Being able to drive after their 80th birthday has an enormously positive effect on seniors’ lives. Having the mobility to attend to everyday tasks by driving impacts their quality of life directly and affects their mental and emotional state positively.
The DVLA (The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) requires drivers over 70 to renew their licence on a 3-yearly basis due to health and safety concerns. However, competent drivers can and do keep on driving for years after their 80th birthday. That number has risen with over 1.3 million over-80 drivers reported to be driving in July 2018.
This makes it vital that over-80s drivers are able to access good insurance products, as seniors fall prey to various questions and doubts about insurance.
Can I get insured after 80?
Yes, you can, provided you have a valid driver’s licence. Insurance providers will generally not impose purely age-related limits on accessing insurance once you’re over 80.
However, elderly clients who have a poor claims and/or convictions history may find it difficult to obtain insurance. The same might apply if they want to insure a high-rated vehicle. An applicant’s state of health will be another determining factor in accessing car insurance.
So will my car insurance be affected by my health?
Yes, indeed it will. You will have to be considered medically fit and able to drive a car safely by the DVLA before insurers can provide you with insurance. Some medical conditions might raise the cost of your insurance. Failing to tell your insurer about changes in your health might invalidate your policy, and result in a fine or even prosecution in the event of an accident.
These are some of the relevant health factors or conditions regarding insurance:
- Your eyesight must meet the legal requirements for driving. The NHS offers free eye tests to people over 60 to ensure that this is so.
- Any new or developing medical conditions that impact your ability to focus fully while driving. These could include:
- Sleep apnea
- Neurological conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Physical disabilities needing modifications to your vehicle, like hand control or steering aids
- Surgery such as knee or hip replacements, caesareans, etc.
Is it possible to reduce the costs of my Over 80s car insurance?
Yes, it is possible, and here are some ways of doing so:
- Make sure you take only the level of coverage that you need. You might not need comprehensive cover if simple Third Party cover is all you require.
- Consider downscaling to a smaller, less expensive car that is not high-rated in insurance terms.
- Avoid including extras like windscreen or breakdown cover in your policy unless you feel you have to.
- You can also opt for a reduced mileage policy which will reduce your premiums.
- Consider taking out a black box or telematics policy that will reward you for safe driving practices.
How do I find the best car insurance?
The most important thing is to ‘shop around’ for the best value. There are sites that do comparisons of how insurance companies perform and you might want to have a look at some of those.
Also, keep a weather eye out for any extra car insurance costs that might be lurking in your proposed policy. And remember, good providers should answer positively to the following questions:
- Are they regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA)?
- Are they easily accessible to the public?
- Can you access what their existing clients say about them?
- How are they scoring in customer satisfaction surveys?
Here are three companies that give good car insurance value to Over-80s in the UK
RIAS has long been a specialist insurance company for Over 50s. It is based in Hampshire and was launched in 1992. Ageas Insurance Limited underwrite all insurance offered and provide RIAS’s claims service.
Their comprehensive car insurance includes:
- An uninsured driver promise. If a client’s vehicle is struck by a vehicle with an uninsured driver, their excess amount will be reimbursed. Their no claims discount will not be compromised.
- The provision of a courtesy car is included as a standard provision while their own car is unavailable.
- Policies can be managed online, so no administration charges apply.
- RIAS’s car insurance carries a Defaqto 5-star rating.
- Their car insurance comes with windscreen cover, so replacing or repairing window glass is covered though certain limits apply.
- Claims can be submitted 24/7 with RIAS’s UK-based claims service.
Sterling Insurance is based in Hertfordshire and has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry. Their Over 80s car insurance is available from under £1.20 per day. Sterling offers several car insurance options for older drivers. This includes Third Party only, Third Party fire and theft, or fully comprehensive car insurance.
Their Over 80’s insurance offers the following:
- Policies starting from as low as £425 per month.
- Free legal protection of up to £100,000 and advice on legal needs afterwards.
- Free Green Card cover for European travel for 30, 60 or 90 days
- Their policies offer the following optional extras:
- Breakdown cover
- Keycare cover
- Costs incurred due to misfuelling
- Windscreen repair/replacement
- Protected no claims discounts
- Their claims hotline is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
- Sterling’s advisors will compare quotes to ensure customers get the most suitable insurance at the best price.
Age Co is the brand developed by Age UK for the sale of financial services like insurance. Age Co is based in Tavis House 1-6, Tavistock Square, London and they carry a Defaqto 5-star rating. They have also been recognised as a Feefo Platinum Trusted Merchant for exceptional services to their customers.
Age Co’s car insurance for Over 80s include the following:
- Protection of their customers’ no claims discount is a standard benefit
- They have no upper age limit, unlike some other providers.
- They charge no administration fees.
- The provision of a courtesy car is guaranteed with their comprehensive car cover.
- They offer a 24-hour accident helpline.
- Their comprehensive car insurance contains several optional extras, including:
- Uninsured driver promise, which means if a customer’s car is hit by a vehicle driven by an uninsured driver, the amount of their excess will be paid back to them. Their no claims discount won’t be impacted.
- A courtesy car is provided while their car is being repaired by an Age Co approved repairer.
- Clients can manage their policies online, so there are no administration charges.
- They offer an optional ‘Message Relay Service’ so a friend or family member can be contacted in case of an accident.
- Though some limits apply, their windscreen cover means the cost of repairing or replacing any window glass is covered.
Drivers often experience a rise in their insurance as they get older, particularly after 70. This makes it of paramount importance that seniors shop around for insurance providers that give consideration in structuring their policies to the needs of Over 80s. Older drivers should not be ‘punished’ with higher premiums or policies that are limited in scope.