How to Get Auto Insurance Discounts for Seniors?
By 2030, there will be 9.5 million seniors, making up 23% of the Canadian population. In 2014, over 6 million Canadians were in the senior category, consisting of people aged 65 or older. Forecasts also reveal that the average life expectancy will rise for both men and women to 82.9 and 86.2 years, respectively, by 2036.
How does being a senior affect auto insurance rates? As you get older, car insurance rates may keep rising. The rates are relatively consistent until the age of 65. It’s vital to know how to find the cheapest car insurance rates. In this article, you’ll learn more about why car insurance rates increase and tips on how to get discounts for seniors:
Why Is Being a Senior Affects Car Insurance Rates Canada
By 2009, about three-fourths of all Canadian seniors held driver’s licenses representing approximately 3.5 million people, and older male drivers were likely to drive regularly. According to Transport Canada’s 2018 collision report, senior drivers had more traffic fatalities at 430, which was more than any other age group. The report mentioned that seniors are more fragile and are likely to be killed if they are involved in serious accidents. For the year, the number of serious injuries was 1,306, closely behind the 25-34 age group with 1,667 serious injuries.
It’s not all gloom and bad. Seniors are likely to inflict physical damage on themselves than risk the lives of other road users, according to the EU Mobility & Transport 2019 Report. While they are at a physical disadvantage, they make up for any deficiencies in their senses by being careful, including wearing seatbelts and driving within the speed limit.
Is the answer simply not to drive around? Well, no. Most Canadian seniors live in communities designed around cars, and despite retiring, most seniors still want to lead active lives. It means that they often have to use their vehicles. Age also should not be a factor in determining when you can stop driving. The decision should come after a careful examination of the driver’s cognitive, vision, and mobility fitness,
Several provincial governments have introduced seniors driver’s license renewal programs. Under the Ontario senior driver program, drivers aged 80 and above must every two years take a vision test, participate in group education sessions, undergo a road test, and have their driving record reviewed.
Tips to Get Auto Insurance Discounts for Seniors
Insurance companies are risk-averse. And seniors drivers represent more risk, owing to the high fatality rates and car crashes. They also recognize that seniors are more likely to experience medical emergencies while driving. Seniors may suffer from conditions that affect their mobility, such as arthritis. Insurances don’t take on the added risk and pass on the added costs. How can seniors get cheap insurance? Try the following tips:
1) Shopping around for the best rates
If you don’t shop around, you’re not going to discover which company offers an auto insurance discount for seniors. Staying with the same insurer because it’s more convenient than finding a new company may mean paying more.
How do you go about finding cheap and discounted insurance programs for seniors? You can consider shopping through an insurance marketplace, where you receive quotes from multiple insurance companies. For instance, Surex is one of Canada’s leading insurance marketplaces and offers personalized help from insurance advisors.
2) Maintain a spotless driving record
Older drivers who have spotless driving records receive the best rates and discounts from insurance companies. Drivers with prior histories of accidents, claims, or traffic violations will see a big bump in the car insurance costs and may not receive any discounts.
3) Defensive driving courses & driver education programs
Senior drivers should consider taking driver education courses to improve their skills, for instance, the defensive driving course. It’s designed to make you a better driver through hands-on training that replicates real-world driving situations. You learn how to anticipate risks and make safe decisions.
You can also look into mature and senior driver refresher courses in respective provinces. Many of these courses are now available online. Participating in driver education courses may lead to insurance premium discounts. But it also keeps you safer on the road.
4) Multi-car discounts
Insuring more than one vehicle with the same insurer can result in a sizable discount. Many companies also offer discounts for combining property and auto covers. You can also check if the insurance provider offers a group insurance program.
5) Discounts for upgrading & making a car safer
Seniors may qualify for discounts for upgrading their vehicles to make them safer and help prevent potential accidents. Some new safety features and accident avoidance systems include:
- Forward collision mitigation and warning
- Brake assist
- Lane departure mitigation and warning
- Rear-view parking camera
- Anti-lock brakes
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Blind-spot monitoring and warning
You can check for these features the next time you shop for a new car. They not only lead to discounts but keep you safe.
6) Retiree discounts
If you have retired from a full-time job, the insurance company may offer a special discount. They may choose to reduce rates because you may be on the road less often.
7) Usage-based insurance
Usage-based insurance is also called insurance telematics or pay-per-mile. It’s a pay-as-you-drive insurance program that could benefit seniors who don’t use their cars regularly. The insurance company will install a telematics device that tracks the number of miles you drive and other driving behaviours such as acceleration and braking.
8) Choosing a cheaper car & reducing coverage
A cheaper car will always be less expensive to insure for comprehensive coverage than a more expensive model. Additionally, if the car’s value has considerably depreciated, it may be more worthwhile not to get collision or comprehensive coverages.
9) Electing a high deductible
By opting for a high-deductible, you can also reduce the insurance premiums for comprehensive or collision coverages. But make sure that the deductible is reasonable and that you can pay it before the insurance company compensates you.
10) Choose a company that specializes in seniors.
If you have the luxury of choosing private insurance providers, consider a company that has shown a preference for older drivers. They may offer better packages and incentives than other companies.
From the age of 65, your insurance premiums are likely going to keep on increasing. But this does not mean that you have to pay more. There are several steps you can take to qualify for discounts and reduce your insurance costs.