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Car Insurance - Harder To Come By For Old Aged Pensioners

The Institute of Advanced Motoring recently published statistics showing that of 7,035 car accidents last year where a driver was either critically injured or killed, 550 of them involved an elderly driver (over 70). Representing 8% of these accidents, it makes the over 70's group more dangerous that any other age bracket.

The Association of British Insurers support the statistics, adding that drivers aged over 70 are 13% more likely to claim on their car insurance than drivers aged 40 - 50.

The number of elderly drivers is set to increase by 100% in the next 10 years as people live longer and healthier lives. This could potentially mean a lot more accidents on the roads, which means more trouble for everyone!

The insurance industry has responded with its usual attitude, and has started to penalise drivers from the age of 60 onwards. A number of insurers already load the premiums of drivers aged over 80, considering them to be a higher risk on the roads (similarly they class under-25's as a high risk group) – but now the age is coming down. Companies like Esure and Norwich Union will refuse to provide a quote for drivers aged 70 or over. By the age of 80, your only hope is to find an insurer that specialises in elderly drivers. Age Concern and Help the Aged have stepped in to provide a helping hand, both offering insurance policies with no upper age limits. Cornhill will not take on new customers if they are 84 or older, however if you are already insured then they will continue to accept renewals with no age limit. Saga and RIAS also make a point of taking on elderly drivers.

The cost of insurance is determined by risk, so 75 year olds pay a third more than their 50 year old counterparts. Drivers aged 80 pay the same as a boy racer. Drivers in their early 50's get the best deals, but that will soon start to change once you've passed 60.

Women are even more heavily penalised than men. As far as the insurers are concerned, men's driving abilities improve with age whereas women get worse. As a result, elderly female drivers pay through the nose.

There's no denying it, people's reflexes and eyesight do become affected by age. The roads are getting more and more hectic and it can be easy for an elderly driver to get confused. A small delay on reaction time could be the difference between life and death. Consequently, some insurance companies ask drivers to take a medical before they will accept them as a new customer.

Our advice is to do your best to get a good no claims record and as soon as you're able, invest in No Claims Protection. The extra cost is well worth it in the long run. Also, even if you do have a few small bumps, don't claim for them on your insurance.

There are a few easy things that you can do to lessen the chances of having an accident – it's all about awareness and making things easier for yourself.

For example, if you're parked in a car park with cars on either side, walk around the car to see how much room there is to manoeuvre. Edge out slowly and make double sure that there's no one coming your way. Be a bit more careful at junctions, use your shoulders to turn as far as possible and check that the road is completely clear before moving away or reversing.

Many of the insurers that specialise in older drivers have special clauses to help out their customers. For example, Saga allows company car drivers to keep hold of any no claims record, and if there are two people on the insurance and the main driver decides not to drive anymore, the other driver can pick up the no claims benefit. Other policies enable someone who has to take over driving in an emergency situation to drive insured, and Cornhill have an excellent clause which results in a £250 cash payment if the DVLA enforces you to stop driving for health reasons due to age.

The government are also getting involved in the elderly drivers issue, because they are aware of the greater risk of accident in that age group. It has been reported that they are considering introducing compulsory health checks for elderly drivers, in fact some local councils have already started introducing new schemes. The Torbay council encourages families and Doctors to take more responsibility for the elderly, and has launched a campaign asking them to speak up if they feel the person is not fit to drive. A spokesperson from the Council said: “The problem is that the elderly can't always see themselves when it's really time to give up driving, so those closest to them must take responsibility for that.”

The Institute of Advanced Motorists found in a survey that many elderly drivers are aware that they are involved in more accidents. The survey also found that seven out of ten older drivers would be interested in taking a course to refresh their motorway driving skills and six out of ten expressed concerns about their reaction times at junctions and on dark roads. The Institute is opening up its advanced tests to older non-members as a consequence, in order to improve their confidence as well as their driving skills. If there really is a problem with the elderly driver, the tests will highlight the situation and the driver will be encouraged to give up driving.

About The Author

Michael Challiner writes for Brokers Online ( http://www.life-assurance-bureau.co.uk ), a large Uk finance portal who specilise in Life Insurance Quotes but also offer most other UK financial services including Car Insurance ( http://www.life-assurance-bureau.co.uk/car-insurance/ ).

michael@andromedawebs.co.uk
Written By: Michael Challiner

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