According to the Association of British Insurers, we can expect a staggering 150% increase in the number of full-time licensed car drivers aged 70 years and older over the next 50 year. This calculation is heavily influenced by the fact that “baby boomers”, or people who have reached retirement, are living longer.
The forecasts also predict that the number of older drivers will increase from approximately 4 million now to more than 10 million by 2050. The number of drivers from other ages is expected to remain relatively constant. If this holds true, then in 2050 almost 40% of drivers will be 60 years old or older and nearly 25% will be 70 years old.
ABI has asked the Government to look into the possibility of regular medical and eye tests.
Insurance is very difficult to gauge because driving skills can deteriorate with age due to gradual declines in health and vision. This deterioration becomes especially apparent after the driver reaches the age of 80. This causes slower reaction times, which puts them at an increased accident risk. This also means that drivers who have had recent driving experience are less likely to be able to calculate risk.
According to the ABI, claims for older drivers tend to increase with age. Drivers are also more likely to die or be seriously injured in an accident. The cost of claims rises with age, and is 50% higher for drivers over 80 than those under 60.
It’s no surprise then that older drivers have difficulty getting insurance. It’s not necessary to panic, as almost all insurance companies will maintain your existing coverage without imposing age restrictions. This doesn’t mean that you will get the best deal. It’s a good idea to compare other quotes.
The current insurance market for drivers of these vehicles is very small. However, as more people drive, more insurance companies will enter the fray and specialist firms will join the existing ones offering this type. This market is expected to grow rapidly.
Norwich Union, at the opposite end of the spectrum, has just launched a policy for “young drivers” to help its customers. Young drivers are at ten times more likely to be in an accident at night than their older counterparts, so there’s a PS1 charge for every time they travel between 11pm and 6am.
This is just one of many new policies that are being introduced to attract new customers and keep insurance costs down.
You can save 12% on your normal full-coverage quote from Tesco if you are willing to pay PS475 excess and waive your no claims discount.
Direct Line is another company that has some innovative ideas. For example, they allow motorcyclists transfer no-claim discounts to purchase a car. They also offer a policy that allows family members to build up no-claim discounts for each other’s cars and provides a discount if all householders have their cars insured with them.
You should always check before you sign up for these policies. However, the major insurers will usually allow you to cut your costs by allowing you to opt out of certain measures. This could make a big difference in your premium if your excess is increased and you decide to forgo your no-claims protection.
It’s an ever-changing industry that is difficult to keep up with. We recommend that you go online to find an insurance broker. They will assess your situation and help you compare insurance companies to find the best deal for you at the lowest price. You will also receive your online discount.