Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • Drivers of all ages can get great car insurance rates by comparing prices
  • New data has shown seniors to be more cautious drivers, getting into fewer car accidents
  • Lower risk means lower car insurance rates, so therefore senior drivers can expect more discounts and savings
  • Reducing time on the road reduces the chances of having an accident. This equates to reduced risk, and car insurance providers will reduce car insurance rates as a result

As the average lifespan of Americans gets longer and longer, there are more and more older drivers on the road. Car insurance companies are clamoring to get on the bandwagon for offering discounts to seniors. There are more discounts just for older drivers than ever before.

Drivers of all ages can get great car insurance rates by comparing prices once you place your ZIP code in the FREE box at the top of the page!

Old standards used to be that older drivers had higher insurance rates, period. It was considered common knowledge that older drivers suffered from poor eyesight and a host of other ailments caused by old age.

New data has shown seniors to be more cautious drivers, getting into fewer car accidents. As medical advancements and the benefits of healthy living become a reality for more Americans, older drivers are healthier than ever.

Older Driver Data and Rates

Starting at age 55, older drivers can receive additional discounts on their car insurance coverage, making for some of the lowest car insurance rates of any age group. Senior drivers with clean driving records can find really great rates with any coverage.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that older drivers have had the lowest rates of traffic accident-related deaths for at least the last decade.

While all age groups are showing a decline in fatality rates, those for drivers over 55 are the lowest overall.

Drivers ages 55 to 64 have the lowest rate of traffic-related fatalities of any group that has reached driving age; only children 15 years old and younger have lower fatality rates.

According to 2009 statistics from the NHTSA, drivers 65 and older account for almost 16 percent of traffic accident fatalities and 8 percent of injuries; drivers ages 16 to 20 account for 11 percent of all accident deaths alone.

Young drivers made up 6.4 percent of the driving population in 2009, and older drivers made up over 15 percent of the driving population. There are more senior drivers on the road, but they account for far fewer accidents.

Those lower rates of accidents and deaths from collisions read as fewer claims to auto insurance underwriters. Older drivers can get great rates from the get-go, but discounts will really make those savings noteworthy.

One caveat, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), is that most discounts only last until the age of 70. After age 70, according to the NAIC’s article, discounts are not as prevalent because accident rates start to go back up.

Insurance underwriters will always assess higher rates for those who are more likely to have a claim in the future. However, that cut-off age will only stay the same as long as the statistics back it up.

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Retired Driver Discount

There are many discounts just for seniors, as car insurance providers are looking to cash in on the influx of older drivers with lower risk levels than other age groups.

Lower risk means lower car insurance rates, so therefore senior drivers can expect more discounts and savings.

According to figures provided by the Insurance Information Institute, as of 2010, 32 states and Washington, D.C. required car insurance providers to offer discounts to older drivers.

Generally, this is a form of the safe driver discount, though the application of the discount will vary by state law and the insurance company’s policy.

The III contends that most discounts are off of liability coverage, though Massachusetts’ discount is a percentage off the entire premium.

Some discounts are just based on the fact that older drivers have a reduced risk of filing a claim in the future. Retired drivers will likely have years of driving experience, allowing them to be better prepared for adverse driving conditions, bad weather, and distracted driving.

The ways to qualify for the discount are varied depending on the company. Some just require that a driver has reached the age of 55 or 65, others require that the driver has retired or has met some other requirement.

Age requirements for discounts will vary, as will the amount of the discount.

Safe Older Driver Discount

In general, older drivers have to also be safe drivers in order to get a senior driver discount. A driver who has three accidents or a DUI at age 54 can’t expect a drop in rates the moment he or she turns 55.

Accidents do still happen to older drivers, so not all older drivers will qualify for all available discounts. Many providers offer a discount for an older driver who has a clean driving record that goes back three years.

A clean driving record generally means no accidents or tickets, though each provider will have its own regulations for what constitutes a clean driving record — some might allow one ticket or one minor accident, while others will count any violation against you, no matter how minor.

Though most older drivers have years of experience to teach them that driving slow and steady wins the race, older drivers do have to watch for conditions such as strained eyesight and slower reaction times when trying to drive in a safer manner.

Driving only during the day and avoiding fast-paced and congested rush-hour traffic is one option for older drivers to stay safe and avoid the stress of bad traffic.

Driving Class Discount

Other providers offer discounts for taking a safe driving class or a defensive driving class. This is generally separate from discounts and classes offered to young drivers or other drivers in general. Classes are geared towards older drivers, and they are offered both online and in person.

For instance, the AARP offers an online course and a classroom course, both of which cost under $20 for members and non-members alike, except in the state of New York.

The course teaches a refresher on basic driving skills, as well as introduces topics that are more applicable for the older generation. These include helping seniors to deal with new technologies and reviewing the effects of certain medication on driving.

After the class is taken, AARP will send out a certificate of completion that can be given to a senior driver’s car insurance company. The discount earned by the class will vary depending on the insurer.

It is a good idea to check with an insurance provider before taking the class; though the cost is so minimal and the information is so good that the class is worth it even without a discount!

The class is more than worth it if it helps any older driver to avoid an accident and possible injuries.

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Reduced Driving Discount

Furthermore, some insurers offer even more discounts for senior drivers that have reduced their daily driving mileage under certain parameters.

Reducing time on the road reduces the chances of having an accident. This equates to reduced risk, and car insurance providers will reduce car insurance rates as a result.

Insurance providers are embracing this method so much that they are integrating such discounts into telematic devices that monitor driving factors such as mileage, braking, and location of the vehicle.

An electronic device is plugged into a vehicle’s computer to record driving information. The driving information is sent electronically back to the insurance company by technology such as GPS, where it is analyzed for safe driving behaviors.

Those older drivers who show that they drive only a few miles a day, drive only during the day, and maintain safe speeds and distances between vehicles are rewarded with lower rates.

These telematic options are being opened up to young drivers, old drivers, and everyone in between.

Such technology allows drivers to have their car insurance rates be based on their actual driving, rather than just on statistical information like age and credit history.

Discounts from such technology are varied. Some companies boast discounts as high as 50 percent, while others will quote a new rate after one month of driving.

Either way, the technology is on the cutting edge of new developments in the auto insurance world.

Comparing Rates

While senior drivers can receive some of the best rates based on their ages and their safe driving records, it is not the end of the road when it comes to getting a lower price for auto insurance.

All experts agree that drivers of any age can find the lowest rates for car insurance by shopping around and getting rates for car insurance quotes from many different insurance companies.

Shopping around and comparing quotes will allow senior drivers to find the lowest prices. Older drivers can see how much the various discounts will add up to, as well as find those companies that just have lower rates to begin with.

When comparing quotes, drivers need to make sure that they get quotes for exactly the same amount of coverage. That way, quotes can be compared side-by-side.

Prices between insurance companies can vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Combining senior driver discounts with quote comparison will yield the best savings imaginable!

Start your car insurance quote comparison at the bottom of this page by putting your ZIP code in the FREE quote tool below!