Car insurance for seniors

1
Takamitsu GALALA Kato/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838). For more information, please see our

The cost of your car insurance changes throughout your life to reflect your age and driving experience. Insurance is typically most expensive when you are a teen and drops in the decades that follow, but by the time you reach your sixties and seventies, you may notice that the cost of auto insurance begins to creep back up. Your premium generally will not be not as pricey as it would be for a teen, but it could be considerably more than when you were in your thirties and forties.

If you are retired and on a fixed income, higher premiums are not ideal. But although average premiums can increase as you reach your senior years, there are ways to save. Some insurers specialize in senior auto insurance and offer discounts that make insurance more affordable for retirees. Understanding what car insurance companies offer car insurance tailored to senior drivers might help you make an informed insurance decision.

Best auto insurance for seniors

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team obtained average premiums from Quadrant Information Services looking at the largest insurance companies by market share. We analyzed the premiums, combined with each companies financial strength, customer satisfaction scores, available coverages and discounts.

If you are looking for the best car insurance for seniors, these companies might be a good place to start:

Car insurance company Average annual premium for full coverage for 70-year-olds 2020 J.D. Power score (customer satisfaction index ranking)
Allstate $2,079 876/1,000
Geico $1,478 871/1,000
The Hartford $2,117 888/1,000
USAA $1,202 890/1,000

Allstate

Although its average full coverage premium is the second-highest on our list, Allstate makes the list of best auto insurance for seniors for the variety of discounts the company offers. Allstate’s above-industry-average customer satisfaction score means that clients are generally satisfied with the company’s service.

You cannot change how a company rates your policy based on age, but you could take advantage of discounts to offset the price increase. Some Allstate discounts that might reduce the cost of auto insurance for seniors include:

  • Drivewise program: Downloading the Drivewise app and allowing the program to track your driving habits could earn you up to a 10% discount. If you are able to improve your driving habits, you might receive up to a 25% in discounts after six months.
  • Multiple policy discount: If you insure your home and auto with Allstate, you could save on both policies.
  • Responsible payer discount: Seniors are generally more financially stable than younger drivers. If you have not received a late payment notice in the last year, Allstate may give you a discount.

Allstate offers several optional coverages on its auto insurance product as well, which may help you tailor your coverage to your needs.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

Geico

Geico consistently has some of the lowest average car insurance prices on the market. The company’s policies are fairly basic with only a few add-on coverages, but Geico offers plenty of discounts that might appeal to you if your primary concern is keeping your insurance costs low.

Seniors will appreciate Geico’s Prime Time Contract, an automatic renewal policy ensuring you have coverage as long as you are licensed, do not have any drivers under 25 on your policy, do not use your vehicle for business purposes and have not had an accident in the last three years. On top of already low prices, you may be able to take advantage of discounts such as:

  • Defensive driving course: Seniors who have completed a defensive driving course might be eligible to receive 5% to 10% off their policy, depending on the state.
  • Retired military or government employee discount: If you are a retired military member or government employee, you might get an additional discount on your car insurance.
  • Membership discounts: If you are a member of certain organizations, you may get a discount on your car insurance policy.

Geico offers numerous other discounts that could help you save money.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

The Hartford/AARP

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is nearly 40 million members strong. Members have exclusive access to car insurance for seniors through The Hartford, one of the top insurers in the country with high customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power.

The Hartford’s auto insurance policies may not be the cheapest on our list, but the insurer provides exclusive senior auto insurance benefits. A couple of benefits include RecoverCare, which can help provide services around the house if you are injured in an accident.

Some of The Hartford’s car insurance discounts that can be leveraged by seniors discounts are:

  • Alternative fuel discount: Save money on your policy when you insure an electric or hybrid vehicle.
  • Defensive driving course discount: You might qualify for savings if you complete a defensive driving course.
  • Paid-in-full: If you pay your premium in full, you might qualify for a discount.

You can also ask your agent at The Hartford about how you can further lower your rate.

Learn more: The Hartford Insurance review

USAA

USAA sells insurance to active and retired military members and their families. USAA consistently receives the highest scores from J.D. Power but does not qualify for official ranking due to its eligibility restrictions.

If you qualify for USAA, you may have access to some of the cheapest average premiums across the country, as well as numerous discounts to help you save even more.

USAA premiums are already priced competitively. Other discounts for seniors are:

  • Defensive driving: Pass a defensive driver course to reduce your chance of getting in an accident and receive a discount on your premiums.
  • Low mileage: If you no longer need to commute to work, you could save on your car insurance.
  • Length of membership: The longer you are a member with USAA, the more you might save.

If you are still an active military member, the company also offers discounts for garaging your vehicle on a military base and for storing your vehicle while you are deployed.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

Cost of auto insurance for seniors

On average, 70-year-old drivers pay $1,685 annually for full coverage car insurance. This is very close to the national average cost of car insurance, which is $1,674 per year for full coverage.

Seniors tend to be relatively safe drivers, but they are statistically more likely to suffer injury or death in a crash. The higher risk means higher premiums when compared to someone who is 35 years old. Fortunately, senior car insurance is less expensive than teen auto insurance.

Laura Adams, an insurance expert, explains, “While you might think that seniors pay more for auto insurance, their rates are lower than for teen drivers. That’s because seniors generally have more driving experience, obey speed limits and drive fewer annual miles than younger drivers.”

Optional car insurance coverages for seniors

As you age, your car insurance needs may change. Coverages or policy features that made sense for you in years past may no longer be right for your needs. As you reach your senior years, you may want to consider the following coverages:

  • Higher liability limits: You may have more wealth and assets to protect in your senior years than you did when you were younger. Choosing higher liability limits gives you more financial protection if you cause an accident.
  • Car rental reimbursement: Many seniors downsize their cars if all members of the household are retired. If you only have one vehicle, this coverage could be important. If you are in an accident and your car is not driveable, this coverage will pay for a rental car up to your policy limits.
  • New car replacement: If you have purchased a new vehicle, you may want to consider adding this option. Each company’s endorsement works a bit differently, but typically this endorsement will pay to replace your totaled vehicle with a comparable new vehicle, rather than paying you the depreciated value.
  • Accident forgiveness: This optional coverage typically forgives one at-fault accident every three to five years, although the specifics will vary by company, which could help keep your policy from increasing if you cause an accident.

Talking to your agent or a representative from your insurance company about your changing car insurance needs could help you identify gaps in your coverage or potential features you should take advantage of.

Car insurance discounts for seniors

Most insurers offer discounts to help you save money on your car insurance. Although discounts vary by company, many insurers offer discounts for seniors who take defensive driving courses.

According to Adams, “If you’re over age 55, most auto insurers offer a senior or mature driver discount if you complete an online driver’s education course. Getting this education is an easy way to save money and improve your defensive driving skills.”

Other discounts you should ask about include:

  • Bundled or multi-policy discount: If you insure your home and vehicle with the same insurance company, you may qualify for a sizable discount.
  • Safety equipment discount: Newer model vehicles often come with safety equipment such as air bags, anti-lock brakes and anti-collision technology could qualify you for more savings.
  • Safe driving history discount: If you have an accident-free driving history, insurers may provide you with a discount on your premium.

It never hurts to ask about the discounts you might be eligible for.

Other ways senior drivers can save on car insurance

Other ways to save on your auto insurance include:

  • Shop around. Every insurance company offers different rates, so you may find the same coverage for a lower price.
  • Update your driver information. If you are retired, you might get a discount on your policy. You may also receive a discount if you update your vehicle to pleasure use, rather than commute use.
  • Pay your premium in full . If you can afford to pay your premium in full, you might save money.
  • Reconsider the car you drive. You may be able to save on car insurance by downgrading the vehicle model you own or buying a newer model with more safety equipment. Just be sure to get a quote for a vehicle before you buy it, to make sure it saves you money on insurance.

By going through this process, you may be able to save money on your premiums. Even a small percentage of savings can add up over time.

Frequently asked questions

Do seniors pay more for auto insurance?

On average, auto insurance premiums begin to increase again around age 70. There are many factors that contribute to whether a senior pays more for auto insurance. However, compared to teens and younger drives, seniors still pay less for insurance. Car insurance premiums are personalized to your individual rating factors, like your driving history, the type of car you drive and the coverages you choose.

What is the best car insurance for seniors?

The best car insurance company will be different for everyone because everyone has unique rating factors and is looking for different things from a company. Getting quotes from several companies can help you to compare the premiums, coverages, discounts, customer service ratings, financial strength and policy features. This could help you to find a company that fits your needs.

How does a defensive driver course for seniors work?

Some companies offer discounts for seniors who take a defensive driving course. If you are considering taking advantage of this discount, you may want to first contact your company to confirm that they offer the discount and to check what courses are approved. Once you know what courses will qualify, you can sign up and complete the course. You will likely receive a completion certificate that you can present to your insurance company to qualify for the discount.


Printable PDF version

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 70-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in professional and technical writing from Indiana University East. She began writing for Bankrate in January 2021 and has nearly a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent. Cate has worked with over a dozen insurance companies and is experienced with auto, home, flood, umbrella and life insurance.