With the giant baby-boomer generation growing older, there are more seniors on the road today than ever before. Questions abound from concerned seniors about rates and service tailored to their needs.
Once that magical age of 65 arrives, many auto insurers have filed rates that will begin to rise from that day forward. There are some companies out there who seem to love senior drivers and their rates and discounts will be a big indication of their fondness for “silver drivers”.
Don’t buy online but do shop online
Although I do not advise seniors to purchase insurance online, I do recommend that they shop online to get an indication of which companies are the most senior friendly. There are many websites online with comparative rating so you can have an advance look at what the rates are in your area. While filling out the online questionnaire you will also get an idea of where the discounts are. The more discounts you qualify for; the cheaper your final rate will become.
Referrals vs. Insurance companies
There is plenty of TV and radio advertising out there from the national marketing platforms such as AARP hawking the best rates on the planet if you will use their company. First and most important, AARP is not an insurance company, they are a marketing company that are getting paid very well for providing referrals to the carriers they market for. This is certainly not a bad thing but the consumer should know precisely who they are doing business with. One should pose the question, “does AARP advertise XYZ Insurance Company because they offer AARP members the best rates or, does AARP advertise XYZ Insurance Company because they pay the largest referral fee?”
As a captive insurance agent, I have found that my flagship company is not that “rate friendly” to seniors. I have lost many policies to The Harford or MetLife once my clients turned 65 and received their renewal with a huge increase. When I try to explain the reason for the increase, many customers become disappointed with the explanation (I tell the truth) and let me know in no uncertain terms that they will be shopping. Some will stay because of our rapport that has built up over the years and some won’t.
Cheap car insurance for seniors
There are a few things a senior can do to make certain their insurance premium is the most competitive:
- Shop online among the most notable A rated carriers
- Always discuss discounts with an agent
- Complete a Defensive Driver Course (AARP offers them) every two years or so to get the discount available from most companies
- Bundle your policies. Always try and keep your home and auto insurance with the same company. The multi-policy discount is usually 20% or greater
- Pay in Full – Almost every company offers a discount for not having to bill the client. Usually 10% or higher.
- Do not purchase redundant coverage. Talk to your agent about this!
In my opinion, seniors would be more comfortable doing business with a local independent agent than a 1-800 number or website. This generation is as tech savvy as they need to be but this generation likes to have a person they can speak with and hold accountable when situations arise. There is great value to having an agent in the neighborhood you can speak with when you are involved with a claim and aren’t getting the answers you feel you deserve. Of course there is always the “attorney” alternative, but why give them a peace of the pie if your company is handling your claim in a fair manner?
Car insurance over 75
Once you age reached 75 you should expect rates to start climbing. The reason is simple, historically 75 year old drivers do not drive as well as 55 or 65 year old drivers and claims history proves it. Insurance rates are not set by the activity of each driver; they are set by the historical activity of the entire age group and the geographical area in which they live. When your insurance rates go through the ceiling because you turned 80, don’t get upset about your insurance rates, be happy you turned 80!