Car insurance for drivers over 50
Over 50s car insurance explained – find out how you can save on your policy as a safe and experienced driver.
Car insurance for drivers over 50 is typically some of the cheapest available. This is because car insurance providers are more likely to see you as low-risk and reduce your premium if you have a long history of safe driving. If you’ve simply been choosing to renew your car insurance year after year, it’s time to shop around and see if you could start paying less.
What is over 50s car insurance?
Most car insurers don’t offer specialist policies for drivers over 50. After all, the cover you need is unlikely to dramatically change overnight on your 50th birthday. While all insurers take your age into account when setting your premiums, as part of their underwriting criteria, most cover different age groups under the same terms.
However, some insurers do market their products primarily or exclusively at older drivers – typically those over 50. Saga car insurance, for example, is only available for those aged 50 or older. Meanwhile the Post Office has separate policies aimed at under- and over-50s.
How much does over 50s car insurance cost?
According to the Association of British Insurers, drivers aged between 50 and 75 tend to pay the lowest annual car insurance premiums of all age groups – well under £400, on average. Drivers aged between 66 and 70 pay the least, shelling out just £272 for their car insurance.
However, as drivers get older, they may see their insurance costs start to climb. Premiums for those aged over 85 are likely to hit, or tip over, the £500 mark.
Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, as there are lots of other factors that affect your premium. A 66 year old driving a fast, expensive and powerful car, and with a poor driving record, may well pay more than a 35 year old with a flawless record and who drives a cheaper, less powerful car.
Is car insurance for drivers over 50 cheaper than for younger drivers?
Yes, up to a point. Age plays an important part in how car insurance premiums are calculated. This is linked closely to each age group’s risk of making an insurance claim and how big that claim is. ABI figures show that drivers aged 30 or under are more likely to make a claim than older age groups and, for drivers up to 20 years old, the average claim amount is also higher.
The frequency of claims decreases by age up to 75 years, and then starts to rise again among older drivers. As you’d expect, average premiums follow a similar trend.
This means that car insurance is typically cheaper for those aged between 50 and 75 than it is for younger drivers. However, much older drivers (aged 91 or over) pay, on average, a similar amount to 26-30 year olds.
What affects the cost of car insurance for drivers over 50?
Several factors affect the cost of your car insurance, regardless of your age. Some of these include the following:
- Driving experience and history. If you’ve been driving safely for years, expect to pay less.
- Number of miles driven. If you no longer have a daily commute to work and drive fewer miles as a result, your premiums could reduce simply because you’re on the road less.
- Age. Young, inexperienced drivers may pay some of the highest premiums out there because of the greater risk they pose, but so too can much older drivers.
- Location. Where you live can affect your premiums, especially if you live in a high-crime urban area, where the risk is greater compared to rural areas.
- Claims history. If you’ve made several claims in the past, this can push your car insurance premiums up.
- Make and model of your car. If you drive a sporty and powerful car, expect to pay more.
- Security. If your car doesn’t have an alarm fitted and is parked on a busy street at night, the risk of it being damaged or stolen is greater so premiums will typically increase.
- What you use your car for. If you only use your car for leisure, your premiums are likely to be lower as you’re less likely to drive during the busier “rush hours” of the day.
Should I go with a specialist over 50s car insurance provider?
Not necessarily. Over 50s policies may have features that insurers think will be more attractive to older drivers, or other benefits, such as:
- Increased experience with insuring mature drivers
- No upper age limits for new customers
- No hidden fees
- Important cover features included as standard such as a guaranteed replacement car, uninsured driver cover or emergency “any driver” cover
- Accessible customer service with plenty of options to get in touch from freephone telephone numbers to live online chat
However, specialist over 50s car insurance policies aren’t necessarily cheaper.
Shop around among specialist and non-specialist providers, and choose the provider that offers the cover you need at the best price.
How to compare car insurance for drivers over 50
No matter how old you are, think about what you need from your insurance policy. Don’t focus on price at the expense of quality of cover. Doing so could result in a policy that doesn’t deliver when you need it.
If you’re aged over 50, compare what’s on offer from specialist and non-specialist policies, taking the following into account:
- Cover level. Don’t assume that comprehensive cover will cost the most because it includes more benefits and features. It can be cheaper than third party or third party fire and theft, so it’s always worth checking.
- No claims discount. Look for policies where you can take your no claims bonus with you when switching car insurance.
- Benefits and features. Think about the features that matter the most to you – for example, breakdown cover or a courtesy car – and check whether they’re included as standard or as an optional extra.
- Payment options. If you can afford to pay your annual premiums in one large sum, that’s often the most cost-effective choice. Not everyone can afford this though. You can specifically look for policies that let you pay premiums monthly, without paying more in total costs.
What levels of car insurance are available to drivers over 50?
All drivers are legally required to have at least third party car insurance to be on UK roads.
- Third party. If you are responsible for causing an accident, you’ll be covered for damage to third party vehicles or property. However, it won’t cover any damage to your own car.
- Third party fire and theft. This will give the same level of cover as third party as well as provide protection against any fire damage to your car or theft of your car.
- Comprehensive. This gives the same protection as the lower levels as well as protecting your vehicle against accidental damage and vandalism. It might be cheaper than third party or third party fire and theft, so always check.
Can older drivers save money with a telematics car insurance policy?
Telematics car insurance can help you save on your car insurance if you’re a safe driver. It’s also commonly dubbed “black box” insurance, because a telematics “black box” is fitted to your car. It tracks and measures how well, or badly, you drive.
This information is then sent back to your insurance provider to assess your premiums; if the records show you’ve been driving safely and well, your premiums should go down. But be aware that a black box could be a curse as much as a blessing – if you’ve been driving poorly, your premiums could go up.
Are over 50s safer drivers?
Far be it for us to try to answer that question categorically – there are safe and less-safe drivers of every age.
That said, car insurers usually have good rationale for how they set premiums, and industry data shows that those aged between 50 and 75 tend to pay lower premiums than many other age groups. That same industry data also shows that this age group has some of the lowest claim rates and lowest average claim amounts.
What it doesn’t show is the reason for these lower claims figures. Part of the explanation may lie in reported accident figures published by the Department for Transport.
One set of statistics shows that drivers aged 50-74 are less likely to be injured in a road accident than any other age group. This suggests that 50-74 year olds have comparatively fewer accidents, and/or that the accidents are less severe.
And insurers like safe drivers…
How to save on your car insurance if you’re over 50
- Choose a cover level that suits you. Contrary to what you might expect, comprehensive cover can be cheaper than third party (TP) or third party, fire and theft, so it’s always worth checking. This is because of the risk profile of many people who get TP.
- Increase security. If your car is not currently fitted with an alarm, think about adding one to reduce your premium.
- Have a secure location to park your car. Cars kept in a garage or on a secure driveway are usually cheaper to insure.
- Reduce mileage. If you start working part-time or your long commute becomes much shorter, letting your insurer know about a reduction in your mileage could result in cheaper insurance.
- Fewer drivers. Only add named drivers to your policy that regularly drive your car.
- Avoid optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which optional extras you really want as adding extra protection to your policy will generally push the price up too.
- Larger excess. Agreeing to pay a bigger voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess, so be careful about making it too high as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
- Avoid paying monthly. If you can, try to pay for your premium in one go.
- Pick a smaller car. Choosing to drive a small and safe car is likely to lower your premium.
- Consider telematics insurance. Having a “black box” fitted to your car to monitor your driving could result in discounts if you drive safely.
- Shop around. Don’t simply choose to renew your car insurance when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need. Shop around to find the best deal.
The bottom line
If you’re aged between 50 and 75, you’re perfectly placed to get cheap car insurance, as premiums tend to be lower for this age group. But this won’t necessarily happen automatically. If you’ve been with the same insurer for years and seen your premiums steadily rise, it’s time to shop around and find a better deal. Don’t assume that a specialist over 50s policy will be the cheapest, though. Research all your options to find the right balance of price and cover quality.
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