Car insurance questions for older drivers

Has the value of your vehicle dropped?
Has the value of your vehicle dropped? © Chad McDermott -

As incomes become fixed, miles traveled are reduced and driving a new car seems less important. Vehicles will age right along with their owners. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the average age of cars in the U.S. hovers around 11 years.

According to Barry of the Insurance Information Institute, dropping collision coverage -- insurance that pays for damage to your car from a wreck -- on an older car may be the fiscally smart action to take.

"For a 10-year-old, or older, car, it doesn't make sense to have collision coverage," he says.

He says that wrecking a 10-year-old car might cause $4,000 in damage on a car that's worth only $5,000 or $6,000. At some point, collision coverage won't pay for itself.

On the other hand, Barry encourages older drivers to maintain their comprehensive coverage -- insurance that pays for damage to your car caused by something other than a wreck -- regardless of the vehicle's age.

"Comprehensive takes care of things like falling tree limbs," Barry says. "It covers just about everything."

In other words, don't buy more car insurance than you need.


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