/ Money, Motoring

Are older drivers overcharged for their car insurance?

We’ve found that older drivers are facing much higher car insurance quotes. That must be because they’re riskier than younger motorists and make more expensive claims… right?

Our latest investigation has found that older drivers, notably 81 to 85 year olds, are actually less likely to make claims on their car insurance.

However, we found that these motorists are often faced with premium quotes 50-74% higher than those for people aged 41-45. And when older drivers do put in a claim, on average it costs just 2% more.

High quotations for older drivers

The prospect of higher than justified premium rates seems a reality for all drivers aged 61-85. In all the age groups we analysed (61-65, 66-70, 71-75, 75-80 and 81-85) the premiums quoted to us were higher than the relative risk of the drivers would seem to merit.

Insurers are currently exempt from the ban on age discrimination, but they must publish annual aggregated data on claims frequency and costs to justify charging higher premiums for certain age groups. When we spoke to the Association of British Insurers about our findings, it said:

‘Our figures on average premiums paid by those over age 80 show that they are on average 3% higher than those for 41-45 year olds, which reflects the increased claims risk older drivers represent. Obviously this is much less than the 50-74% Which? quotes and may well be because the Which? percentage range reflects what older drivers were quoted by comparison websites and not what they actually paid for their insurance cover.’

We disagree and think that there’s a clear correlation between the prices you’re quoted and the premium you end up paying.

Too old to get insurance?

Of course, older drivers also have the problem of getting car insurance in the first place. Many of the UK’s largest insurers are still imposing maximum age limits – 14 of the top 30 car insurers we looked at set the bar at aged 85 or below.

And although insurers aren’t obliged to provide cover for customers of all ages, new ‘signposting’ rules mean they should at least help you find an insurer that is prepared to cover them.

We actually found the UK’s largest insurance company, Direct Line Group, failing to do so. A spokesperson said it would be looking into this.

So, if you’re over 60, what have you had to pay to cover your car? Is it much more than what your son or daughter pays? Did you struggle to get your car insured at all?

Comments
Guest

I’m 67 years old. Last month I paid £163.30 to renew my comprehensive policy on a Vauxhall Corsa.

Guest

I’m 75 and I pay £320.17 a year for my Jaguar XJSport

Guest
caleb adams says:
20 January 2017

i am 75 my cover has almost doubled in the last year no reason given. i am ex hgv driver never claimed in my long driving career for any accidents. the reason can only be my age. i have no health issues am a lifelong non smoker
.i keep my self fit . i avoid peak times and i am never in a hurry to get anywhere.

Guest
N.L.N. says:
21 September 2012

I’m 76 and my wife is 74 years old. We drive a Chevrolet Matiz, 800 CC car and our insurance premium has jumped up from £379 in 2011/12 to £697 (Or from £200.+ for 2010/11) for the current year, for no apparent reason other than being old. That is from SAGA which supposed to provide insurance for the older generation. and it is for a modest, less than 6000 annual mileage. Unfortunately none of the comparison websites can find anything cheaper.
Two years ago, I did find a cover on the internet cheaper than quoted by Saga, and they matched-it. ( for one year only) Which was £200. So I’m convinced that I’m the victim of the so called “shared information” between insurance companies.

Guest

Older drivers certainly are charged too much for their car insurance relative to the risks. I’m generalising I know, but they tend to drive cautiously and compliantly, travel shorter distances avoiding rush hours and traffic peaks, are not usually involved in the school run, look after their cars well and insure them correctly [often choosing a company with a better reputation but a higher premium], and organise their journeys to prevent driving in the dark or tiring schedules. Mike above has clearly earned superb credits to have such a low premium and perhaps location is the key to the statistical analysis that the insurance wonks apply to the premiums. For sure, loyalty to an insurer counts for little these days; they all have access to the ABI database and know the true claims history before confirming a quote so it’s probably just a question of their overall customer profile that determines their rates. It pays to shop around.

Guest

I agree, John. What annoys me most is having to shop around despite never having a claim on my car insurance other than for the odd window replacement.

My current insurance company would not accept the renewal invitation letter from my previous insurer as evidence of no-claims discount, even though this was clearly marked as 9 years (the maximum they offered). Why can’t the companies share NCD information to avoid this messing about?

Guest

I agree Wavechange – that is very annoying and shows that the market is far from even-handed . The companies look for any evidence of claims but take little trouble to establish a “no claims” record. They used to take the applicant’s word for it relying on a tendency towards honesty for fear of voiding the cover; now they have access to massive inter-active databases but it doesn’t suit them to look up the positive factors and give credit for them. To disregard evidence when offered [as in your example] and not even attempt to verify it is very underhand. What has happened to honour, probity, and equity?

Guest

I am 69 and pay £158.85 on my Renault Megane.

Guest
Tony c says:
22 February 2017

Who with it seems very cheap ,I am doing my annual rounds of the car insurers,why after a year free of claims do they have to put premiums by (in my case )£75