Most drivers know a person’s age is one of the factors insurers use to determine your auto insurance premium. But did you know auto rates often decrease for drivers as they age and build a safe-driving insurance history?
Being a safe driver involves ability and skill, not how old you are. Many car insurance companies offer discounts and reduced premiums for drivers over the age of 60 since they are more likely to practice safe-driving habits due to their years of experience behind the wheel.
Though seniors tend to be cautious drivers, many may not have refreshed their driving skills since they first learned to drive. Concerningly, statistics from Transport Canada suggests drivers over the age of 65 tend to suffer more traffic fatalities than other age groups. Which is why it may be worthwhile to refresh your knowledge by way of a safe driving course for mature drivers. Doing so can enhance your skills, help you maintain your good driving record, and potentially earn you a discount on your premium.
In Ontario, once you hit the age of 80, you are required to participate in a driver’s licence renewal program to test your driving abilities. The good news is the program is typically about 90 minutes and it includes:
- A vision test
- In-class screening assignments
- A driving record review
- Participating in a 45-minute interactive group education session
- If necessary, you will be asked to take a road test
In Alberta, at the age of 75 and every two years after the age of 80, you are required to provide medical report from your doctor to renew your driver’s licence. You may be required to take a driving assessment test if your doctor deems it necessary – although that can happen to any driver at any age.
What Auto Insurance Discounts Are Available for Mature Drivers?
Many insurance companies offer a few discounts you may qualify for, including:
- Senior Drivers Discount. Many insurers will offer people aged 60 and older who are retired and have clean driving records a reduced rate.
- Enrol in a Usage-Based Insurance. You can potentially earn a monthly discount by enrolling in an insurer’s usage-based insurance program.
- Bundle Your Insurance Policies. Combining your home and auto insurance policies with one insurance company can get you a discount. Likewise, if you have more than one vehicle, consider insuring them with one provider. If your insurance company doesn’t offer a bundling discount, look around for another insurer that does.
- Reduce Your Annual Kilometre Count. If you do not commute to a workplace often or at all, or if you’re driving fewer kilometres per year, talk your broker or about changing your vehicle classification to “pleasure” and reducing your annual kilometre count. The less you drive, the less you will pay.
- Vehicle Safety Discount. If you have a newer vehicle that is equipped with what’s known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems such as lane departure mitigation, blind-spot detection, and rear-view cameras to assist when reversing or parking, some insurance companies will provide discounts for those safety features.
- Choose Higher Deductibles. A deductible is what you must pay out of pocket if you file a claim. Before taking this step, make sure you have the funds available to pay the deductible if the need arises.
- Get a Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) Membership. Members of CAA may qualify for an insurance discount as well as other benefits like roadside assistance. It’s worth looking into buying a membership to find out if you can benefit from it.
What Are Other Ways Older Drivers Save on Auto Insurance?
There are a few ways older drivers can reduce their monthly premium. Consider these possibilities:
- Keep Up with Vehicle Maintenance. While there are many things you can do on your own to ensure your vehicle is in good condition, getting regular maintenance checks on it by a professional is vital. Doing so may reduce the chances of roadside breakdowns or mechanical failures that can lead to car accidents.
- Remove Collision Coverage from Your Policy. Is your car, pickup, or SUV 10 years old or older? If so, you may want to talk to your broker about removing the collision coverage on it.
- Shop Around for the Lowest Rate. It’s always worthwhile to find out what your options are. Regardless if your auto policy is up for renewal or not, it never hurts to shop around for a better, lower car insurance premium.