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Finding cheap car insurance quotes for seniors

As is often the case when dealing with insurance, a definition is needed. In the real world, the assumption might be a link with retirement. Before an individual gives up work, he or she is considered an "ordinary" citizen, i.e., pays taxes and for health insurance. After retirement, he or she becomes a senior and is then entitled to age-related benefits, e.g. those paying for health care. In America, this is usually taken to mean 65 but there's some upward pressure with the age due to rise to 67 after 2023. But the word "senior" has been confused with the offer of discounts to those who are growing older. Over the years, this has been falling as businesses try to reach out to those who might have particular interest in their products or services. In many cases, the discounts have been negotiated by and are offered through the AARP. Currently, a couple can be members as soon as one partner reaches the age of 50. In many ways, you can think of the AARP as a type of affinity organization that spreads benefits around to those who qualify as members. Because it advertises itself as a nonprofit, people tend to think they are always getting good value for money.

What is AARP auto insurance?

This is a package deal with Hathaway and it's marketed as if cheap annual premium rates are always coming in the free car insurance quotes offered by AARP

Except this is not the case. Like any other insurance agent that sells policies, the AARP takes a commission on every sale made through its agency. This means the AARP is earning millions of dollars every year by endorsing particular products or services. In 2007, the insurance industry admitted it paid almost $500 million to the AARP. So who pays this commission? Well, the seniors who buy these policies pay through higher annual premium rates. Of course, the AARP has expenses directly connected to the promotion and sale of these auto insurance policies. It has to run the website, print the brochures and pay for the $200 million in bond debt it incurred to build the palace in Washington it calls its headquarters. Better still, to ensure it maximizes its revenue, the AARP only accounts to the insurer once a month. So it gets investment income from the whole of the premium revenue before it hands it over. The lesson you should draw from this is the AARP is not selling cheap car insurance. If you shop around, you can nearly always find lower rates on offer.

Can seniors save money on their next auto insurance quotes?

There's a myth that focuses on the failing physical health of people as they grow older. The assumption is they must pay more for their auto insurance because they no longer see as well and their reaction times have slowed down. In turn, the myth assumes the accident rate rises fast and that leads to higher annual premium rates. The reality is very different. Because of their awareness of increasing danger, most seniors slow down and take greater care to avoid an accident. So up to the age of 74, the statistics show seniors have a below average rate of accidents. Better still, even when there's an accident, they are driving sufficiently slowly that there's less damage to the vehicles involved and people are not so seriously injured. It's only after 75 that the accident rate picks up and quite rapidly approaches that of teen drivers although the seniors never overtake the teens. The young remain the most dangerous. But the car insurance quotes for those over the age of 74 do rise and many insurers try to avoid insuring people once they hit 80. Of course, drivers like Margaret Dunning, aged 102, can still turn heads with her Packard 740 Roadster (only 82 years old).

How to save money on the next car insurance quotes

Even Margaret Dunning has an everyday car — she just shows off the Roadster at car shows. She drives a 2003 Cadillac during the week. And this is a big lesson. By picking a make and model that gets a high safety rating from the IIHS, she starts off with the best possible advantage. If your car does not have anti-theft devices fitted as standard, talk with the insurers and find out which devices save you the most money. While talking with the insurers, also get a list of approved defensive driving courses designed for seniors. Successfully completing such a course earns a discount.

Now comes the double-edged sword of health problems. Insurers have to rely on you to tell them when there's a problem. If you fail to warn them of increased risks, they can cancel the policy and refuse to pay out if you have an accident. So you have to warn insurers and then reassure them you are taking appropriate precautions. Many seniors find they have to begin a regime of treatment for chronic conditions. If the medication may affect concentration, you must tell the insurer. But if you reduce the number of miles and confine your driving to off-peak hours, this will offset the danger. As evidence you continue to drive well, you might consider opting for a pay-as-you-drive policy which fits technology to your vehicle to monitor when and how well you drive. This will reassure the insurers.

But there may be problems depending on where you live. So as with all new technology, you have to decide what the risks are if you sign up for a program. Another factor to consider is that many insurers offer senior discounts at local restaurants and movie theaters. There may be savings available through these tie-in deals to keep the overall cost of insurance down.

Finally, if you have physical disabilities but the vehicle can be modified to make it safer for you to drive, liaise with the insurers and ensure you're going to get the benefits before you spend the cash. It's a balance between maintaining your independence as you get older (which often relies on keeping a vehicle) and spending your savings on the right modifications and adaptations. Always get advice from an independent expert.

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