HOW OLDER DRIVERS CAN SAVE ON SAVVY SENIOR AUTO INSURANCE

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JIM MILLER

Dear wise elder,

Can you give any tips to help seniors lower their auto insurance premiums? I just got a 15% increase on my auto insurance and am looking for ways to save money.

Fixed Income Frank

Dear Franck,

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Unfortunately, auto insurance rates have risen dramatically over the past year as the pandemic has abated and more Americans have returned to the roads. But there are lots of ways to lower your premium. To find out what discounts are available to you, contact your auto insurer and find out about these options and any others that may be of use to you.

Reduction for reduced mileage: Most insurers offer discounts to customers who drive limited kilometers each year, which is generally beneficial for retirees who drive less because they don’t commute to work every day. These discounts usually come into effect when your annual mileage drops below 7,000 or 7,500, which is significantly lower than the typical 12,000 miles most Americans drive per year.

ED Discounts for Drivers: Many states require insurance companies to offer defensive driving discounts – between 5% and 15% – to drivers who take a refresher course to hone their safety skills. These courses, offered by AAA at aaadriver.online/register/roadwise and AARP on aarpdriversafety.org, price $ 20 at $ 30 and can be taken online.

Supervised driving discount: Many insurers offer discounts depending on how and when you use your car. To achieve this, the insurer would provide a small monitoring device that you would place in your car to track things like your acceleration, braking habits, driving speed, phone usage, and when you are driving. Drivers are rewarded between 10% and 50% for safe driving and for not driving late at night.

In addition, many insurers also offer discounts to drivers who have not been in an offense or accident for three years or more.

Membership Discounts: Organizations you belong to may also reduce your insurance premium. Insurers offer discounts through professional associations, trade unions, large employers or membership organizations such as AAA, the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees, AARP, etc. You might even qualify for savings depending on which college you attended or which fraternity or sorority you belonged to decades ago.

Bundled policies: If your auto policy is issued by a different company than the one that insures your life or home, call each insurer and ask if bundling the policies would be cheaper.

Improve your credit: You may be able to lower your auto insurance premium by paying your bills on time and reducing your debt load. Insurers look at how their customers manage credit to get a picture of risk and price policies. Better rates are given to those with good credit scores, usually 700 or more.

Increase Your Deductible: While it’s not for everyone, paying a higher deductible could save you a lot on premiums. For example, increasing your deductible by $ 200 at $ 500 could reduce the cost of your collision and your comprehensive coverage by 15-30%. Go to a $ 1,000 deductible could save you 40% or more.

Consider your car model: If you’re shopping for a new vehicle, ask for an insurance quote before deciding what to buy. Some vehicles are safer and cost less to repair than others. Insurance companies collect data about each make and model and use it to determine how much to charge customers.

Comparator: To find out if your current premium is competitive with what other insurers charge, or to help you find another provider, you need to compare. Online brokers such as carinsurance.com, thezebra.com and citationwizard.com allows you to enter basic information – such as your age and the make, model and year of your car – to compare insurance company rates.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, PO Box 5443, Normand, okay 73070, or visit savvysenior.org. Jim miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of the book “The Savvy Senior”.

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