Why should we over 50s deserve cheaper car insurance?
In the competitive world of car insurance, there are many great
deals available for the older (is over 50 'older? Surely not) motorist. Many companies offer
discounts exceeding 70% for this group - why is this, and is it fair
on the rest of Britain's motorists?
According to published statistics, the over 50s as a whole cover
less mileage than the younger motorist - the "Sunday driver" cliche
is of course quite appropriate, as this age group will include
plenty of retired motorists and those less likely to burn up the
miles on working trips. In addition, this group's average insurance
claim is much less than a younger motorist - they seem more capable
of not writing their cars off in high-speed chases or showing off to
their mates. On a more serious note, this age group will also have
more disposable income as a rule and hence keep their cars in better
working order, leaving them less prone to accidents and insurance
claims caused by poor maintenance.
The actual numbers make interesting reading: a study of more than 2
million motorists discovered than just 2% of the over 50s had been
involved in an accident at that age, compared with almost 1 in 7
under 20s and 7% of all motorists - a compelling statistic. The
younger age group was also five times more likely to be involved in
a claim involving personal injury or a fatality. Perhaps we should
stick close to the Sunday drivers then!
On the flip side, elder motorists can be affected by a number of
age-related health issues - failing vision and reduced mobility, for
example, don't make for great bedfellows when driving. American
research has suggested that in actual fact, the incidence of crashes
per mile is highest in the older group, especially above age 65.
Factor in the decreased reaction times and actually there's now a
good argument that driving premiums for the over 50s should be put
For insurance companies the message about older drivers is mixed:
"safer" driving in general, smaller claims, less mileage, and better
maintained vehicles versus failing vision and slower reactions.
Personally I'd rather take my chances following an elder motorist in
his Volvo than a boy racer in a souped-up death trap, and it seems
that insurers have the same view!
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