Older drivers are safer drivers - and the insurance companies know it.
Elderly motorists deserve lower insurance premiums. In 2012, the number of drivers on Britain's roads over the age of 80 surpassed the one-million mark for the first time, according to the Daily Telegraph. Whilst ordinary licences are withdrawn on a driver's 70th birthday, giving way to renewals, additional health checks and sight tests on a 3-year basis, this boom in older people still driving has led for the most part to a greater choice of insurance deals, and alongside that choice, the increased potential to shop around for cheaper premiums. Whilst traditionally older drivers have been discriminated against in popular opinion - alongside white van drivers, young men, and, sadly, women of all ages - experience and maturity do actually count for something in terms of safety. When it comes to accidents on the road, drivers between the ages of 30 and 60 are statistically the safest, having the fewest collisions and injuries. This is reflected in these drivers' premiums, with those in this age bracket (and with years of driving experience behind them) paying the least. Unfortunately, those aged 60 and over are getting a worse deal, relative to their safety records, but with some understanding of the insurance market, there are now more competitive deals available to mature drivers than ever before.
Over 60s get A Poorer Deal
While drivers in their 50s are sitting pretty, once they pass their 60th birthday, they are likely to be stung by higher insurance premiums, even if they have never made a claim. According to Which?, 61-65 year-olds pay twice as much relative to the risk they pose on the roads as an 18-21 year-old (and this despite the fact that an estimated 23% of drivers under 20 are involved in at least one accident in the year following their test!). Things only get worse in terms of insurance premiums in later years, too, with 81-85 year-olds paying 50% to 74% more than drivers aged 41-45, despite being less likely to make a claim.
Maximising Your Chances of a Decent Renewal, Even If, Statistically, You Are Still Paying Too Much
As with younger drivers, it pays to shop around. Part of the inequality problem may be that some more mature drivers are less tech-savvy, and stick to the old notion that loyalty pays (sadly, in the insurance industry at least, this definitely isn't the case). Older drivers are therefore perhaps less likely to use the internet to shop around for the best deals on the market. Moneysavingexpert.com recommends combining cashback deals with the top comparison sites in order to find a really competitive rate (MoneySupermarket, GoCompare, Confused and Compare the Market, in that order). Some companies, such as Saga, Age UK and RIAS specialise in catering to older drivers' needs, and so are a good first port of call. As the number of older drivers on Britain's roads increases over time, though, so do the number of providers who want a slice of the pie - John Lewis and the AA look after older drivers aged up to 99, while those in their 80s should have no problem finding more or less competitive deals (via comparison sites) with big names such as Nationwide, Admiral, LV, Diamond, Elephant, Asda, Swinton, MoreThan, Hastings Direct and Debenhams.
The Overall Picture
Thanks to new regulations within the industry, car insurance premiums have fallen by around 40% for everyone in the past two years. While drivers over the age of 60 may still be paying too much relative to their proven accident rate, insurance companies can't afford to to ignore the 1,000,000 strong octogenarians, nonagenarians and even centenarians who are still fit, healthy, and able to drive. While increasing numbers of such drivers should mean that the insurance market for older drivers grows and pushes premiums down in the near future, older drivers can also help themselves further by going online and hunting down the best deals via the usual comparison websites. Providers such as Direct Line, Aviva, and Zurich aren't featured on these comparison sites, so it can also be worth checking with these providers' websites directly, as well as looking out for special deals: The Post Office promises to beat renewal quotes for the over 50s by at least £50, so it definitely pays to take offers like this into consideration.
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