. They have also had many years of practice in adjusting their driving and making split-second decisions. It is precisely the lack of this hands-on-the-wheel experience that leads to such high insurance rates for young drivers.
Another reason why seniors can find discounts on their car insurance is that they tend to drive less. Many of them are retired and, thus, no longer have to commute to faraway jobs. Less time on the road combined with a wealth of knowledge makes insurance companies feel more secure.
So, why is there a popular opinion that senior drivers pay more for auto insurance? Well, after 70, the benefit of driving experience is outweighed by the risks that come with old age. As we get older, vision becomes less clear, reaction times slow, and mental cognition decreases. All of these factors make elderly drivers risky drivers. For example, they are more likely to not see road signs.
They are more likely to get into accidents of their own fault for things such as hitting the gas instead of the brakes. Moreover, elderly drivers are also more prone to messing up right-of-way and not obeying stop signs. For these reasons, their accident rates increase. By 85, the rate of collisions for this age group is even higher than that of teen drivers.
Elderly drivers can also be impaired by certain medications they have been prescribed. Due to their physical frailty, elderly drivers are also more likely to sustain serious injuries in an accident. Even small accidents can cause them real harm. It makes sense that the discount seen by older drivers goes away when they reach 70 years of age. Senior drivers can help to reduce the cost increase by taking driver’s education classes, driving safe cars, and being safe on the road. Furthermore, taking care of their health and minimizing the amount of time they spend on the road is helpful as well.
Overall, the better your driving record is, the better your auto insurance rate will be as you age. The safer you are on the road, the more you will benefit. In conclusion, be aware of the trends and do your research.