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Q

How do insurance rates change (up or down) after you are 65? 75? 85?


A

Rates for older, mature drivers will depend upon state laws (if age can be a factor) and then the rating systems of the insurance company involved. Some companies offer lower rates to those between 50 and 65 years of age, since this group has lower accident rates. After age 65 rates do typically begin to rise again and individuals over age 70 may have difficulty finding an insurer to accept them as a new customer since accidents for this age group tend to go up.

If state laws allow insurance companies to use age as one of their rating factors than as a driver gets to be 65 and over in age rates in general tend to go up. This is usually due to risk analysis and statistics showing that reaction times, vision, etc is worse for elderly drivers. Since age is a rating factor that most states allow the age of the driver can cause rates to rise, some companies in fact will not insure any driver over 75 so rates will likely be higher at 75 if you can find an insurer and even higher at 85. Also if an elderly driver has a bad driving record it can be even harder for them to find an auto insurance carrier for their needs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that motorists older than 70 drive far less frequently than other age groups but they account for an outsize proportion of fatalities. The death rate per mile traveled for drivers over 85 is four times that of the 30 to 59 age group.

Since insurance rates are made up in part by statistical data and risk factors, those that reach the age of 70 and above and continue to own and drive a car can see their rates go up since these mature drivers are seen as more of a risk now to their insurance carrier.

State laws and insurance company's guidelines vary so depending upon your state laws and an insurer's underwriting rules there may be a time in which a person is not insurable by the voluntary insurance market. Elderly drivers are not solely judged on their age but also their driving record so a clean driving record may help an elderly driver be able to keep down their rates some.

There are auto insurance providers that give mature driver discounts for drivers of a certain age with clean records or discounts to seniors who attend an approved driving course. So whether you are 65, 75 or 85 it is good to ask about this type of course and discount available when shopping for car insurance.

To see what type of senior driver courses might be available to you, check with your insurance company and/or with the state DMV for a list of approved schools. Either your agent or the DMV should be able to tell you if any of the courses are available for you to take through the computer or if they must be attended in person.

The two main insurance carriers we work with offer different discounts for seniors that take safety or accident prevention courses.

For example Direct General in Florida has a discount for taking a Senior Operator Accident Prevention Course (APC). The applicants for this must submit a certificate showing they successfully completed a Motor Vehicle APC that has been approved by the state of Florida.

There are also a few more requirements for a senior to receive this Direct General insurance discount, such as a clean driving record for a certain amount of time and be of a certain age.

A second example is Esurance who has a Mature Driver Discount available for those 50 or older applying for insurance in California. One of the requirements for this discount is a certificate showing that the senior citizen completed a Mature Driver Improvement Course approved by the California DMV.

For information on what state laws allow for in regards to rates for drivers over the age of 65, check with your state's insurance regulator. It will depend upon state laws and insurance company guidelines if auto insurance rates will be raised after a driver turns a certain age.


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