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?