Living in North Carolina gets you some of the lowest auto insurance rates in the US. However, if you’re 65 or older, you’ve probably noticed your rates going up.
Auto insurance for seniors costs more than for middle-aged drivers. There are several steps you can take to lower your premiums while ensuring that your coverage matches your changing needs.
Find out more about seniors’ car insurance in North Carolina. You’ll be a more informed consumer when it’s time to look for a new policy.
North Carolina Auto Insurance Requirements
North Carolina requirements for auto insurance apply to all drivers no matter their age. The state requires all registered vehicles to have liability insurance. Drivers in North Carolina must also have insurance coverage for uninsured motorists.
Your insurance policy needs to meet the minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. The current limits are:
- $30,000 bodily injury per person and $60,000 per accident
- $25,000 property damage
- $30,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person and $60,000 per accident
- $25,000 uninsured motorist property damage
If your coverage lapses, you must pay a fine. You also face a range of possible consequences that include a suspended driver’s license and problems getting a new insurance policy.
Auto Insurance Rates for Seniors
You may have already noticed your auto insurance premiums going up as you get older. Car insurance rates tend to rise after the age of 65. They increase significantly after you turn 80.
Data from the National Transportation and Safety Bureau and the National Automotive Sampling System show that drivers who are 70 or older have a higher rate of certain types of accidents. They also have a higher fatality rate.
A significant decline in driving performance doesn’t typically start until drivers reach their late 70s or early 80s. Driving becomes more and more hazardous for drivers older than 80. This has more to do with increasing bodily fragility than with bad driving, but it still leads to higher insurance rates.
Every insurance company starts raising premiums at different ages. Comparing rates can help you find the best deal.
Is There an Auto Insurance Policy for Seniors?
You typically won’t find auto insurance policies specifically for seniors. However, some insurance companies offer special features for senior drivers.
Also, some insurers offer a discounted premium for being over a certain age. These senior discounts can save you 10% or more depending on the insurer.
Adapting Your Auto Insurance Policy as You Age
As your driving needs and habits change, you can design your insurance policy to be an auto insurance policy for seniors. You can make several adjustments to your policy to help ensure you’re only paying for the features you need.
Go through the details of your policy and drop any coverage you don’t need. For example, you may not need coverage for a rental car when your car is getting repaired if you aren’t commuting to work anymore. If you’ve paid off your car loan, you don’t need gap insurance.
If your car isn’t new, dropping collision and comprehensive insurance may be a good option. This coverage pays to replace your car if it’s damaged or stolen.
However, the maximum payout is the current value of the car minus your deductible. If your car is worth less than 10 times the extra premium you’re paying, dropping the coverage may make sense.
You can also look into “parked vehicle” or “snowbird” coverage for a vehicle that you only use for part of the year.
Car Insurance Discounts for Seniors
Insurance companies raise your rates as you age, but they also give you opportunities for discounts. You can save money in a variety of ways. It never hurts to ask!
Take an Approved Driving Course
Your insurance company may give you a discount for taking an approved driving course. North Carolina isn’t one of the states that require insurance companies to give you this discount, so check with your insurer first.
Various organizations offer courses online. These classes are generally inexpensive, with enrollment fees of around $20. They don’t require a long time commitment.
In addition to a possible discount on your premium, taking a driving class will help you stay safer on the road.
Safety and Anti-Theft Features
Newer model vehicles can come with safety equipment like backup cameras, anti-collision technology, and parking assist. These options, as well as more standard features like airbags and anti-lock brakes, can qualify you for a reduced insurance rate.
Anti-theft devices may qualify you for a discount as well. Alarms and vehicle tracking systems are some of the devices that your insurer may accept. Even something as simple as having the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched onto the windshield may get you a reduced premium.
Safe Driving History
A clean driving record for the last three to five years will get you a good driver discount. If you take a defensive driving course, it will help you avoid accidents and traffic violations. Updated vehicle safety features can also help you keep a clean driving record.
Bundle Your Insurance Policies
Insurance companies often give you a discount if you buy more than one policy from them. Many people bundle their auto and home insurance. You may qualify for a discount by bundling other types of policies like a boat, RV, or life insurance.
Bundling your insurance policies is convenient because you only deal with one company for your policies. The discount typically ranges from 5% to 20%.
Finding the Best Auto Insurance for Seniors in North Carolina
The best way to ensure you’re getting the right auto insurance coverage at the best rate is to shop around. Amistad Insurance Services knows that auto insurance for seniors is a category with particular needs and priorities. We take the time to find the best range of options so you can make the best decision for your coverage.
Our team is available 24/7 for your auto insurance needs. Contact us today for more information. Let us show you the difference an experienced North Carolina agency can make.