If you are a member of Generation X, you enjoy some of the lowest car insurance rates of all drivers. Insurance companies consider drivers in their 50s and 60s some of the safest drivers on the road due to their knowledge of the road and well-trained reflexes. This is often reflected in lower car insurance rates — especially once you add in available discounts, such as retiree discounts. Let’s explore some potential savings that you are entitled to as a senior driver in Ontario.

Who is a senior driver?

A senior driver is someone with experience behind the wheel. However, insurers have different standards for defining who is and isn’t a senior driver. Traditionally, 65 has been, and is still often, used as the transition from middle age to senior citizen. However, drivers as young as 50 can start inquiring about senior driver car insurance with their insurance companies.

How are car insurance premiums for seniors determined? 

Determining car insurance for senior drivers is based on more than just age:

  • Being an experienced driver
  • Safe driving record
  • No tickets
  • No collisions
  • No impaired driving charges

All of these factors will allow you to benefit from some form of discounted senior car insurance.

How to get a cheaper car insurance premium as a senior  

Senior drivers living on a reduced income can reduce their insurance bills without sacrificing coverage. Tips to get more affordable car insurance as a senior include:

  • Become a member of an affiliate or alumni group: For example, members of the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP) can purchase discounted car insurance through a group policy exclusive to association members.
  • Bundling insurance: Combining home and auto insurance with the same company can lead to big savings the more you bundle. Consider adding any rental property or vacation property, and watch the savings grow.
  • Installing winter tires
  • Installing approved anti-theft devices and other safety features on an automobile can help trim back premiums.
  • Upgrading driving skills at an accredited driving school.
  • Less commuting: Once you retire, you’ll probably be driving less. Informing your insurance provider of this change may make you eligible for a discount.
  • Telematics: Usage-based insurance is a device you can install in your vehicle or download on your phone. This technology lets your insurance company track your driving habits. Good driving is rewarded with discounts. However, if the data gathered shows unsafe driving patterns, insurance companies can use it to justify premium increases.
  • Special senior policies: Go for an insurance company that offers discounts and has tailored policies for seniors or retirees. A prime example of this is Grey Power Insurance, a division of Intact Insurance. Grey Power caters to drivers and homeowners ages 50 and older in Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.
  • Stay healthy: Take care of your health and make sure you have regular checkups for eyesight, hearing, and general well-being. The healthier you are, the safer it is to be behind the wheel.
  • Keep your vehicle healthy, too: Perform regular maintenance and inspect your brakes. Driving a safer car with better features can turn into discounts.
  • Retiree discounts: Ask about specific age-based discounts, like a mature driver discount, a retiree discount (up to 15%), or a claims-free/conviction-free discount (if you have gone awhile without making a claim). These can all lead to significant savings.
  • Reduce coverage: If you’re driving an older car, you may still be paying for insurance you don’t need, such as collision or comprehensive insurance. Speak with an insurance professional to see if you can afford to lose these coverages.
  • Loyalty: If you have been with the same insurance company for a while, ask about loyalty discounts

Looking for more ways to save? If you are looking for a new vehicle, purchase a simple model car without complicated features, or a pre-owned vehicle. These sorts of cars tend to cost less to fix in case of collision and aren’t as attractive to thieves.

Drivers in their 70s and older

Being a driver in your 70s and beyond, many tend to see a slowdown in terms of ability and may find that their car insurance trend higher with age. No company offering auto insurance for seniors has a single policy that is best for everyone, including senior drivers. This is because various factors impact auto insurance quotes and because drivers have different needs. Rates will go up or down depending on a policyholder’s automobile, individual needs, personal driving history, and postal code, among other factors. For example, drivers who live in high crime or congested areas and those with vehicles at an increased risk of theft will have higher premiums than drivers who don’t have the same liabilities.

Turning 80 and Driving

If you still enjoy the freedom of travelling out and about, the Government of Ontario will require you to renew your licence after celebrating your 80th birthday. There are special considerations that you will need to make and specific procedures set up for you to maintain the right to drive. Most provinces require senior drivers to take vision tests and, in some cases, written driving tests every two years after the age of 80. This is done to ensure that seniors can continue to drive safely. In Ontario, older adults past their 80th birthday will receive a letter containing a renewal form and a document outlining the steps they’ll need to take for over 80 driving license renewal.

Please note: You will receive a notification to renew your licence every two years past your 80th birthday.

Car insurance for older seniors in Canada

Like any other age, your premiums depend primarily on your driving record and insurance history. As you enter your 70s and 80s, you may notice your premiums increasing. Unfortunately, this is due to age-related factors influencing one’s driving capabilities. Compromised vision, hearing, or slower reaction rates can lead to a higher chance of accidents for those who are older. This tends to be the case no matter how clean someone’s driving record has been throughout their life.

There is no reason to despair though. Many insurance providers will offer discounts on car insurance once you reach a certain age or are retired. In addition, with many seniors having multiple decades of driving experience under their seatbelts, it is unlikely they will come anywhere close to paying the same rates as their teenage or young adult counterparts.

Senior driver discounts: A conclusion

Comparing car insurance quotes is one way to ensure you’re still getting the best rate. Each insurance provider calculates risk differently, so senior drivers can often find savings by switching to another provider. If you are a senior driver and looking for a better deal on your car insurance, contact one of our isure representatives. We’ll be happy to compare car insurance quotes to get a better deal.

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