As we age, our driving habits and insurance needs can change. As such, if you’re a senior, pensioner or someone over 50, it’s important to understand what your options are as a driver and the types of insurance which may be available to you as you get older.
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How much does car insurance cost if I’m over 50 or a senior in Australia?
Whether your car insurance premium is cheaper will depend on how old you are. Those over 50 will often pay less for premiums, as they have ample experience on the road and are typically deemed a lesser risk than younger, less experienced drivers, such as those under 25. In contrast, seniors and pensioners may pay more for cover as a result of their more advanced age, affected reaction times and medical conditions, all of which may contribute to an increased risk on the road.
However, insurers assess drivers on a case-by-case basis, so there’s no one answer to whether insurance is cheaper for over-50s and more expensive for seniors. There’s also a wide range of further factors which can impact the cost of your policy, including:
- Vehicle type: the year, make, and model of your car can also affect the cost of your insurance. As they are frequently more expensive to fix or replace in the event of an accident, more expensive or powerful vehicles commonly have higher premiums.
- Where you live: your state, city or town and postcode can all have an impact on how much you pay for insurance. This is because certain regions may have greater rates of accidents, thefts, extreme weather occurrences or other dangers. For instance, premiums in Tasmania won’t be the same as in North Queensland.
- Usage: your premium may change depending on how you use your car. For instance, it may be greater if you frequently travel long distances or use your car for work-related causes than if you take public transport to work.
- Parking: if you leave your vehicle on the street rather than in a driveway or garage, you'll probably have to pay a higher insurance premium. This is due to the increased risk of damage that comes with exposing your car to the outdoors and other road users.
- Driving history: your driving history, including any accidents or violations in the past, can also affect the cost of your insurance. Premiums may be increased for drivers who have a history of these types of incidents.
- Car insurance excess: in many circumstances, a bigger excess will result in reduced insurance prices, as you’ll be responsible for a larger share of the replacement or repair costs upon making a claim.
- Level of coverage: your premium will also depend on the kind of insurance you select. For instance, because comprehensive insurance offers more complete coverage than third party insurance, its premiums are typically greater.
- Discounts and bonuses: some insurers may provide discounts or bonuses for long streaks of no claims, which is known as a no-claim bonus or discount. Additionally, as a way to entice customers to buy a policy, some may also offer sign-up discounts.
How do I compare car insurance policies if I’m over 50 or a senior?
It’s important to take the time to compare a range of policies before buying your insurance, which you can do right here through Savvy. Some of the things to keep in mind when considering your policy options in Australia include:
- Determine your coverage needs: before comparing policies, it's important to know what coverage you need. Consider factors such as your driving habits, the type of car you have and your budget.
- Research different insurers: look for insurers which offer policies specifically for seniors or those over 50, as these may be more suited to your needs.
- Compare coverage options: once you know what coverage you need, compare policies from different insurers to see what they offer. Look at the types of coverage available, the coverage limits and any additional features or benefits.
- Look at the cost: while cost isn't the only factor to consider, it's important to compare premiums and excesses. Be sure to look at the overall cost of the policy, not just the monthly premium, to help you determine which offers the best coverage for you at the most affordable price.
- Check for discounts: many insurers offer discounts for things like safe driving, bundling insurance and simply signing up. As such, you may wish to check for any discounts you might be eligible for, but make sure to determine whether they’re worth it in the long run.
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Types of car insurance you can choose from
The most basic type of optional cover available, TPPD insurance can offer protection for damage caused by your vehicle to other people's property. However, no damage to your vehicle will be covered.
A step up from TPPD, TPFT insurance can also cover damage to your vehicle sustained due to a fire or theft (or attempted theft) in addition to third-party property damage if you're in an at-fault accident.
The most extensive (and expensive) form of cover, comprehensive car insurance can also offer cover for damage to your vehicle in an accident, collision and certain weather events on top of the areas TPFT covers.
Top tips for saving on your car insurance if you’re over 50 or a senior
Comparing car insurance policies from different providers can put you in a better position to determine which is the best deal for your needs, which you can do right here through Savvy. You may be able to find discounts specifically for seniors or pensioners or determine which coverage is the cheapest and most appropriate.
Choosing a higher excess can lower your premiums, but it also means you'll have to pay more out of pocket if you need to make a claim. As such, it’s important to ensure your excess isn’t set at an unaffordable level if you do need to make a claim down the track, as you’ll have to pay it to your insurer as a lump sum.
By avoiding accidents and traffic offences which may result in a claim, you may be able to cut down on the cost of insurance by building up your no-claim bonus over time. This generally maxes out after five successive years without a claim, so it’s worth considering the benefit of avoiding repeated minor claims.
Reducing your driving time can also help you save on car insurance as a senior. By driving less, you're less likely to be involved in an accident, which generally makes you a lower risk to insure. You can do this by taking public transport or by carpooling with your partner or friends wherever appropriate.
Common car insurance questions for senior drivers and those over 50
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