Seniors Can Lower Their Auto Rates

There are more seniors on the road than ever before and even though their numbers are growing, a 10 year study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that there were few older drivers dying in crashes and fewer involved in fatal collisions in general. This is an important finding for seniors.  While your auto insurance rates are based on a variety of factors such as your driving record, how far you drive every year and the car you drive, a major factor in determining your premium is your age. The highest insurance rates are generally reserved for younger drivers new drivers in drivers in their teens through their mid-20s are highest and rates begin to trend lower for drivers in the middle years; rates tend to be lower for drivers in their 40s, 50s and early 60s and then begin to climb again starting at age 70.  If the fatality and injury rates are declining for persons in their early 70s, it could have a beneficial impact on rates.

According to the IIHS study, deaths among drivers 70 and older fell 21 percent between 1997 and 2006. Older drivers actually experienced bigger declines in fatal crash involvements than some other age cohorts. It’s not clear why fatalities are declining in this group but in part it could be due to automobile safety and the possibility that older adults self-limit driving as they age and develop physical and cognitive impairments.

By 2006 when the study ended there were more than 20 million licensed drivers 70 and older, about 2 million more than were driving when the study began in 1997 and even though the numbers are going down, it is still true that crash rates and fatal crash rates increase starting at age 70 and rise even more after age 80.  

There are some strategies you can use as a senior driver to help keep your costs low. First, while it is generally true that rates will at around 70, individual companies have their own underwriting rules if you are being faced with a rate increase is worthwhile to take an opportunity to shop around a little to see if you can find a company that changes your rates at a slightly older age.

You can also take advantage of bundling discounts by making certain that your Washington auto insurance is combined with your homeowner’s policy or life insurance. Bundling can produce significant discounts. You should also do a review of your mileage there are significant premium discounts that occur as your mileage drops remember to let your insurance company know that you are no longer commuting or driving long distances. 

Look into taking a traffic safety course such as that offered by the AARP. These courses can be taken in person and sometimes online and the successful passage of safety course will get you a discount on your auto insurance policy.

Insurance companies frequently offer some discounts for a variety of safety and theft related devices so you can save some money by getting a safer car. Check with your agent or insurance company before you go car shopping to see if anti-theft devices, backup cameras and collision avoidance systems will have an impact on your insurance premium.

Finally, you can raise your deductible change your car insurance coverage in order to save on your premiums. Just make sure you have the coverage you need and that you have set a deductible that is comfortable for you to cover in case of a claim. 

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