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How Does Age Affect Car Insurance Rates?
There are multiple factors that go into determining the rate you’ll pay for car insurance: the make and model of your car, its age, where you live and more.
One of the biggest factors in determining your premium cost is your age. Since certain age groups — mainly the very young and very old — are statistically more likely to experience accidents, insurers charge higher premiums for their auto insurance.
In this report, we’ll look at average car insurance rates by age, and answer some important questions: At what age does car insurance go down? And how can I get the lowest price possible for car insurance for my age?
Understanding how your age plays a role in your car insurance rates can help you find the best car insurance for your circumstances.
Average car insurance rates by age
Insurance rates vary based on a number of factors, but one of the most significant is age.
Teens are new drivers, inexperienced at dealing with complex traffic patterns and bad weather, and are more likely to make mistakes behind the wheel.
Teen car insurance rates are often several thousand dollars or more, but some providers offer age-specific discounts, such as good student discounts for teens who do well at school.
Telematics, which are devices that you install in your car that monitor your driving in real time, can also reward good driving behavior with premium discounts.
The 20s are when your insurance rates, although typically still high, start to drop.
Why? Insurance companies know that as you move through your 20s, you gain experience on the road and have likely developed better driving habits. You may also have acquired new levels of adult responsibility, such as getting a house or starting a career.
For these and other reasons, the Insurance Information Institute (III) indicates that statistically, you are less likely to have a car accident.
You can save more money by bundling your homeowner insurance with your car insurance, which gives you a discount from most insurance companies.
Your insurance rates stabilize when you’re in your 30s. By now, most drivers in this demographic have a spouse and family, and will have traded in that Volkswagon GTI for an SUV or minivan.
Trading in a sportier vehicle for a more modest style may save you money up front right away on your car insurance. And with children on board, the chances are even greater that your driving is safer than during earlier decades.
If you don’t already have a telematic device installed to provide safe driving discounts, now would be the time to opt in.
It’s also a good idea to check in with your insurance agent annually to make sure you’re not missing any other discounts that can save you money.
Average rates drop again during your forties but you may additionally discover new ways to save. If you have children who are starting to drive, you’ll want to add them to your policy.
That, of course, will increase your premium. But by taking advantage of good student discounts, away-at-college discounts, and safe driving discounts, you can keep that increase to a minimum.
Another way to save with your young drivers is to make sure that their first car is a dependable, late-model car, used rather than new, such as a Honda Civic.
For maximum savings, keep your own car choices away from that middle-age-crisis hot sports car and instead purchase something that is reliable and solid.
By your 50s, you may have children leaving your insurance policy and getting their own. If you’re bundling home/condo insurance with auto and taking advantage of all your insurer’s discounts, your annual premiums have likely reached their lowest point.
Depending on the provider, you may be eligible at this stage for mature-driver discounts based on your age. Geico is one provider that offers discounts for drivers 50 and over.
Sixties and beyond
By your 60s, it’s time to start thinking of downsizing and retirement. Although any children you have are out on their own by now and off your auto insurance policy, average car insurance rates by age can slowly rise again towards the end of your 60s.
But there are still things you can do to keep it as low as possible. One great way to save is to take a defensive driver course for mature drivers, such as the one offered by AARP. Courses such as these generally cost $25-40, are good for three years, and can save you up to $80 on your auto insurance each year.
What age does car insurance go down?
Average car insurance cost runs high when you are a new, young driver with little driving history and experience. The amount you pay goes down gradually when you hit your 20s and then 30s, as you settle down, buy a home, and have children.
Rates reach their lowest for drivers between 50-60 years old, depending on the car, where you live, and other variables. As you near retirement age, your rates will start rising again slowly, to reflect the fact that accident statistics rise, also, as our reactions slow down and we age.
Does age affect car insurance rates more than other factors?
There are multiple factors, including your age, that impact your average car insurance cost. Each insurance company has its own proprietary formula for determining those rates, so it’s hard to say which rates matter most, but it’s safe to say that age is one of the most consistent factors under consideration.
Here are some of the factors that insurers take into consideration when arriving at your premium quote.
- Your driving ability: This is a huge consideration for insurers. if you’ve had points on your license or past claims on your policy, your rates will be significantly higher than otherwise. This is even more true now that companies use telematic devices to monitor your driving skills in real time.
- Other personal factors: your rates may go down if you are married, for example, or have children (unless they are of driving age). Insurers assume — and statistics show this to be true — that as you settle down into family life, you become a more careful driver.
- Your gender: this is a primary factor when you are young. Teenage males have significantly more accidents than teenage females, and that is reflected in higher premiums. Teen, male drivers, in fact, have the highest rates of any age/gender.
- Type and age of car: the type and age of your car has a significant impact on your premiums as insurance companies use data surrounding these factors to determine which vehicles are more susceptible to accidents.
Other ways to save money on car insurance
Although age has a big impact on your car insurance premium, there are several ways you can save money on insurance costs regardless of your age.
First is evaluating the discounts offered by your insurer and see how many of them you are eligible for. Online quote tools don’t always include all discounts available so we recommend that once you have narrowed down your search for an insurer, you talk to a knowledgeable agent who can ensure that you’re saving every possible dollar.
Defensive driving classes, available for people of any age from organizations such as AAA and AARP, can save you hundreds of dollars for a marginal fee. Many of these courses can be taken entirely online, which makes it even more convenient.
Choosing a higher deductible on your policy will also save you money. Being willing and able to pay a higher deductible in the event of an accident immediately lowers your premium costs.
Telematics have opened up a whole new world of savings for many drivers. Programs such as Allstate’s Drivewise and Geico’s DriveEasy require you to install a small device in your car or an app on your smartphone, which then is able to monitor your speed, hard braking and other driving skills. If you are a good driver, you are generally able to save 5-25% on your premium.