Tips for Getting Cheap Car Insurance in Retirement
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As unfortunate as it is, when a person gets older, some expenses just seem to increase. While retirement can be a wonderful thing, some of the increased costs can seriously hurt. Car insurance is one of those that seems to go up higher than it should during retirement.
The reason for insurance rate hikes in retirement is that insurance companies deem you a higher risk once you reach a certain age. Luckily, there are some ways that you can fight back and actually save money on your policy. For many seniors who are retired, even saving a few dollars on their monthly car insurance premiums can be a big help.
These days, many insurance companies are determining premium rates based on outdated data. People live longer now and experts predict even longer lives for retirees, with the number of people over 70-years old expected to double by 2030. Being retired does not necessarily mean cognitive decline and greater risk on the road.
Can you find affordable auto insurance after you retire? Do auto insurance companies give discounts to retirees and senior citizens? Is there any advice retirees can follow to find cheaper auto insurance? Continue reading below as we answer everything you need to know about finding cheap auto insurance in retirement.
How Retirees Can Save on Auto Insurance
Sure, getting ten percent off of a meal at McDonald’s isn’t a huge deal. Still, a discount is a discount. But when it comes to car insurance, if you got a 10% senior discount you would save quite a bit of money. On a policy that is $650 annually, the savings is $65. Not bad!
Of course, not all retirees will qualify for discounted auto insurance. There are still plenty of ways that retired individuals can save on their monthly premiums, however.
Here Are Some Tips for Retirees to Get the Cheapest Possible Rates From Their Insurance Companies:
- Ask about a discount for passing a driving course. Most insurance companies give discounts to teen drivers that complete defensive driving courses. Many insurers, however, will also give discounts to senior drivers who complete these courses. You might get a larger discount in addition to the normal senior discount that your company offers. You’ll find that this program varies considerably from one state to the next.
- Update your mileage often. If you don’t drive as much as you used to now that you don’t have to commute to work and back, you might be able to save a little money on your car insurance. Ask your company if they offer any kind of low mileage premium discount and what mileage limits you need to stay under (and for how long) in order to receive that discount.
- Drive a vehicle that’s cheap to insure. The make and model of a car also has a significant impact on auto insurance premiums. If you already want to pick a safe vehicle that performs well, there is no better place to look than the list of “safe cars” that your insurance company keeps. The safest vehicles from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) lists “Top Safety Picks” every year that you can find online.
- Raise your deductible. Since you are driving fewer miles and know that you have a much smaller chance of having an accident, you can increase your deductible and lower your monthly premium. The danger in doing that, of course, is that if you do have an accident, you will have to pay a huge deductible before you can get insurance to cover anything. So, you’re taking a risk-based on your own driving ability.
- Remove old coverage you no longer need. You also might want to consider changing your policy up a bit. Perhaps you don’t need all those extras that you added when you still had kids in the house. If you aren’t driving as much as you used to, then it makes sense that you don’t need as much coverage as you used to. You can lower your premium significantly if you drop comprehensive and collision coverage, for example. Doing this makes the most sense for retirees that drive older vehicles.
- Designate a primary driver. If there are two of you, but only one of you is driving, you might want to designate that person as the primary driver. That way you can take advantage of any discounts that you might get if the person driving qualifies for a lower premium. A common example of this is a child that drives the parent everywhere. There is no reason to pay high premiums for you to drive if you are planning to let your child chauffeur you.
- Remove your spouse from your policy. If your spouse no longer drives, you can completely remove him or her from the policy. This can be beneficial to lowering your auto insurance rates, especially if your spouse has a poor driving record.
- Stop driving. The best way to save on auto insurance is to stop driving altogether. There are some warning signs that go along with getting older and losing the ability to drive well. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself, or if you are the child and you notice them in a parent, you may want to reevaluate who is doing the driving: Signs like driving faster or slower than the other traffic, taking medication that impairs vision, reflexes or concentration, and having minor accidents or getting lost more often.
Switch to a New Car Insurance Policy in Retirement
Just like clothes, we can grow out of our insurance policies. Just because you have always had a specific insurance policy doesn’t mean that you need to keep that policy forever. You might not fit that policy anymore. In fact, you might fit a brand new policy that will save you some serious money on your car insurance premium.
Auto insurance rates fluctuate with time. Factors like age, marital status, number of miles driven per year, motor vehicle record, and credit score are just a few of the things that are always changing. These factors also happen to have some of the biggest impacts on your insurance premiums. If there are changes to any of these factors, you should reevaluate your options and decide if you need to move to a different policy.
You can either update and edit your current auto insurance policy with the insurer you’re already using or you can switch to a new insurer altogether.
Unless you are extremely satisfied with your current insurance company, we strongly recommend periodically shopping for new rates. Insurance companies tend to increase their premiums over time. The best way to combat this is to find a new insurance company. Sometimes you can even take advantage of “new customer” discounts or sign-on bonuses.
Final Word on Finding Cheap Car Insurance in Retirement
Auto insurance companies feel justified in upping rates for retired individuals. Retirees, especially seniors, they feel, experience loss of vision and motor skills as they age. If you are retired, however, you don’t have to necessarily take these rate hikes lying down.
There are many ways for retirees to save on auto insurance, including low-mileage discounts, defensive driving discounts, removing old coverage, and raising your deductible.
The best way, however, to get lower car insurance rates when you’re retired is to shop around for a new insurance policy. Insurers raise rates over time, so it’s best to always be shopping for a cheaper plan. Use the Insurance Panda quote comparison tool at the top of this page to begin comparing rates today.