If you’re retired or approaching retirement age soon, it’s likely you’ll be driving less. You may not be commuting as often or going out as much, but still rely on your car for errands and going on some adventures here and there. During this time, you want to find coverage catered to your needs, which is why you want to look into auto insurance options that may be better for older adults or retirees. Find out more about car insurance for senior citizens.
What is car insurance for senior citizens?
Car insurance for senior citizens refers to coverage options that may include senior discounts or be catered to your specific needs. Given your age, wisdom, and experience, you may qualify for senior auto insurance discounts and may pay less for a car insurance policy.
In states like California, you may be able to take a DMV-approved “mature driver improvement course” and be able to lower your car insurance premiums for up to three years.
5 reasons pay-per-mile insurance makes sense for seniors
As a senior, you still want a vehicle to have more access and independence. But if you’re driving less, shouldn’t you also pay less? That’s why a good choice for car insurance for senior citizens is pay-per-mile insurance. Why pay a flat rate when you can get coverage based on the miles you actually drive? Here are 5 reasons why pay-per-mile coverage is great option for senior citizens.
1. You’re not ready to give up your keys just yet
Just because you may not be working or working less, doesn’t mean you want to give up your mode of transportation. And you shouldn’t have to either, as long as you’re safe and healthy.
We believe driving can give seniors a sense of independence. If you have your own car, you don’t have to rely on family or friends to get around; you can continue to take care of yourself instead of depending on others.
More seniors are driving later in life, enjoying their Golden Years. According to 2019 data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration — which is the most recent available — here is the breakdown of how many senior drivers are on the road by age group:
- There are 19,243,268 licensed drivers between the ages of 60 and 64
- There are 16,241,884 licensed drivers between the ages of 65 and 69
- There are 12,763,368 licensed drivers between the ages of 70 and 74
- There are 8,345,610 licensed drivers between the ages of 75 and 79
- There are 4,880,480 licensed drivers between the ages of 80 and 84
- There are 4,066,741 licensed drivers 85 and older
That’s approximately 65.5 million senior drivers, aged 60 and up. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five drivers is 65 or older.
If you fall into this group, you’ll need a car insurance policy that matches your driving habits and lifestyle.
2. You don’t drive as much these days
While you might still enjoy driving, you probably don’t get behind the wheel as much as you used to. According to the most recent data from the Federal Highway Administration, seniors drive an average of 7,646 miles per year, which is about half as much as most drivers.
This sharp decline might be a reflection of the fewer responsibilities you have at this stage of life. For example:
- If you recently retired, you no longer have to drive to work five days a week.
- If you’re an empty nester, you probably stopped driving your kids around a while back.
You also might have cut back on driving for health reasons. Older adult drivers are more than twice as likely to report having a medical problem that makes it difficult to travel, according to a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
One such problem is arthritis, the National Institute on Aging points out. Your joints may get stiff, and your muscles may weaken as you get older, the institute explains.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) continues: “Arthritis, which is common among older adults, might affect your ability to drive. These changes can make it harder to turn your head to look back, turn the steering wheel quickly, or brake safely.”
That’s not to say you don’t drive at all anymore. Just that you don’t drive as often as you used to. Whatever the reason may be, if you’re driving less frequently, you might save money with Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance.
3. You’re living on a fixed income
You might be living on a smaller income in retirement. According to the Administration of Community Living (ACL) report “2020 Profile of Older Americans”, the median income in 2019 for older persons was $27,398. Though this varies greatly by gender with the median income for men at $36,921 and the median income for women at $21,815.
If you don’t have a large nest egg and you’re mostly relying on Social Security checks, you could be facing a tighter budget than you did when you had a full-time job to pay for your expenses.
By choosing pay-per-mile car insurance, you can control how much you pay each month and pay less because you drive less. Car insurance can be one less thing you have to worry about.
4. You could get a discount
If you’re looking for the best car insurance for senior citizens, pay-per-mile coverage with Metromile can benefit you in a couple of ways.
First, you pay less because you drive less. Secondly, Metromile offers a mature driver discount in eight states. Your decades of experience behind the wheel usually translates into safer driving practices, so you should be rewarded for that.
Generally, older adults drive more safely than other age groups, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Older adults are more likely to wear seat belts, drive when conditions are safest and don’t drink and drive. These safe driving habits can help you avoid accidents. “Even at 85, senior drivers crash less often, per mile, than teens,” a Consumer Reports study found.
These safety habits while driving are important, as unfortunately, older drivers made up 20% of traffic fatalities in 2019 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That amounted to 7,214 drivers 65 and older who were killed on the road. Avoiding night driving may help.
5. You drive an older car
The type of car you drive is one of the many risk factors insurance companies consider when determining how much you might pay for car insurance. The good news is that older vehicles tend to be cheaper to insure. So if you drive an older car, you may see even steeper car insurance savings.
How much do Metromile customers save?
If you’re looking for senior auto insurance, pay-per-mile insurance can be a great fit given your lifestyle and budget. Making the switch to Metromile could help you save money. Below you can see average car insurance savings based on miles driven per year. For example, if you drive 10,000 miles per year you could save $541* per year. If you only drive 2,500 miles per year, you could see savings up to $947*.
Keep in mind that seniors drive an average of 7,646 miles per year, which means they could save between $500 and $700 a year. When you break it down by gender, older men drive 10,304 miles per year, while older women drive only 4,785 miles per year. That could be substantial savings and help your budget.
The bottom line
As a senior, car insurance should be more affordable and fit your new stage of life. You want something that fits with your budget and can still provide the coverage you need to stay protected behind the wheel. Pay-per-mile coverage can score you serious savings and allow you to pay based on the miles you drive. If you’re thinking of making the switch, check out a free quote with Metromile.
* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.