Is age a factor with car insurance?

Age is a key variable in determining auto insurance premiums, because it likely implies your level of driving experience. With fewer years of driving experience comes a greater chance that your auto premiums will reflect this. After age 30 the effect diminishes. But after age 65, insurance rates start to increase due to the increased risk posed by older drivers.

With the aging of the US population, the insurance industry is paying increasing attention to the risk of crashes among the elderly. In fact, senior citizen drivers have a higher crash death rate per miles driven than any other group except teens. Because elderly drivers sometimes have difficulty navigating complex traffic situations, vehicle crashes at intersections increase markedly with age. Elderly drivers are also more likely to get ticketed for failing to yield, turning improperly and running stop signs and red lights than other age groups too.

1998 US elderly driver statistics

  • 7,269 people (65 years and older) died in motor vehicle crashes in 1998 (compared to 7,236 in 1997, 36% more than in 1975). 81% of elderly fatalities were passenger vehicle occupants; 16% were pedestrians.
  • About half of the fatal crashes involving drivers 80 years and older occur at intersections and involve multiple vehicles, compared with 23% among drivers up to age 50.
  • Per mile driven, drivers 75 years and older have higher fatal crash rates than drivers in other age group except teens.
  • Per licensed driver, fatal crash rates rise sharply at age 70 and older.
  • Those 80 years and older have the highest pedestrian death rates per 100,000 people.
  • People 65 years and older represented about 13% of the population and about 18% of all motor vehicle deaths in 1998. By 2030, the elderly are expected to represent 20% of the population.