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Recommending an insurance company is always a personal and subjective thing. After all, the things that are most important to the person making the recommendation may not be important at all to the person receiving it. One way to make a car insurance recommendation more meaningful is to make it for a specific group of people, such as people over 55 years old.
If you want to find the best auto insurance rates whether you are over 55 or not, enter your ZIP code into the FREE text box now!
Consumers on some chat sites like Yahoo Voices discuss the three most recommended car insurance companies for those 55 years old or older. They often cite two car insurance companies, Esurance and The General, as having quick and easy payment options and the ability to print insurance cards at home, two features that are beneficial to seniors. Progressive offers those features and seems to consistently offer the best rates for those 55 or older as well, according to the recommendations.
Why Some Companies Are More Highly Recommended
There are a few common features that seem to make people recommend one insurance company over another. Pricing is usually number one, but it is a hard variable to compare fairly. Cost of insurance can be affected by the type of insurance you carry, the deductible, the type of car you drive and a variety of other factors. Even if all other variables are equal, one person may get a completely different quote than someone else from the same insurance company because of their age, driving habits or other personal factors.
Billing and payment options, policy offerings and pricing are other factors with which to rate potential insurers. Billing and payment choices can be an important factor for convenience and for cost, since you can usually save money by paying for a longer insurance term in advance. You can also save stamps and checks with automatic billing.
In terms of policy offerings, most insurance companies will offer basic liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance. However, some companies may not offer the same amounts of coverage or some of the additional policies like towing or special risk car insurance.
One often-overlooked factor that can lead to an auto insurance recommendation is customer service. While many people have forgone face-to-face contact with an agent in favor of cheaper online insurance companies, everyone still wants to hear a friendly voice and experience elite customer service when they have to file a claim. One easy way to check on whether a business is pleasing its customers and avoiding complaints is to check them out with the Better Business Bureau using their handy business search function.
How Being Over 55 Could Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates
You would think that being over 55 would be a good thing in the eyes of car insurance companies. You have almost 40 years of driving experience, you have the accumulated knowledge of several decades, and you probably have a family to care for and assets to protect. Nobody should be more qualified to drive safely than you should when you’re over 55. This is sort of true to a point.
It turns out that 55 is not the magic age at which insurance trends change.
According to an article on the website Military Money, car insurance rates have a generally downward trend up to and even past the age of 55.
The trend continues to the age of 65, in fact, when the rates begin to creep back upward. This is most likely do to physical deterioration and slowed reaction times making older drivers more of a safety risk.
Safety Issues for Older Drivers
Are older drivers really more of a risk? In this case, the eyes may have it. According to AARP, vision changes that can affect older drivers include:
- Modifications to color perception
- Blurry vision
- Problems seeing at night or in partial light
- Difficulty seeing traffic, road signs, and pedestrians
Clearly, the inability to see perfectly can make a driver very dangerous on the road.
Another age-related problem is slowed reaction speeds. Certain situations may require a driver to swerve, hit the brakes, or accelerate suddenly to avoid an accident. As we get older, our ability to perceive and respond quickly to these situations is diminished. If it takes longer for a driver to recognize the need to act and take action, their response may be too late to avoid an accident.
The problem in assessing the safety risks specific to older drivers is that age-related problems do not all hit at the same age. One person may have 20-20 vision well into their nineties while another may be almost blind at 55. Similarly, reaction time deteriorates at different rates, too, depending on heredity and the amount of physical and mental activity a person has. Frequent careful testing of seniors at the DMV may be the best bet to determine who is really safe to drive and who poses a danger to themselves and others on the road.
Discounts for Drivers Over 55
Perhaps one of the most popular discounts for drivers over 55 is the discount offered for completing the AARP driver safety course.
According to an article from AARP, there are 34 states that require insurance companies to offer a discount to drivers who complete the driver safety course.
In 21 states, insurance companies are even required to offer a discount to drivers who complete the course online.
Many people over 55 are also veterans of the armed services. Many auto insurance companies will offer veterans discounts that can save a significant amount of money. One insurance advantage to being 55 or older is that you have had plenty of time to acquire other insurance policies, such as life insurance, home insurance, or boat insurance. By combining all these policies with the same insurer, you can qualify for a multi-policy discount and save some money.
The longer you have been on this earth, the more time you have had to join clubs and organizations. This can be helpful sometimes with your auto insurance because some insurance companies will offer a discount for involvement or affiliation with certain clubs or charitable organizations.
Location and Insurance for Drivers Over 55
Location is a major factor in determining how much a person will pay for car insurance. City drivers tend to pay more for car insurance because they face so many more driving risks, such as heavy traffic, construction zones, taxis, buses, bicycles, and emergency vehicles. People who own cars in the city are also more likely to have those cars stolen or vandalized, which drives up the cost of comprehensive insurance in particular.
While people at the age of 55 could be located just about anywhere, there is a tendency as people get older to move to warmer climates. If an older driver moves to a place like Florida, their auto insurance may go up due to the risk of hurricanes. If they move to Arizona, the wear and tear on the car from the harsh desert climate may inspire an insurance company to raise their rates.
Driving Record and Insurance for Drivers Over 55
Drivers 55 and over generally have well-established driving records, and this is usually a good thing. Your driving record has a direct effect on your insurance rates.
Good drivers with fewer accidents and moving violations will get better auto insurance rates than drivers with multiple offenses; statistically speaking, a larger percentage of senior drivers are good drivers.
According to Nevada Driving University, insurance companies in Nevada will check your driving record for the last three to five years. Most insurance companies in other states have a similar approach. Since you are much more likely to have had driving offenses in your younger, wilder, less-knowledgeable days, the chances are that at 55 your last three to five years of driving look pretty good on the record. This means lower rates for you.
Car Type and Insurance for Drivers Over 55
In general, people 55 and older tend to drive more conservative and safer cars, mid-life crisis notwithstanding. A car with excellent safety features and good crash test ratings will almost always get a better insurance rate than other cars, so in this case the conservative wisdom of age can pay off.
On the other hand, a 55-year-old person can often afford a more expensive car than an 18-year-old can, and that affects insurance cost, too. A more expensive car costs more to replace if it is totaled, so an insurance company will usually charge more to insure it. Expensive cars tend to have more expensive parts, too, adding to the repair cost and the reasons for insurance companies to charge more to insure them.
If you are 55 years old and you want to get the best insurance rate you possibly can, enter your ZIP code in the FREE search toolbox now!