Car insurance for the over 50s
If you are over 50, you have the option of both mainstream and specialist over-50s car insurance policies.
But are they any good?
What do over 50s policies offer?
Providers like Saga, LV=, Age UK, RIAS and AXA offer car insurance with no age limit so you could even be covered on the road past the age of 90.
Some insurers provide additional or optional perks like free cover for driving in abroad. With 50plus for example, you are covered for up to 60 days automatically.
Other perks include a courtesy car, emergency 'any driver' cover (so if you're taken ill, another driver can take over and you'll still be covered), roadside assistance and a service to drop you off at home and contact a loved one should you be involved in an accident.
There may also be significant cover for personal belongings that are stolen from the car. For example, Saga offers cover of up to £1,000 as standard on its over-50s car insurance.
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Are they cheaper?
You would think that as drivers over 50 have all that experience, and probably a few years of No Claims Bonus built up, that the insurance policies would work out much cheaper than going with a policy that's open to drivers of all ages.
And that's certainly true for some. With LV= for example, if you have five years of No Claims Bonus, then you get a discount of a whopping 75%, while Castle Cover offers 80% off if you have nine years or more.
That's not always the case though. In fact study conducted by Which? earlier this year said that over 50s car insurance could cost up to £1,075 a year more than the cheapest standard car insurance available for the same driver.
So while over-50s policies should work out cheaper for safe, experienced drivers, it's definitely not a given. So make sure you shop around comprehensively to get a good deal.
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Here are a few quick ways to trim those premiums.
- Pay it upfront rather than in monthly instalments as you're likely to be charged extra interest if you decide to pay monthly
- Take out No Claims Bonus protection if you've accrued a few years without making a claim. You could save hundreds of pounds and it'll ensure that you're protected if you're unlucky
- Commit to a higher voluntary excess. It could keep prices down because you're taking on a greater proportion of the risk. If an accident isn't your fault, the excess can be recovered.
- Fit your car with anti-theft devices such as alarms and immobilisers. As this makes your vehicle lower-risk, it will lower your premiums too
- Add an experienced named driver to your policy; a young, unexperienced driver will increase your premiums, so it's best to play it safe
- Work out your annual mileage as accurately as possible as it's particularly easy to overestimate. Several insurers offer a mileage calculator on their website, such as AA.
It's important to give as much detail as possible when sorting your insurance as you never know what might help in cutting costs. Being married can lower your premiums as you're viewed as more responsible, for example.
Also, don't forget to change your details if you're retiring as it could make a real difference. If you're in a high-risk job now and then retire, you might find that your car cover becomes cheaper.
Once you reach 70, you need to renew your driving licence by law and continue to renew it every three years. You don't need to take the test again, but you need to keep your licence up to date with conditions that may affect your ability to drive safely such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and diabetes.
You can renew your licence for free by picking up a form from the Post Office or by visiting Gov.uk.
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