The Best Insurance for Senior Citizens
Your insurance needs to change as your life changes. Whether you are seeking cheaper car insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance or life insurance, insurance companies have deals and discounts for folks 55 years old or older. In other words, it pays to shop around and review your coverage options. You may well be able to save money, lowering your insurance expenses.
This article will give you tips and recommendations to find the best, cheapest annual premium for your car, home, health and life coverage. First, let's tackle how to find the best car insurance for seniors.
Good News About Car Insurance for Seniors
If you are looking for the best car insurance for seniors, there are many factors that can lower the cost of car insurance. For example, generally speaking, drivers 55 years old or older are more cautious than other drivers. Born of time and experience, this caution puts these drivers in a great position to find the best, cheapest car insurance.
Mature drivers are much more likely to obey the rules of the road and avoid potentially dangerous situations, steering clear of rush-hour traffic, congested streets and highways, poor driving conditions due to inclement weather and times when road visibility is not ideal.
Seniors have accumulated a lifetime of driving experience, and that driving experience makes them a less risky bet in the eyes of car insurance companies.
Lower Car Insurance for Senior Drivers
Of course, this cautious behavior is not lost on car insurance companies, which is why car insurance rates for seniors are much lower than the auto insurance rates for teenager drivers, 20-year-olds and, say, 30-year-olds. Another factor that helps to drive down car insurance for seniors is the fact that, as senior drivers, they probably drive far fewer miles than they used to. Of course, the less you drive as a driver, the less vulnerable you are to roadway accidents. Lower mileage will reduce your auto insurance premium.
What J.D. Power Says
According to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, "Insurers' efforts to differentiate themselves in the marketplace will increasingly hinge on bringing more innovative customer solutions to market." Do you know what that means? The Hartford, State Farm, USAA and all the best car insurance companies are bending over backward to offer car insurance policies that meet drivers' car insurance needs.
Review Your Car Insurance Needs Before Buying
But it is important to remember that the best car insurance for some drivers may not be the cheapest car insurance, so every driver should take a good look at the insurance coverage they actually need on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a nifty Consumers Guide to Auto Insurance that will help to clarify for drivers the basics of an array of auto insurance products.
Auto Insurance Discounts for Seniors
Car insurance companies offer discounts that can lower your annual premium, which is the dollar amount you pay for 12 months of coverage. Of course, senior drivers are eligible for these discounts, too! The more discounts you can snag, the less you'll have to pay for your annual premium. Let's take a look at some of the discounts that are germane to car insurance for seniors.
Defensive Driving Course Discount
State Farm, Nationwide and other car insurance companies will give senior drivers a discount just for taking an approved defensive driver course. For example, the AAA offers an accident prevention course for mature motorists that can be taken online in the comfort of your own home. What could be easier? This excellent defensive driving course offers seniors tips and tools that can help to compensate for their age group's slower response times, less-than-ideal eyesight and hearing, and even the effects of medication.
You might also ask your agent about the CarFit program, which is sponsored by the AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. This program is geared toward increasing the safety and comfort of senior drivers, from improving visibility sightlines to positioning the steering wheel for maximum efficiency. Your insurer may have another, similar program, so be sure to ask your agent about this money-saving discount. You could save up to 15%!
The average driver covers about 13,500 miles every year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. However, seniors and other folks who drive fewer than 7,500 miles a year may be eligible for a nice, fat discount. And guess which drivers cover the least amount of miles per year among American drivers? Women over the age of 65: This age group of drivers only motors about 5,000 miles a year. Nationwide, State Farm and other car insurance companies offer discounts for drivers who have low, per-year mileage. Drivers, you could save a bundle of loot with this discount!
Military Service and Other Memberships
Did you know you can get a discount for having served in the U.S. Armed Forces? This discount, which can give seniors a 15% savings, is sometimes overlooked by senior drivers who also happen to be former military members. USAA and other car insurance companies are not just honoring your military service: They know that veteran military members bring a certain military mindset to everything they do, including the proper handling of a vehicle. Further, many auto insurance companies also offer discounts to employees of the federal government as well as seniors who have professional or academic affiliations.
Drivers above the age of 55 may qualify for this discount, which can lop up to 10% off senior citizens' car insurance rates. For example, Allstate proffers a 10% discount on its basic coverage options, including liability and property damage. Don't miss out on this opportunity to save money on your car insurance rates.
More Car Insurance Discounts for Retirees
Car insurance companies offer discounts for all kinds of things, such as renewing your car insurance policy early, paying your annual premium in one lump sum and paying your monthly car insurance bill through automatic electronic billing. Of course, every company loves a clean driving record. Let's look at some other car insurance discounts that can help to lower the car insurance rates of mature adults.
Bundle Your Policies
When you bundle your insurance policies, you are purchasing your different policies from the same insurer. For example, if purchase your home and auto insurance from the same carrier, that carrier will most likely give you a discount on your car insurance.
On the other hand, if you have several cars insured with the same carrier, you will probably be eligible for a bundling or multi-policy discount. When seniors are looking for car insurance, they should definitely ask about a multi-policy discount. To find the cheapest car insurance, savvy customers take advantage of the benefits discounts to offer. After all, bundling your policies could save you up to 25% on your auto insurance premium.
Every car insurance company is interested in mitigating as much risk as possible, and one thing every car insurance company will consider is not just the driver but the vehicle itself. The Hartford, State Farm, USAA and every other auto insurance carrier will not overlook your auto's safety features. So before you talk with various auto insurance agents to find the best, cheapest car insurance, it's best to review your vehicle's safety features, or what you might call its "content integrity." How many safety features does your car have? How many discounts can you snag?
Anti-theft devices, including car alarms, hood locks, GPS tracking and disabling systems
Electronic stability control
Passive restraints, such as seat belts, airbags and safety seats for the grandkids
Daytime running lights
Since all of these car features lessen the risk of injuries, accidents and thefts, they serve to lower your risk. Of course, if you're looking for a new car, look for a vehicle with these safety features before you sign on the dotted line. The more safety features your vehicle has, the more discounts you can claim.
Shop Around for the Best Car Insurance
The key to finding the best, cheapest car insurance is to shop around. SmartFinancial knows the best car insurance companies and the best car insurance, so they can find you the best car insurance company with the best car insurance rates in no time at all. How? The SmartFinancial team uses artificial intelligence to sort through hundreds of policies in your area, pinpointing the policy that will work best for you. SmartFinancial puts a high premium on customer service, and that means meeting your specific needs. For a free quote, enter your zip code on this page to begin.
Car insurance rates are based on a number of factors, including your credit score, driving history, insurance history, the make and model of the car you drive, and other factors. Let's take a look at four specific car insurance companies and what they can offer seniors.
Car Insurance for Seniors: Allstate
J.D. Power gives an "above average" ranking to Allstate; Allstate has an AA- rating from Standard & Poors. The carrier offers all the basic insurance products for vehicles, including bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist, comprehensive, collision, personal injury protection, and towing and labor. Here's how Allstate's average monthly premium stacks up against the national per-month average in four states, according to SmartFinancial's in-house figures:
|State||Allstate avg./month||U.S. avg./month|
The third-largest auto insurer in the U.S., Allstate sells insurance in all 50 states and has more than 19,000 independent contractor agents on its national team, so it's easy to find agents in your area. While your annual premium will depend on your driving history, insurance record, zip code, credit rating, the make and model of your vehicle, and other factors, Allstate has many discounts that mature adults can take advantage of:
Payment method, whether paying in full, automatically, online or consistently
These discounts can really add up! On average, Allstate auto insurance costs about $170 a month. Of all the auto insurance companies for seniors, Allstate might be the best one for you. While Allstate offers no discount for low mileage, it does offer accident forgiveness as an add-on endorsement.
Auto Coverage for Seniors: The Hartford
The Hartford and AARP have teamed up to offer an auto insurance program specifically for seniors. The Hartford is the only AARP-endorsed auto insurance, but you can buy insurance from The Hartford even if you are not an AARP member. The Better Business Bureau gives this carrier an A- rating, and Standard & Poor's gives it an A. Some of the program's features are hard to beat! Let's take a look at some of them:
New Car Replacement
This coverage will pay to replace your vehicle. If your car has been totaled, you'll get the same make and model of your car, plus any equipment. Not only that, you'll get your car replaced, regardless of its depreciated value.
This special coverage offers assistance after an injury resulting from an accident. RecoverCare pays you back for things you can't do yourself, such as house cleaning, lawn maintenance, snow removal, transportation services, food preparation and dog walking. Not many insurers offer this type of coverage, so check out The Hartford.
Lifetime Car Repair Assurance
This coverage helps you to find a trusted repair service from The Hartford's approved network of more than 1,600 repair shops. The Hartford backs the quality of the repairs for as long as you own or lease your vehicle.
24/7 Car Insurance Claims Hotline
Accidents can happen at any time, that's why The Hartford hotline is always ready to take your call. When you call the toll-free number, an agent will walk you through the claims process. What could be easier?
Car Insurance for Seniors: Nationwide
Ranked "above average" by J.D. Power, Nationwide has Excellent financial strength, receiving A+ and A1 ratings from S&P and Moody's, respectively. Known for excellent customer service and positive customer service ratings, Nationwide offers drivers a host of insurance products and many discounts. Here's how Nationwide's average monthly premium stacks up against the national per-month average in four states, according to SmartFinancial's in-house figures:
|State||Nationwide avg./month||U.S. avg./month|
If you bundle your auto, home and life policies with Nationwide, you could save up to 20% on your annual premium. When deciding whether this carrier is the best carrier for you, you should also consider the company-offered discounts, including discounts for new cars, anti-theft devices, passive restraints, family members who have a clean driving record and others.
Of course, Nationwide provides vehicle insurance for businesses, too, so ask your compliance manager what the state and federal laws require before you purchase vehicle insurance for your company. What's more, Nationwide's On Your Side Auto Repair Network guarantees the workmanship on repairs.
Car Insurance for Seniors: State Farm
As of 2017, State Farm has 70,000 employees and 48,000 agents in the U.S. In fact, State Farm has the largest agency pool of any company, with agents serving 83 million policies and accounts. J.D. Power ranks State Farm as "above average," and the ratings of Moody's and S&P are A and AA, respectively. While all auto insurance policies vary according to the company, the buyer, the vehicle, and the state, State Farm charges approximately $160.98 per month. Here's how the average State Farm monthly premium stacks up against the national per-month average in four states, according to SmartFinancial's in-house figures:
|State||State Farm avg./month||U.S. avg./month|
Of course, State Farm offers your state-mandated minimum liability insurance coverage as well as comprehensive, collision, uninsured/underinsured motorist and medical payments, among a host of others. If you've decided to drive for Uber, Lyft or another rideshare company, State Farm offers coverage that protects you during that period of time when you're not covered by either your personal auto insurance or your rideshare company's insurance. Finally, State Farm offers discounts that can benefit seniors just like you:
Defensive driving course
To find out if State Farm is the best auto coverage company for you, you'll have to shop around, comparing prices, policies and discounts. For example, State Farm doesn't offer a low-mileage discount, so if your recent driving history comprises a minimum of miles, this company might not be the best company for you. No matter the insurance company, ask them exactly what the company will cover and won't cover and for how much. It pays to find out all the details.
Car Insurance for Seniors: USAA
Catering to active and retired service members, USAA is ranked by J.D. Power as being "among the best" insurance carriers and receives an AA+ rating from Standard & Poors. While USAA offers home, health, and life insurance, this section will focus on its auto coverage.
USAA offers all the basic auto insurance products and policy options, and its rates are competitive with other insurers' prices. Here's how USAA's average monthly premium stacks up against the national per-month average in four states, according to SmartFinancial's in-house figures:
|State||USAA avg./month||U.S. avg./month|
USAA offers accident forgiveness, which means your first accident won't raise your premium; to be eligible for the carrier's accident forgiveness program, however, you have to have a clean driving record for at least five years or longer. Another plus? USAA will give you a new-car discount if your vehicle is up to three years old. Here are some other discounts that USAA proffers:
Discount for driving research (telematics)
Defensive driving course
Driver training course
The best way to find out if Allstate has the best deal for you is to shop around. One great way to lower your annual premium is to raise your credit score. So, if have student loans, a credit card or credit cards or other loan products, make sure you pay them off every month. It's good to have three or four credit cards, which will go a long way to improving your overall credit performance.
The Best Home Insurance for Seniors
The cost of homeowners insurance is determined by the location, type and age of the house, the age, credit score and claims history of the insurance buyer, and how much coverage that buyer chooses to purchase, among other factors. Each insurance company sets its own rate structure, so your age as a senior may influence the rate, depending on the company. While there are deals and discounts for car insurance for seniors, the basic homeowners insurance package for a particular house will be about the same for anyone who owns that house, no matter how old they are.
But some carriers offer a retiree discount, which is designed for homeowners who work less than 24 hours a week. In fact, folks who are as young as 50 years old may be eligible for this discount. You could save up to 15%, so ask every carrier company about this crucial way to save.
Are You Moving?
Many seniors move into a condo or townhouse after retiring. If you're thinking about downsizing your lifestyle, that's a great time to shop around for a cheaper homeowners policy. The price of a homeowners policy for a condo or a townhouse is usually much cheaper than for a single-family residence. You can also get a discount for living in a gated community or a community with a homeowner's association. Compare homeowners insurance rates for free with SmartFinancial.
Has Your Home Been Modified?
If you have made modifications to your homes, such as adding a stairlift or a wheelchair ramp, you should discuss these and any other home modifications with your licensed agent.
Do You Have Enough Liability Coverage?
Seniors should speak with their insurance company about increasing the limits of their personal liability coverage and guest medical payments. If you are sued because one of your visitors was injured or their property was damaged while on your property, your liability protection might not be enough. Having higher limits for personal injury and third-party property damage can help fight litigation.
Other Discounts To Consider
Finally, mature adults looking for the best, cheapest homeowners insurance should ask about discounts for having their mortgage paid off or belonging to an affinity group (AARP, for example).
The Best Health Insurance Companies for Seniors
Three months before or three months after the month in which you turn 65, you can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, which are state-subsidized healthcare plans for seniors.
This year, the annual open enrollment period for Medicare starts on October 15 and ends on December 7, 2021. During this time period, you can sign up for a plan, switch plans or leave a plan; you can also sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan.
According to SmartFinancial's data, these health insurance companies are the tops when it comes to market share:
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare insurance pays for most, but not all, of your medical costs. Also called "Medigap" plans, Medicare Supplement plans pay the 20% of medical costs that Medicare doesn't cover.
When you turn 65, you can purchase a Medicare Supplement plan with no stipulations or exclusions beyond paying your premium; that is, you cannot be excluded from the program for any health condition, although smokers will pay a higher premium.
But it is important to remember that this "guaranteed issue period" only lasts for six months. After that, insurers can require more particular information about your health; for example, if you have diabetes or a heart condition, you should expect your premium and policy options to change accordingly. By purchasing Medigap coverage, you can cut down on your out-of-pocket expenses for the following items:
Deductibles, copayments and co-insurance amounts
Private room and private duty-nurse fees
Extra transportation, lodging or meals
Unexpected child care
When you get your policy, the first page is not a table-of-contents page but a so-called "declarations" page. This page will detail what insurance you have purchased and for how much, so be sure to go over your declarations page when you get your policy. If there are any discrepancies, call your agent immediately.
Long-Term Care for Seniors
Besides Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans, many seniors purchase long-term care. It is important to remember that long-term-care premiums are less expensive the earlier one buys in, so timing is everything. In fact, a 50-year-old might pay about 40% less over time and have a longer period of coverage than someone who purchases long-term at the age of, say, 75. It goes without saying that the cost of assisted living or other senior care is extremely expensive without long-term-care protection.
Policies for long-term care come with many coverage exclusions based on preexisting conditions. It also goes without saying that if you purchase long-term-care coverage in your 50s or 60s, you have a better chance of not exhibiting the very medical symptoms or conditions that might disqualify you at age 75.
Life Insurance for Seniors
A life insurance policy pays a sum of money, also called a "death benefit," to named beneficiaries after the death of the insured. But before an insurer will pay this sum of money, the insured must truthfully state their past and present health conditions as well as any high-risk behaviors when filing the policy; of course, the insured must also pay an up-front premium or regular premium payments over time.
There are two kinds of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance expires after a prescribed number of years, typically lasting 10, 20 or 30 years, depending on the time span the insured chooses. When choosing a term life policy, you should try to match up long-term financial strength with what you can actually afford. There are three types of term life insurance:
This coverage is renewable, but coverage decreases at a predetermined rate over the span of the policy.
This coverage allows the insured to turn the term insurance into permanent insurance
This coverage goes from year to year, based on a new premium quote every year. In the beginning, this is usually the cheapest of the three types of term life insurance.
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance remains active until the insured dies, halts premium payments or voluntarily forfeits the policy. Usually more expensive than term insurance, permanent life insurance comes in four basic forms:
This coverage slowly builds up cash value and interest, allowing the insured to use the cash value for loans, policy premiums and other purposes.
This coverage has flexible premiums, meaning the premiums and the death benefit can be adjusted over the life of the policy.
This coverage gives the insured a fixed or equity-indexed return rate on the cash value of the policy.
Like universal life insurance, this coverage allows the policyholder to adjust the premiums and death benefits over the life of the policy. However, it also allows the insured to invest the cash value of the policy in a separate account.
You can get free quotes on any type of insurance you're looking to buy by calling SmartFinancial directly at 855.214.2291
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