Senior car insurance prices may not rise much during a your early 60s, but between the ages of 70 and 80, you can expect auto insurance premiums to increase by more than 20%. Getting quotes from multiple insurers can help you find the most affordable option, but rates aren’t the only important factor to consider.
To help you find the best coverage, our team of insurance experts analyzed data from top car insurance companies in the nation and identified the best car insurance for seniors based on rates, coverage options, features and customer complaints.
Best car insurance for seniors
Average cost of car insurance for seniors
The average cost of senior car insurance is $2,337 a year, or nearly $195 a month. This collective average represents drivers at ages 60, 70 and 80.
USAA, Auto-Owners, Geico and Westfield offer the best car insurance for seniors, each with policies averaging less than $2,000 a year.
Average annual cost for 60, 70 and 80-year-old drivers
USAA offers the cheapest car insurance for seniors at just $1,554 a year, or roughly $130 a month. Auto-Owners is a close second at $1,768 a year, or just over $147 a month.
Because USAA has strict eligibility requirements (reserved for members of the military and their eligible family members) and Auto-Owners Insurance is only offered in roughly half of the country (26 states), Geico is the cheapest, most widely available car insurance for seniors at $1,936 a year, or roughly $161 a month.
Senior drivers may want to avoid Allstate, Mercury and Safe Auto: All three providers have senior car insurance policies that average more than $3,000 a year. Safe Auto is the most expensive at $3,345 a year, or nearly $279 a month.
Average cost by age
Senior auto insurance prices don’t start out high. In fact, 60-year-olds pay an average of $1,915 a year on car insurance premiums. That’s $235 less than the national average cost of car insurance, which is $2,150.
By the time drivers reach 80, however, car insurance premiums jump an average of 34% to $2,574 a year. That’s an extra $55 a month spent on car insurance.
What determines your car insurance rates?
Car insurance companies uses several factors to determine your rates, including:
- Driving record.
- Credit history.
How to find the cheapest car insurance for seniors
If you’re 60 or older and are looking for car insurance, here are some tips for finding the best coverage for the lowest price.
Shop around for a better policy
No matter your age, gender, driving record or location, it’s a good idea to shop around for better car insurance once in a while. Doing so can help you find the cheapest car insurance for your specific coverage needs.
Some drivers shop each time their policy is up for renewal while others wait every few years so they can take advantage of their provider’s loyalty discount.
Either way, experts agree: It never hurts to see how much you can save. It’s best to get and compare at least three car insurance quotes. Just make sure you’re looking at policies with the same level of coverage when comparing prices.
Our rating of the best car insurance for seniors is a good place to start. If you’re looking for the cheapest senior auto insurance, consider options like USAA, Auto-Owners, Geico and Westfield, all of which offer senior car insurance policies that average less than $2,000 a year.
“Multiple companies tie in to the senior market,” said Peter Schumacher, an independent insurance agent with many clients in the senior community. “They effectively tie in with senior member groups, such as AARP or AMAC.”
To get a fuller picture of the options available, you can use an online auto insurance marketplace. Provide some basic info, click a button and review all the insurance offers available.
Alternatively, you can work with an independent car insurance agent, who can generate multiple rates. The benefit of a good agent, according to Schumacher, is that they’ll “take the time to get to know a client to unearth additional savings programs.”
Take a defensive driving course
Showing your insurance provider that you take safe driving seriously, even if you’ve been driving for decades, could result in a discount. Ask your current provider if taking a defensive driving course would lower your rate.
In some states, the government mandates that insurers offer this discount to senior drivers who’ve completed an approved course. The discount is usually between 5% and 10%.
Ask about other discounts
Many auto insurers offer discounts — to drivers of all ages — for bundling auto coverage with homeowners insurance or renters insurance, switching to paperless billing and paying the full premium in advance, rather than monthly. Insurance companies may also offer loyalty, safe driving and vehicle safety feature discounts.
Learn more: Best auto and home insurance bundles of 2023.
Consider usage-based insurance
Having a clean driving record (no accidents, tickets or even claims) can go a long way in reducing your rates. You may be able to earn additional savings by letting your car insurance provider monitor your driving habits to get a fuller picture – also known as usage-based insurance (UBI).
If you opt in, your insurance company may monitor things like your speed, acceleration, braking and even the time of day that you drive. Driving safely could result in a reduction in your premium.
Insurers will also look at how much time you spend on the road. Seniors who drive fewer miles may be eligible for steeper discounts.
“The senior age group drives much less,” said Schumacher. “Most of my senior clients are lucky to hit 5K miles per year in their vehicle. If the insurance company is made aware and if properly documented through the safe driving app and mileage verification every renewal, that could add additional savings.”
Adjust your policy
Raising your deductible can lead to lower costs on car insurance. If you have a considerable savings and retirement income, and can cover accident related expenses, you may want to consider lowering your deductible.
“I find a lot of seniors have historically had deductibles of $250 per occurrence,” said Schumacher. When Schumacher advises them on policies, he simply asks if they’d be burdened if they had to pay $500 or even $1,000 should they get in an accident, instead of $250. According to Schumacher, it helps his clients realize that they can increase their deductible and enjoy lower monthly premiums.
But that doesn’t mean seniors should consider every cost-cutting policy adjustment, warned Schumacher. For example, you shouldn’t reduce your car insurance coverage to the state minimum; if you’re in an at-fault accident, you’ll want enough car insurance to cover any resulting fees.
“Having to pay an extra $500 if you raise your comprehensive/collision deductible is one thing,” Schumacher explained, “but most people would not be able to come up with $100K+” in the event of an expensive at-fault accident.
Be car conscious
The vehicle you drive can also have an impact on your car insurance premiums. Sporty vehicles like convertibles and coupes fetch higher insurance rates while reliable vehicles equipped with advanced safety features are much more affordable to insure.
For example, if you drive a minivan but are considering upgrading to something more fun, think twice. Minivans cost $2,041 per year to insure, on average. And coupes? They’re nearly twice as expensive at $3,894 per year.
Why auto insurance is more expensive for senior drivers
Most car insurance companies use several factors to determine your rate, including your age or how many years of driving experience you may have. Traditionally, seniors and teens have higher rates, because past statistics show that they are more likely to get in an accident. From an insurer’s standpoint, that means they’re more likely to file a claim.
Why are seniors more likely to get in accidents? The reasons can vary, but senior drivers are more likely to suffer from declining vision, memory impairments, mobility issues and other conditions like arthritis and diabetes — all of which can impact driving ability.
In addition, senior drivers are more likely to be on medication with side effects that can make it more difficult to drive safely. Senior drivers may also have slower reaction times and diminished hand-eye coordination.
This reality for senior drivers doesn’t just lead to higher insurance premiums. It also leads to higher fatal crashes per mile for drivers over 70, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
But it’s not all gloom and doom: The IIHS reports that fatal collisions for seniors are on a decline. Despite there being more senior drivers on the road today than there were in the late ’90s, there are 22% fewer accidents resulting in fatalities for seniors.
That could be due to a number of features, including improvements in vehicle safety technology. But the IIHS points out that seniors are reportedly driving fewer miles, especially at night, which has also contributed to this decline in fatalities.
Our insurance experts evaluated top car insurance companies to determine which offer the best car insurance for seniors based on average rates, coverage features and consumer complaints.
Each car insurance company was eligible for up to 100 points, based on its performance in the following key categories:
Cost: 50 points. We analyzed rates from Quadrant Information Services for good drivers at ages 60, 70 and 80 for a policy with 100/300/100 in liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage and comprehensive and collision coverage.
Complaints: 30 points. We collected complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which shows the volume of car insurance consumer complaints against each company. When a consumer lodges a complaint to their state’s department of insurance — often about an insurance company’s claims process, delays, denials or settlements — these complaints are logged and tracked.
Car insurance coverage features: 15 points. Car insurance policy features can help make coverage more affordable both before and after an accident or covered incident.
We evaluated car insurance policies offered by each insurer and awarded points to insurers that offered these valuable benefits:
- Accident forgiveness: 5 points.
- New car replacement: 5 points.
- Vanishing deductible: 5 points.
SR-22 availability: 5 points. After a major traffic violation, some drivers must provide proof that they have the type and amount of coverage required by their state. Proof of coverage is obtained through an SR-22 filing, but not all insurers offer SR-22.
Why some companies didn’t make the cut
Insurance companies with rates significantly higher than the national average, or with a substantial number of customer complaints, did not make our rating of the best car insurance for seniors.
Car insurance companies with a lack of policy options, such as new car replacement or accident forgiveness, may also have been excluded, depending on how well they scored in other categories.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Many of the best car insurance companies offer discounts, including some specifically for seniors. For example, in many states auto insurance companies are required to offer seniors a discount for successfully completing a defensive driving course.
Seniors may qualify for other car insurance discounts for actions like bundling home and auto insurance, enrolling in paperless billing, paying the full premium in advance and making it through a policy period without any claims.
Yes, car insurance rates typically go up after age 80.
Based on our analysis, car insurance rates begin to increase after age 60 and continue to do so as you age. An 80-year-old driver pays an average of $2,574 a year, or $215 a month, for coverage. That’s about an 18% increase from the average rate for a 70-year-old driver, which is $2,099 a year, or $175 a month.
Seniors looking for the cheapest car insurance should consider shopping around, getting multiple quotes and asking about discounts for defensive driving courses, bundling policies and opting into usage-based insurance.
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.