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Which insurer offers the most suitable seniors’ car insurance policy?

Which insurer offers the most suitable seniors’ car insurance policy?

As you enter your golden years, you may find that a lifetime of safe driving has paid off. Insurers will likely favour you and your premiums have tended to decrease. But car insurance premiums can be high for Australians over 60 years of age, no matter how healthy you are. 

Unfortunately, the insurance industry may only see you as another senior with age-related issues that make driving difficult and see you as a risk to other drivers.  If you want to avoid making steep insurance payments, you may be able to opt for a ‘pay as you drive’ policy. 

Which car insurance policy is most suitable for seniors?

While there isn’t any one-size-fits-all, low-cost car insurance for seniors, certain discounts may be available from various insurers based on where you live. You may also qualify for a lower premium if you don’t drive a lot, or buy your insurance policy online.

In case you only plan to drive occasionally, or in an emergency, you may prefer buying a ‘pay as you drive’ policy. However, you will likely have to pay a greater excess, reducing the compensation expected from your insurer.

For Australian seniors, buying car insurance is also complicated because you may face harsher licensing requirements, which can vary from state to state. For instance, in Tasmania, drivers older than 75 don’t need to undergo assessments every year, whereas if you fall in that age group but live in the Australian Capital Territory, you need to show that you are medically fit to drive every year. Such fitness tests usually check your eyesight and hearing, although you may also be tested for any cognitive impairment or physical issues affecting your movements. You may also be asked if you are taking any prescription medication regularly.

Why do I need to pay more for car insurance if I’m a senior?

From an insurer’s perspective, risk factors, such as hearing or eyesight loss, in senior Australians may heighten the risk posed to other drivers, cars, or property. Since your car insurance policy is primarily aimed at covering your liability for accidents for which you are at fault, the insurance provider may gauge that you require more coverage than the average driver, and consequently charge a higher premium. 

However, if you have an excellent driving history, or if you agree to certain modifications in your licensing, such as driving only during the day time or staying away from major roads with high traffic density, you may be able to convince the insurer to lower your premium.

Consider checking other seniors’ car insurance reviews to see if there’s a widely endorsed, suitable policy.

Is there any way an insurer may reduce my car insurance premium? 

You’ll need to take a look at your own circumstances in order to choose the ideal car insurance policy. For instance, you may need to estimate how much driving you plan to do or check your car’s condition from time to time.

If you have a reasonably clean driving history and have not filed an insurance claim recently, that may also earn you a discount in addition to bringing down the cost of your car insurance policy. In general, you need to convince the insurer that you are a reasonably safe driver unlikely to get into an accident by, for instance, enrolling for a defensive driving course.

You may also want to list a younger member of your family, above the age of 25, as the primary driver of your car if possible, as they are more likely to be seen as safe drivers. Ideally, you would want to count on this person to do the majority of the driving rather than hit the road yourself.

Alternatively, you may want to buy your policy from the same insurer from whom others in your family have bought car insurance to try and grab a multi-policy discount. If you are going to be the primary driver, consider opting for a ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance policy rather than a full-time policy, or a policy that gives you a discount for driving less often. 

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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