A study conducted by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) found that the population of older motorists continues to grow.
In their publication Driving Road Safety, the IAM revealed that three in four men and one in three women over the age of 70 are still licensed to drive. In the next 20 years, says the motoring organisation, the number of male drivers in this age bracket is going to double and the number of women drivers increase threefold.
The IAM’s study aimed to debunk the popular notion that older drivers – somehow by definition – are less safe on the road that their younger counterparts.
Contrary to the myth, older drivers are in fact safer, say the IAM, which quotes statistics to support the claim. Those over 70, for example, represent some 8% of the UK’s motoring population, yet are involved in only 4% of accidents resulting in physical injuries to those concerned.
Why is it important?
The statistics and the conclusions reached by organisations such as the IAM are important not least because of their impact on the availability and cost of car insurance for older motorists. Hopefully studies such as these will force insurers to review their charging structures so that older drivers (those aged 70 plus) will get a more attractive deal on the cost of their cover.
Currently, once motorists hit 70, the cost of car insurance tends to increase due to the perception that they are more likely to be involved in a crash due to an age-related decline in mental and physical abilities and age-related frailty.
For people aged 50 plus, though, their car insurance may initially be cheaper than it had been previously, as drivers in their 6th decade are seen as more responsible, mature and safer drivers than both their younger and older counterparts.
All motorists need a minimum level of car insurance. It is required by law. For anyone over the age of 70, however, it is likely to become increasingly difficult to get cost-effective motor insurance.
Making savings on the cost of motor insurance, however, can be done. This is something recognised by specialist providers of motor policies for those aged 50 and over. http://www.over50choices.co.uk/insurance/car-insurance, for example, has a wealth of money saving tips which you might want to review if you are an older driver.
Money saving tips
Here are some ways you might cut the cost of your motor insurance:
- simply reviewing your current policy might make the world of difference;
- the older we become, the more a kind of inertia is likely to set in – years and years of simply renewing the same policy with the same insurer might leave you barely noticing that the way you drive and the mileage you cover has changed over the years, as well as the price you pay for it;
- cash in on the fact that you may be less likely than other age groups to have an accident and need to make a claim by ensuring that you are enjoying the maximum possible no claims discount – a discount which considerably reduces the cost of your premiums;
- with similar confidence in your driving possibly more safely than others – and therefore less likely to make a claim – you might also be comfortable in agreeing to a higher, voluntary excess in order to reduce the cost of your premiums;
- the car you drive clearly has an impact on the price you pay for cover, and as your needs change, you might want to consider choosing a vehicle in a lower insurance category.
Some insurers recognise that once they reach the age of 50, drivers become safer on the roads rather than the opposite. That connection between road safety, lower risk and the possibility of reduced premiums is something more likely to be recognised and taken into account by a specialist provider of insurance to the over 50s.
For drivers aged 70 plus, then the good news is that there are providers who recognise that your years’ driving experience makes you less likely to make a claim. Typically they may be able to offer you cost-attractive motor insurance, so make sure you shop around for your cover to ensure you get the most appropriate deal for you.