July 1, 2011

Why Older Drivers Will Sometimes Pay More For Their Auto Insurance

An auto insurance quote for older drivers may be higher than for a younger individual. Auto insurance quotes are based on several different factors about the driver, including age. There are many reasons why older drivers are charged higher insurance rates, including their health and potential for being involved in a serious auto accident.

There is no particular age after which an individual is considered too old to drive. Many states require yearly hearing and vision tests, but none insist that a senior’s license to be turned over at a specific age. This does not, however, mean that all older drivers should be driving. While there are many good senior drivers there are just as many bad senior drivers, and it is on the bad ones that insurance companies focus. Therefore, a senior driver in good health with a perfect driving record may be given a higher auto insurance quote because there are other senior drivers that have made the insurance company wary about providing coverage to senior drivers.

As individuals age, vision and hearing capabilities decline. Comprehension and reaction times, too, may be affected. Each of these senses is required to be a safe driver, and having even one problem with either sense can make an individual an unsafe. Insurance companies are aware of this risk, and protect themselves against the likelihood of needing to pay for damages or medical expenses resulting from an accident by charging senior drivers higher rates.

Similarly, older drivers tend to be involved in more serious accidents. Statistically, drivers 75 years of age are nine times more likely than other drivers to cause a fatal accident. In 2008, drivers 65 years and older were responsible for 15% of fatal accidents. Thirty-nine percent of the time, it was the driver who died during the accident. The seriousness of these accidents often means that medical bills and other expenses associated with it are higher. Here again, insurance companies protect themselves by charging higher insurance rates.

Seniors often require more extensive medical treatment after an accident. An older driver may be less healthy than other drivers and also may have serious previous medical conditions. Older drivers require more post-accident medical treatment, and it is the insurance company that will pay for that care. When combined with the likelihood that the senior driver will be involved in an accident, this fact often leads to insurance providers having higher auto insurance quotes.

Seniors are often charged more for auto insurance than other drivers because of the risk they pose to other drivers. The potential – and probability – for injuring themselves while driving and the cost of their medical treatment also makes auto insurance more expensive for older drivers.