Aging is not something that a lot of us see as a positive. We’re constantly being bombarded with messages about looking younger and feeling younger, and certainly our society puts a premium on youth. It seems everybody wants us to be young forever.
If you’re 50+, you’ll be happy to know that insurance treats age a little differently. In fact, the average driver who is under 25 years old in Ontario pays $236/month for auto insurance. For drivers between the ages of 56 and 60, that average comes all the way down to $141/month. A big part of that difference is related to the fact that people typically become better drivers as they age, and that is reflected in fewer tickets, fewer accidents etc.
Getting older can help you reduce your insurance premiums
There are also specific discounts available to older drivers that can bring down your premiums, and maybe make you feel a little better about that salt-n-pepper hair. Let’s take a look at those discounts and when they might apply:
The most obvious discounts for older drivers are directly linked to your age. Some insurance companies offer a specific discount for drivers between 50 and 70, or more commonly, 55 and 70. This is because this age group has been statistically proven get in the fewest accidents of any age group in Ontario. After age 70, those statistics turn, accident rates go up, and so do insurance premiums. If you’re approaching age 50 or 55, be sure to ask your insurance representative about a mature driver discount, because the discount may not kick in automatically.
Retirement is not at any set age, of course, but as you approach retirement, whether that be at age 55 or 70, you can look forward to a substantial discount (as much as 15%) that is directly related to the fact that you won’t be commuting back and forth to work every day. If you’re transitioning gradually out of the workforce, let your insurance broker know when your work routine changes. Specifically, let them know if your weekly commute to work has been reduced because you’re working less than 5 days a week.
More and more insurance companies are offering discounts that are directly tied to how you drive. Telematics uses a small device that’s installed in your car, or in some cases an app that you download to your phone, that measures things like what times of day you drive, how much you drive, how you accelerate and how you make turns. That data is used by the insurance company to determine how much you should save on your premiums. Savings between 10 and 20% are quite common.
A good example of telematics is CAA Insurance’s CAA MyPace™ pay as you go program. This program only measures how many kilometres you drive in a year, and delivers discounts for any distance under 9,000 km. You save a little if you drive 8,000 km a year, or you could save as much as 50% if you only drive 3,000 km. If you don’t drive a lot, say because you’re retired, you could save big.
How this relates to your age is quite simple. Because older drivers are typically safer drivers, telematics gives you a way to prove it…and to reap the benefits.
Other discounts from Father Time
Although the following discounts are available to drivers of any age, there are certain insurance discounts that are only available with the passage of time:
- Loyalty discounts: Some insurers offer a loyalty discount if you’ve been with them for 3 years or more. In some cases the discount grows every year. So every time you have a birthday, you could be saving more…
- Claims-free and conviction-free discounts: Just like a loyalty discount, a claims-free and/or conviction-free discount only comes with time. The longer you go without getting a ticket or making an insurance claim, the greater the potential savings.
So if you have another birthday coming up – and we all do – take comfort in knowing that more grey on your head could mean more green in your pocket.
Thanks to Adam Mitchell for his contribution to this article
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