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The advantages of being over 50 when it comes to car insurance


In general, car owners who are aged 50 and over can enjoy much more affordable car insurance. You can try this out for yourself when getting quotes online: try entering your age as 20, and then try entering it as 55, when you use an online form to generate quotes. In the vast majority of cases, the quote for a customer aged 55 will be much cheaper. So, why not take advantage of this fact and purchase yourself some wonderful cheap car insurance?



Why compare prices when buying car insurance?

As mentioned above, being aged 50 or over puts you at a considerable advantage when you are in search of cheap car insurance. However, it is worth remembering that your age is not the only factor that insurers will take into consideration when they are working out how much to quote you. Other key factors include where you live, your occupation, the length of time that you have been driving, any points on your license and whether you have ever been involved in an accident. In addition, different insurers will give different weightings to each of these factors. And this is the reason that you should compare quotes from a wide range of insurers.

How many insurers should I compare in order to get the best deal?
As many as possible. So many drivers only compare 3-4 different insurers and choose the cheapest one. However, market research has demonstrated that you can significantly reduce the price that you pay for your car insurance if you compare over 100 insurers. You can do this by using a price comparison website: a good website will compare not just a dozen insurers but several dozen of them.

What else should I look for when choosing a car insurance comparison site?

Another important thing to look out for is whether the site is totally independent or whether it is allied to any particular car insurance provider. An independent comparison site is better, as it will be able to give you the most objective representation of your car insurance options.


Should I opt for a car insurer who specialises in the 50+ age group?

Using these types of insurers may seem logical, as they claim to cater for the specific needs of drivers who are aged 50 and over. However, a recent report by the consumer guide and watchdog Which? has found that these types of specialist 50+ car insurance companies do not actually give over 50s the best deal. So, they are best avoided if you want to pay the lowest possible price for your car insurance.

In addition, though age is an important factor when it comes to calculating premiums, the amount that you pay for your insurance will be determined by other factors, too. As mentioned above, this includes your history as a driver, where you live, and what job you do, as well as the type of vehicle that you drive. Because they typically have more money than new drivers, over 50s can often afford more powerful vehicles that can go at higher speeds, and insurers often see these as increasing your risk of being in an accident. Thus, when we consider the way in which insurers actually calculate their premiums, the suggestion that all over 50s would uniformly get a cheaper deal than all other drivers is something of a falsehood. A driver over 50 with a fast, powerful car who drives long distances every day to work and who has been involved in an accident in the past may end up paying a substantially higher premium than a 30 year old driver who uses their car twice a week to drive short distances and who has never had an accident.

In sum, specialist over 50s insurers can be something of a gimmick.


The disadvantages of staying with the same insurer once you hit 50

Simply renewing your car insurance every year can sometimes seem to be the easiest and most convenient option. But, don't be fooled. Many car insurers will increase your premium as the years go by and they will often do so in a way that is designed to be almost unnoticeable. For example, your insurer may encourage you to have your insurance renewed automatically every year - and so you will keep on renewing your insurance with that company without realising that your premiums are climbing higher and higher. In addition, renewal letters will rarely mention the differences between one year's premium and the premium for the following year, so it is easy to miss this sneaky insurers' trick.

In addition, many car insurance companies offer welcome offers and other introductory discounts. This is another good reason to switch your car insurance company: they will want to reel you in with attractively low prices.


Why use a comparison company in my 50s? Won't I get a low price with any insurance company?

In actual fact, you will not automatically get a cheap insurance deal just by informing insurers that you are over 50. This is because the lowest premiums are given to a very specific age group in the over 50s range: people aged between 66 and 70. On average, according to 2015 figures from the British Association of Insurers, someone aged 66-70 will pay £241 pa on their car insurance. There are two key factors driving this decision on the part of insurers. The first one is that people in this age group are experienced drivers who are less likely to have accidents. The second one is that drivers in this age group drive less, usually because they have retired and thus do not cover so much mileage travelling to work.

If you are aged between 50 and 65, however, it is statistically likely that you are still in work and thus will be using your vehicle frequently, and at relatively high speeds, as you commute. This statistically raises your risk of having an accident - and, for insurers it is the statistics that matter. Insurers will thus take this information into account when calculating their premiums and for this reason the premium of someone in their 50s is higher than someone aged 66+. So, if you are still below retirement age, you cannot assume that just because you are over 50, your insurer will give you a nice, low premium. Instead, you will need to do a little work to compare insurance offers in order to get the best deal.


The big question: how to get the cheapest insurance when you are aged 50 or over

The first rule is to be "disloyal" to your insurers. This may sound unappealing, but there is absolutely no need to feel loyalty to an insurer who is putting up your premiums year by year when other insurers could offer you an excellent welcome discount.

The second rule is not just to opt for the path of least resistance. Letting your insurance renew automatically may look like an easy, effortless option but a quick online price comparison could save you a whole lot of cash.

Thirdly, do not be afraid to return to old insurers if they are offering you a good deal. Imagine this scenario: you leave your insurer because they have been putting your premiums up year by year and you are now paying far more than you would like to for your car insurance. So you switch to a new insurer who is offering hefty discounts to new customers. After a couple of years you see your first insurer is offering even better discounts to people who sign up with them this year. What is the logical thing to do? Go back to your first insurer for as long as it suits you, of course. Swapping insurers around like this will not harm your credit score or the cost of your car insurance. It is the best way to get a good deal on insurance cover for your car.

Fourthly, it does no harm to alert your insurer to the fact that you are thinking of leaving them for a new insurer. You can do this by phoning them up to say that you would like to cancel your insurance payments, for instance, if you are paying by direct debit. When you do so, your insurer is quite likely to attempt to entice you to stay by reducing the cost of your car insurance premiums. That way, you may get an even better deal than you had hoped to get by moving insurers.


Two Caveats

(a) One situation in which it is not advisable to switch insurers is if you currently have an active claim with one insurer. Make sure to wait for the claim to be settled before you switch insurer, so that you do not jeopardise your chances of compensation. This is one important caveat when it comes to changing insurers.
(b) Another caveat is that it is crucial to remember that price is not the only thing to think about when choosing an insurance policy. The policy needs to cover your driving habits properly. A rock bottom priced policy that does not give you adequate cover for all of your driving related activities is not such a smart choice.


Beware of those optional extras

(a) One situation in which it is not advisable to switch insurers is if you currently have an active claim with one insurer. Make sure to wait for the claim to be settled before you switch insurer, so that you do not jeopardise your chances of compensation. This is one important caveat when it comes to changing insurers.
(b) Another caveat is that it is crucial to remember that price is not the only thing to think about when choosing an insurance policy. The policy needs to cover your driving habits properly. A rock bottom priced policy that does not give you adequate cover for all of your driving related activities is not such a smart choice.


Have you considered creating your own insurance 'packages'?

Many insurers do not just offer car insurance. They also offer a wide range of insurance products, such as contents insurance for your house, life insurance and health insurance. If you need various types of insurance (and, most of us do) then it is definitely a good idea to check out if your insurer will offer you an insurance 'package' for a decreased overall price. That way, you can save money on your car insurance indirectly by saving money on insurance overall.


Once you reach 50+ you enter a great time to be a driver

Over 50s are not only more experienced drivers, they can also often (finally) afford the cars of their dreams. Using the guide above, you should be able to get some wonderfully cheap car insurance that enables you to save a whole lot of money. So, what are you waiting for? Start your search today and see how much you could save.

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