Nov 222011

With 2012 quickly approaching, senior drivers will need to start considering which car insurance company has the lowest rates and best coverage to suit their needs. Senior drivers can choose from all of the major car insurance companies like Geico, All State, Nationwide, State Farm and Progressive, but they should also not ignore smaller regional players in their locale (see our article on cheapest car insurancecompanies california, or cheapest car insurance companies florida for a couple of specific articles on saving money in those states).

One of the key considerations that will impact a search for cheap car insurance rates for seniors is whether that senior has a car worth a lot of money. If the person is driving an older vehicle, it might be worth checking it’s value on or and deciding whether to actually insure the vehicle itself. If the vehicle is not worth much money and the senior has the savings to buy another inexpensive vehicle –should the elderly person wreck the vehicle, total it and need to buy another to drive — then it might be ideal to purchase liability only insurance .  Liability insurance would cover the driver in case of negiligence in an accident, but would not pay for car repairs for the accident or a new vehicle that is totalled.

It IS important for all drivers to have liability insurance — it is the law after all. However, it is also important to safeguard the assets or wealth that an elderly person has spent a lifetime to accumulate. Woe be to the heirs of a senior who has a vacation home, but scrimps on buying good liability insurance for seniors. That senior then risks an accident where they may injure someone — or just be accused of it — and then lose all of their assets fighting in court.  And with great insurance plan rates at low cost from insurance companies like Progressive, it would be foolish to not get some type of insurance in place. For the adult children of elderly parents, it’s a good idea to make the time near the end of the year a yearly check of all the parent’s insurance needs (see also our article on 2012 blue cross medicare supplement  rate quotes to see some suggestions on medicare supplement insurance).

As older people age, they may start to have problems driving. Vision problems and deterioration of sight are common problems for the elderly which can lead to problems with night driving and confusion at intersections.  Also, many people begin to become anxious driving as they age, and their reaction time may be slower. All of these are reasons to ensure that proper liablity insurance is purchased and maintained.

Some seniors may find difficulty finding cheap liability car  insurance if they have a recent traffic violation, particularly if that includes an accident collision or , even worse, a DUI or DWI.  It is surprising how often retirees may find themselves ticketed for DUI or DWI. Often times a senior may not realize that they are even over the legal limit.  Many insurance companies will offer insurance to those ticketed with DUI or DWI when their license is reinstated, but their will be stiff penalties in the form of higher rate quotes from those car insurance companies.

This brings us to our final point, which is a very sensitive subject for many families. At some point, it may be in the best interests of the elderly person to give up driving. This can be a very complicated and emotional discussion with the person. Driving is a major component of being an independent person, and giving up driving may be hard — particularly for elderly people living in rural or sprawling suburban areas where public transportation may not be accessible.  But the potential tragedy for a person unable to drive safely should trump that.