Over fifty? Save money by comparing car insurance prices.
You're 50+ - possibly a pensioner - and you expect to buy a good car insurance policy at the right price. However, your age is only one factor amongst many that insurers take into account when calculating your premium. Others such as your postcode, occupation, driving history etc can have a considerable effect on it and all insurers consider these in a different way. This is why you are likely to get a much better deal by comparing prices from many insurance companies rather than from just a few. A good price comparison service should be completely independent and invite quotes from over 100 different insurers, most of whom offer competitive quotations for drivers in their prime, and so save you a lot of money.
Not if you want the best bargain. Insurers love loyal customers who renew year after year, which the majority of older drivers, particularly OAPs, in fact do. They usually reward them by increasing their premiums every year, and they can do this because (a) most car insurance renewals are carried out automatically and (b) only a tiny minority of renewal notifications display the previous year's premium. These insurance companies are therefore able to get away with gradual increases because they are not noticed by their customers. Unlike younger drivers, who generally face much higher premiums, motorists in their fifties are statistically far less likely to use price comparison services, and so many of them miss out on the introductory discounts and special offers that these usually feature.
Yes, according to a recent 'Which' report. But then we've been saying this for years.
No. The age group with the cheapest car insurance premiums are the retired motorists of 66 to 70 years of age who pay, on average, about £241* per year. There are two reasons for these low prices. The first is that the average claim for this age group is one of the lowest, at £2225*, and they make fewer claims than average, partly because the drivers are usually very experienced, but also partly because the mileage they cover is often relatively low. Whilst the average claim of those in their fifties is quite similar , they tend to drive more miles, and at a higher speed because much of their mileage is to and from work or businesses and they are therefore often subjected to time pressures. Hence they tend to have a higher number of accidents than those in the slightly older age group. Insurers base their premiums upon the likelihood of the insured person being involved in an accident, and the probable cost of that claim, and overall those in the 50 to 65 bracket still present a reasonable risk of substantial payouts, hence they face an average premium of around £292.* If you have a good driving record but are paying more than this it may well be time to shop around!
* Figures provided by the Association of British Insurers in July 2015
Do bear in mind that these are AVERAGE premiums and they can vary considerably depending upon driving experience, postcode, occupation etc.
Generally speaking, no. This is because how much a driver has to pay for motor insurance depends upon far more than just his or her age. Accidents, claims, postcode, marital status, occupation, parking facilities etc are just some of the factors which could affect the premium considerably. A major influence is the type of car the policyholder will be driving, and what the safety record of the car is; many motorists over fifty drive larger, more powerful vehicles which are capable of higher speeds and which can cause considerable damage in the event of an accident. The fact that some insurers claim to specialise in finding cheap car insurance for people under 50 can, therefore, be dismissed as just a marketing ploy in many cases.
Car insurance premiums are often flexible. Insurance companies want to attract as much new business as they can, secure in the knowledge that the average motorist will then stay with them for between three and four years during which time they can be subjected to premium increases. They will often, therefore, offer much lower prices to motorists who join them from a competing insurer. The way to cut your premiums, therefore is to be as disloyal as many insurers themselves are. They will attempt to lock you in by persuading you to allow them, 'for your convenience', to automatically renew the policy for you each year. They do not, of course, make any guarantees of just what future premiums will be! You will normally be given about two weeks notice of the new premium, but no information whatsoever about any increases over the previous year. A very high proportion of busy people – and those in the 50+ age group are usually very busy – are tempted to just accept it because doing so involves no action on their part. However, by spending a few minutes searching around for another policy on a price comparison site the likelihood is very high that you can make considerable savings by switching to a new insurer. You could well find that that 'new' insurer is one that you left two or three years ago which is now willing to offer you pretty much the same policy as before at a much lower premium, since you are now a 'new customer' again!
If you have a claim in progress, it may not be wise to switch to a different insurer until it was all settled. Also, if you had agreed to automatic deductions from your bank account or credit card for future premiums you would need to contact the insurance company concerned and inform them that you do not wish to proceed with their policy. It is often best to do this before you commit yourself to another insurer, because the old one may well offer you a reduction in premium in order to keep your business.
It is important of course not to be influenced too much by the lowest price; you need to be sure that you are dealing with a reputable company, and that the policy you are buying is suitable for your needs.
Most adults are busy people who not only work, but also may well have caring responsibilities for grandchildren or aging parents in addition to all the usual household chores and social engagements. If this describes your lifestyle, it’s likely that your car forms a crucial part of your ability to complete all the tasks in your day successfully. With this in mind, it’s worth considering cover which includes benefits such as a courtesy car, breakdown cover or windscreen protection so that if your car is off the road, you can obtain the right assistance to get it going again quickly or use a temporary vehicle whilst yours is being repaired.
Although there is no upper age limit for legal driving, impaired vision or other medical problems can statistically increase your risk of an accident, which in turn has a negative impact on your premium price. Many insurers ask policy holders about their medical history and may charge more for car insurance if you are unfortunate enough to have a chronic condition, even if you’ve been passed as fit to drive by your GP. Obviously not all ill-health can be prevented, but it makes sense to adopt as healthy a lifestyle as you can to minimise your risk of becoming unwell. Cheaper car insurance is a bonus!
Some companies offer preferential rates if you take out more than one insurance policy with them. If you have other policies in your name, for example house insurance, life insurance, or critical illness cover, it’s worth investigating whether an insurance bundle could save you money. In some cases, taking out vehicle cover with the same company that insures your home, for example, could mean you pay significantly less overall. As more mature adults tend to have several policies for different areas of cover, this option is always worth checking.
Many people pay for their car insurance through a monthly direct debit, spreading the cost over the twelve-month cover period. This option is frequently pricier than paying the entire value of the premium in a lump sum. If you are a person who has some savings amassed, or who can afford to pay the entire amount in one go, this puts you in a strong position to buy your cover at the best price. When you compare the cost of a one-off payment against incremental instalments, you could be amazed by the difference in total cost.
Traditionally, a high excess is used as a way of bringing down the cost of a policy, as you agree to pay the first few hundred pounds of a claim if you make one. This, however, usually affects younger, less experienced drivers far more than their seniors. As a more experienced motorist you will already be eligible for heavily discounted cover, so you may wish to reduce your excess a little. Often this makes very little difference to the premium but it could make a lot of difference in the event of an accident if you didn’t have to suddenly find a large sum of money to pay out of your own pocket. Particularly if you are asset-rich but cash-poor, a lower excess can bring great peace of mind.
Many motorists who are aged fifty upwards are in a prime position to take advantage of some of the most attractive quotes available. By bearing in mind the points made above, it’s possible to enjoy excellent cover for an extremely affordable sum. Why not start searching now and see how much you can get for a very modest outlay?
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