Should Seniors Get AARP’s Auto Insurance?
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You’ve heard of AARP and its auto insurance program, but is the time right for you to try it out?
AARP stands for the American Association of Retired Persons. It’s essentially a membership club that’s geared towards the elderly. In many ways, it’s similar to groups like the VA, or even programs such as rewards credit cards.
While AARP is focused on people aged in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and older, technically there is no age requirement to join. As long as you pay the $16 fee, you can gain access to AARP’s large range of discount programs, travel deals, and services.
Just being a senior citizen gets you many discounts at restaurants, movie theaters, and through other programs. However, through AARP, everything is in one place with one card and membership guide. This can be convenient when trying to remember what all you qualify for.
There are many resources that discuss the full range of benefits offered by AARP, but this article will focus more on the auto insurance program.
AARP’s Auto Insurance Program
AARP does not directly offer auto insurance. It is not an insurance company. The insurance part is offered through The Hartford, one of the largest insurance companies in the nation. AARP has simply partnered with them to offer a discounted program for its members.
This is a natural fit because The Hartford has traditionally been competitive with older drivers and thrives in that market, whether they are AARP members already or not.
The Hartford’s insurance program through AARP includes perks such as:
- Disappearing Deductibles: If you maintain a claims-free record, your deductibles will lower automatically at no additional charge each year. It will lower all the way to $0.
- Accident Forgiveness: If you qualify, then The Hartford won’t raise your rates after your first accident. You must have a clean record for five straight years to qualify for free first accident forgiveness.
- Roadside Assistance: AARP offers 24-hour roadside assistance coverage. It offers all the usual roadside assistance perks, including towing, fuel delivery, battery jumpstarts, emergency locksmith services, winching/extraction services, and tire changes.
- New Car Replacement Coverage: If you total your new car within a certain number of miles of driving it, AARP/The Hartford will replace it with a new one of the same make and model.
- Waiver of Deductible: If the accident isn’t your fault, The Hartford won’t charge you a collision deductible.
These extra perks are not offered in every state and are only available to drivers with no accidents or violations in the last 5 years.
When you get insurance coverage through AARP and The Hartford, you will automatically be enrolled in their “Advantage” program, which is their base auto insurance coverage offering. For additional coverage and more features, you can update to the “Advantage Plus” program. The table below compares the coverage offered by the Advantage and Advantage Plus programs:
|Auto Insurance Features||Advantage||Advantage Plus|
|24-Hour Roadside Assistance||Yes||Yes|
|24x7 Claim Reporting Service||Yes||Yes|
|$100 Collision Deductible Reduction||No||Yes|
|Annual Policy Term||Yes||Yes|
|Auto & Home Account Policy Savings||Yes||Yes|
|Collision Deductible Waiver||No||Yes|
|Countrywide Claims Service||Yes||Yes|
|Customer Repair Service Program (CRSP) with Life of Vehicle Guarantee||Yes||Yes|
|Emergency Expense Coverage||No||Yes|
|Full Range of Coverage Limits||Yes||Yes|
|Full Range of Deductible Options||Yes||Yes|
|Home Ownership Credit||Yes||Yes|
|Hybrid Vehicle Discount||Yes||Yes|
|Legal Representation for Accidents||Yes||Yes|
|New Car Replacement Coverage||Yes||Yes|
|New Vehicle Discount||Yes||Yes|
|No Deductible Windshield Repair Service||Yes||Yes|
|Non-Resident Student Discount||Yes||Yes|
|Paid In Full or Monthly EFT||Yes||Yes|
|Personal Umbrella Discount||Yes||Yes|
|RecoverCare Essential Services||Yes||Yes|
To learn more about these perks, please call your AARP or The Hartford agent.
A nice perk of AARP’s association with The Hartford is that they will guarantee to renew your policy every year, as long as you:
- Pay your premiums
- Maintain a valid driver’s license and have no physical or mental impediment to driving
- Do not get any kind of DWI/DUI
They aren’t guaranteeing that they will be the cheapest auto insurance company out there, but at least you can maintain a policy with them for as long as you need to.
One important thing to keep in mind is your other insurance policies. If you have a homeowner’s or a renter’s policy with one company, and you switch to AARP’s insurance program with The Hartford, you will lose any multi-policy discount you used to have.
The multi-policy discount is usually around 15%, so losing that can have a big impact on your premiums.
The Hartford does offer a homeowners insurance discount through AARP, so you could quote your home or renters policy through them to keep the multi-policy discount. Unfortunately for many retirees, this homeowners product is not offered in Florida.
The Final Verdict on AARP Auto Insurance
AARP’s auto insurance discount through The Hartford likely won’t be the least expensive auto insurance available to you. It might be inexpensive and you might save money by switching, but there always seems to be a company out there that offers lower rates (sometimes at the expense of service and/or coverages).
It’s not recommended to switch to AARP’s auto insurance program solely to save money. However, if the wide range of additional benefits is a good fit for you and your lifestyle, then it’s certainly worth checking out.
Also, you aren’t forced into joining AARP’s auto insurance program. So, you can become an AARP member and enjoy the full range of benefits, while staying with your current auto insurance carrier.
With that in mind, it is worth it to at least have The Hartford quote your auto insurance if you do join AARP. You don’t have to join, and they might be able to save you money and/or improve your current coverage.