You may know that your auto insurance rate typically goes down when you turn 25, since companies feel that younger drivers are riskier to insure.
But once you get a good rate, there’s no guarantee that you’ll always keep one. Money expert Clark Howard says as you age, you need to continue to shop for cheaper auto insurance rates.
Why Your Age Matters When It Comes to Auto Insurance
Clark recently heard from a listener who shared two auto insurance quotes for her 86-year-old mother’s policy that were drastically different in price.
One company wanted almost $1,200 to insure three vehicles, while another company was asking only $400.
Clark says the issue has to do with how old the insured person is.
“After you reach a certain age, insurers … price you into oblivion,” Clark says. “They do not want you, so they use price as the signal for you to go away.”
Clark says whether you’re penalized for your older age or not will vary from one insurer to the other.
“Other insurers may be very price-discriminatory against teenage boys up to age 24 but are not the same way with older drivers,” he says.
“It’s important for older drivers to shop their auto insurance,” Clark says, “because you don’t know what that hidden age is.”
This screenshot of a graphic from ValuePenguin, a car insurance comparison site, shows the average annual costs of auto insurance by age (be forewarned, a lot of insurance comparison sites will spam your inbox or phone number). Notice how the rates begin to climb once the driver gets to be a senior.
How To Lower Your Car Insurance
You don’t have to take these insurance rate increases lying down. Here are ways to save on your car insurance.
First off, know whether you need liability or a comprehensive / collision policy. There are stark price differences between the two.
While price should be a major factor, you should also consider the insurance company’s reputation, Clark says.
“Sometimes you’re better off paying a little more to be with a quality insurer who will be there when the chips are down,” Clark says.
- Read reviews on different insurance companies, paying special attention to how they handle claims.
- Get quotes on each company that interests you, making a note of the price for a six-month and 12-month policy for each one.
- Compare to find the cheapest rates.
Ask About Bundling
Make sure you ask insurance companies about bundling your policies. Typically insurers will offer a discount if you combine your home and auto insurance.
Although other types of insurance may be offered, steer clear of unnecessary policies that will only add to your bill.
Inquire About Discounts
Another way to lower your insurance bill is to ask about any discounts you might qualify for.
For example, AARP offers an auto insurance discount through The Hartford insurance company that includes 10% off your premium.
As you get older, you might find that you’re driving less and less. In contrast, your insurance company may begin to charge you more and more!
Clark wants you to continue to shop for the best insurance rates you can get so that you don’t find yourself paying an exorbitant amount.
Want more ways to save? Here are the best and worst auto insurance companies.