3.25 million seniors have a driving licence in Canada – three-quarters of the older population. Senior drivers often become increasingly reliant on their cars to carry out normal daily activities, but, with rising premiums, it's often difficult to afford auto insurance cover on a pensioner's income. Fortunately, there are several ways you can cut your premiums. If you're over 65, find out how you can save money on your car insurance with the five following tips.
Choose a specialist insurer
Most insurers will accept customers at any age, but different types of driver present different levels of risk. Unfortunately, older drivers are more likely to have an accident. Drivers over 65 represent 17 percent of all road fatalities, so it's easy to see why seniors cause concern for auto insurance underwriters.
Some insurers specialise in products for older drivers, so it's generally a good idea to shop around for a different provider, even if you have used the same company for many years. Unless your insurance company continues to reward your loyalty, you should always look around for a better deal.
Tailor your policy
If you adapt your policy to your needs, an insurer will normally offer you a more competitive quote. For example, a standard policy may assume you drive a certain amount of miles per year. If you ask your insurer to put a lower cap on mileage, you can often realise savings because you have cut the total coverage available.
Similarly, you can also ask for a higher excess. If you agree to pay more toward the cost of a claim, an insurer will charge a lower annual premium. Some insurers now even offer 'pay-as-you-drive' insurance policies for seniors who rarely use their cars.
Take a defensive driving course
Seniors often incur higher insurance premiums because they are more likely to suffer from health problems that can impair safe driving. Impaired vision, arthritis and problems with cognitive function can all increase reaction times and lead to more accidents on the road.
Many people take defensive driving courses to dismiss a parking ticket or remove penalty points from their license, but seniors can take advantage of this type of training, too. If you take a defensive driving course, your insurer will normally offer you a discount on your premium because the risk of an accident decreases.
Look after your health
By looking after your health, you'll cut the risk of an accident, and, in turn, you'll protect the no-claims discount on your car insurance policy. As such, it's important to ask for help as soon as you need it.
Talk to your doctor about problems with your vision or hearing. He or she can often recommend treatment options that can ease your symptoms and make it easier for you to drive. For example, some people with glaucoma find that certain types of eye drop can make it harder to adjust to sudden bright lights from other cars' headlamps. In this case, a doctor can often recommend a different type of eye drop that is easier for you to use.
Become a secondary driver
If you don't drive alone very often, you may not need your own driving license. If you son or daughter or another family member regularly drives you around, you can save significant sums of money by changing the primary driver on the policy. The risk rating on the policy will go down if your son or daughter becomes the primary driver, but you can still use the car and benefit from a lower insurance premium.
Auto insurance is often a hefty expense for older drivers, but there are ways to save money. If you want more advice, talk to a specialist insurance broker or continue here for additional reading.