Insurance is all about risk – what is the likelihood of an insured event occurring and, when it does, what is the likely cost of the loss and damage caused.
With respect to motor insurance, of course, that risk assessment relates principally to the possibility of the insured being involved in a road traffic accident, the injuries which might be inflicted on other road users, and the cost of repairing damage to the vehicles involved.
In January of 2017, Parliament was presented a briefing paper on older drivers. It contained some surprising and potentially counter-intuitive findings:
- the risk of an older driver killing a pedestrian in a road traffic accident (one of the most expensive, or “catastrophic”, risks as far as insurers are concerned) is lower than that for a middle-aged driver and half that of drivers aged under 25;
- older drivers are less likely to be involved in accidents resulting from loss of control of the vehicle, excessive speed or driving whilst under the influence of alcohol – most accidents are the result of some failure to give way to other traffic;
- older drivers risk injury or death as the result of a road traffic accident simply because their age is likely to make them more frail and vulnerable; and
- research by the RAC Foundation confirms that older drivers pose a higher risk of injury to themselves, rather than other drivers, and even up to the age of 80 are no more likely to be involved in a collision than a middle-aged motorist.
Motor insurance for older drivers
Despite research such as this, older drivers appear to be bearing the disproportionate brunt of increases in motor insurance premiums.
A story published in the Guardian newspaper on the 15th of July 2017, for example, suggested that average premiums for older drivers had increased by 8% (the equivalent of some £66) in the previous three months and predicted that rates were likely to reach a record high by the end of the year.
The commentary concludes that, as you get older, it becomes more important than ever to review your motor insurance, compare competing car insurance quotes, and consider switching insurer.
Any such exercise to compare car insurance in the UK is almost certain to point you in the direction of purpose designed over 50 car insurance.
Over 50 car insurance
Comparing over 50 car insurance and obtaining competitively-priced quotes for precisely the cover you need is simple and straightforward and may be done entirely online.
Tailor your over 50 car insurance needs by considering some of the factors likely to have a direct bearing on the quotations you receive:
- as an older driver, you may not be covering so many miles each year, yet annual mileage has an impact on the cost of your premiums, so try to give as accurate an estimate as possible;
- you may also be less interested in modifications to your car (they may add to the cost of the insurance premiums), but pay closer attention to the level of security protecting your vehicle against theft and attempted theft (since security measures are likely to reduce the cost of your premiums;
- set yourself a realistic level of excess on any claims made – a higher rate may earn a reduction in the cost of premiums, but leave you with a higher financial contribution to make in the event of an accident;
- if you decide to switch insurers, make sure that your existing no claims bonus is taken fully into account – it might be worth a reduction of up to 60% on the cost of premiums (if you have been claims-free for four years or more);
- agree to pay the premium annually – paying by instalments might appear more convenient, but involves your buying the insurance on credit, for which you are going to pay extra;
- tailoring your over 50 car insurance to meet your individual needs also means thinking carefully about any optional cover you may need – such as windscreen replacement or roadside assistance and breakdown recovery.
These are all factors to bear in mind whenever you receive your motor insurance renewal notice. But why not prepare for that review in advance, at any time of the year, by comparing an array of different car insurance quotes, before considering a switch to purpose-designed over 50 car insurance.
As with any other insurance proposal, it is essential that you are accurate and honest in the declaration of your circumstances (your state of health or record of driving convictions, for example). A failure to answer the insurer’s questions may result in the invalidation of your cover and the rejection of any subsequent claim – so making any attempt to be economical with the truth an expensive course of action.
You are over 50 years of age but may still have children living at home. Avoid at all costs any temptation to secure over 50 car insurance in your name for a vehicle that is to be driven more or less exclusively by your child. It is no way to secure cheaper car insurance for your child – it is insurance fraud and commonly known as “fronting”. Insurance fraud is a criminal offence and, of course, renders your cover null and void, with the risk of a considerable, expensive personal liability in the event of an accident.
As you become an older driver, you may feel that many regular motor insurers appear to misjudge the danger you may pose to yourself and other road users. That misjudgement leads to their charging a disproportionately high premium for the cover you need.
Specialist over 50 car insurance, on the other hand, may take a more realistic view of the risks you pose and competitively tailor their car insurance quotes accordingly. To take advantage of the benefits extended by such specialist insurers, now might be the time to make your motor insurance comparison, so that you are fully informed and prepared to switch insurers if necessary when your next annual renewal notice drops through your letterbox.