The recent recession has forced many seniors to take a second look at their retirement funds and find new ways to save money. Senior auto insurance is one area where, you can save money by calculating your exact requirements and working your way around discounts to get the best value for money deals.
Coverage according to your car’s condition- Most states need you to carry at least minimum liability auto insurance; any coverage that you wish to add over that should entirely depend on where you live, the kind of car you drive and how the car is handled. For example if you have a new driver or another senior on your auto insurance policy, stay in a congested area where there is a high rate of road accidents, it’s a good idea to keep higher liability amounts and add collision coverage to your auto insurance policy, especially if you have a newer car. However for cars older than 8-10 years it really makes no financial sense to keep a collision or comprehensive coverage as they will simply inflate your auto insurance bill and not pay much by the way of claims after depreciation and deductibles are factored into the claim amount. If your car is parked in a securely locked covered garage, you might want to drop comprehensive coverage too, more so, if your area isn’t in a risky weather zone. If you have a medical insurance policy, you can consider eliminating medical coverage on your auto insurance policy.
Credits and discounts: While some carriers straightaway offer senior auto insurance discounts, which you can avail, others might have different options and it is for you to figure out how many discounts and credits you can work your way around to reduce your auto insurance rates. Here are some popular ones:
Driving Distance- Auto insurance companies usually give low mileage discounts for cars which are driven less than 5000 miles per annum. Most senior drivers reduce driving after retirement so this is one discount that will most probably apply to you. The exact distance may vary from company to company, so check what works with your carrier and your senior auto insurance coverage.
Safety features in your car- The more safety features there are in a car, the safer it is for you as a senior driver and the less risk it poses to the auto insurance company. This leads to lower rates. While anti-theft devices and air bags get you more discounts from most auto insurance companies, if you have any other safety features as well, make sure you bring them to the attention of your auto insurance agent.
Driver safety courses- Also called defensive driver courses at times; these are beneficial in many respects. They refresh your road skills, especially focusing on defensive driving and also help reduce the impact of traffic violation tickets. Last but not the least they can fetch you credits on senior auto insurance for anywhere between 2-5 years depending on your insurance carrier. Senior drivers especially benefit from these courses as their road knowledge is refreshed and they are better equipped to handle the more chaotic traffic conditions.
Combining home and auto insurance - though this is not strictly a senior auto insurance specific discount/offer, combining these two with the same carrier usually reduces your rates anywhere between 10-20% depending on your individual factors. What makes it more attractive for seniors is that many insurance companies give additional credits on home insurance for retired people, so the overall rates go down further.
Joining up senior friendly groups- As the name suggests, senior specific organizations work in the interest of senior citizens, so it’s a good idea to join them and avail the special deals they have on home and auto insurance for members. Groups like AAA and AARP are good options to consider.
Additional benefits- Many companies offer a host of attractive benefits to their customers like the flexible payment options, first accident forgiveness, 12 month rate protection and life time renewability. Others offer compensation for any assistance services you might have availed of, when you were recovering from an accident. Then there’s free windshield repair, rental car assistance, free towing and labor if you get stranded; so many things that actually translate into big savings should you ever require them. Make the most of these value-added benefits.
A little bit of online research (simply type “senior auto insurance” in Google), some planning about the auto insurance coverages you think you require and some comparison shopping will not take more than a few hours of your time, but go a long way in saving you money. However before going with the company that offers you the lowest package, remember to check its credentials and take a final decision.

Author's Bio: 

Christoper Smith is a retired personal finance consultant, interested in adventure living. He loves to explore new places, people and cultures with his wife. He writes regularly during his travels; mostly on the road, from his trailer. His interest lies in the fields of finance and insurance [home, life and auto insurance - his favorite subjects from the past.