How Age Affects Car Insurance Rates
As car insurance companies calculate your premiums, they may place a large stock in your age if you or another driver in your household is under 25 years old or over 65 years old.
While this may seem like age discrimination at first glance, the policy is based on solid evidence that these age groups, along with new drivers, are more dangerous on the roads and therefore are a higher risk for the company to take on. The result is higher car insurance rates.
How auto insurance rates are set
When you apply for a car insurance policy, the insurance company wants to know several things about you, including:
- Your driving record
- Your age
- Your marital status
- Your education level
- Your job
- Your credit history
- Your location
How age affects auto insurance
Age is one of the most important factors in determining your car insurance rate. While this may seem unfair because there are good drivers in every age group, insurance data shows younger drivers are more prone to have an accident or take risks on the road. Experienced drivers are less likely to have accident claims, which means they'll cost less to insure. At Progressive, rates tend to decrease significantly from 19-34 and then stabilize or decrease slightly from 34-75. Once you reach 75, your rate may begin trending upward, as Progressive data suggests drivers above this age are riskier to insure.
We know that young and inexperienced drivers are a cause for concern on the road and to their parents' wallets. But adding a teenage driver to your existing policy is usually more affordable than having them get their own policy. At Progressive, we offer a Teen Driver Discount and a Good Student Discount to help offset the costs of insuring a teen driver.
When does car insurance go down?
Let’s dig in deeper to understand how premiums tend to change during drivers’ 20s. While average car insurance rates don’t tell the whole story, they can point to trends in what groups may pay more or less for insurance.
According to one study, the average six-month premium for teens who are on their parents’ insurance started at $2,617 for 16-year-olds. The cost dropped every year, down to $2,037 for 19-year-olds.
The reason you need to provide so much information when applying for a new car insurance policy is because the cost of your car insurance premiums depends on you and people like you. That’s right, good old demographic and statistical data helps determine how much you pay for car insurance. And while your credit history, marital status, and education level can help insurers gauge your level of risk, age is one of the biggest factors.
Consider this: Teenagers cause more accidents than older drivers. Men cause more accidents than women. Young men – we think you can see where this is going – cause more accidents than other demographic group. So teen boys, you’re gonna be paying more for car insurance because of your peers. Is it fair? Unclear — but that’s how car insurance works!
But you also play a role in this. How you drive is a big factor in determining your car insurance rates, which is why your driving record gets pulled and considered by your car insurance company. If you have a lot of traffic violations and accidents, you can expect to pay higher rates for your car insurance policy. Your experience behind the wheel is also a factor — if you just got your license, regardless of age, you’ll be charged a higher premium for being an inexperienced driver.
Why younger drivers pay more
“The data is clear that young drivers file more claims,” says R.J. Weiss, CFP®, who has worked in the auto insurance industry for over 10 years and is the founder of The Ways To Wealth, a financial planning website.
What age does car insurance go down?
Turning 25 can have an immediate impact on some driving-related costs. For example, you might be able to rent a car without paying an additional “young driver” fee. But it’s not so straightforward with insurance rates.
“It’s around the age of 25 when age starts becoming less of a factor in determining one’s rate,” says Weiss. “However, it’s no guarantee that your rates will go down as there are many other factors involved.”
So, while averages tell a fairly straightforward story, your specific situation could lead to variations. For example, if you’ve recently been involved in an accident or received several tickets, those factors could outweigh an age-related discount.
When your auto insurance rates decrease
The general rule of thumb is that your car insurance premiums will start to decrease when you turn 25. Although that’s typically true, 25 isn’t a magic number. Your insurer won’t just flip a switch and give you a break solely because you’re a quarter-century old.
But assuming you’re a good driver, you’ll probably start seeing decreases in your auto insurance every time you renew your policy even before you turn 25. But you might see a greater decrease once you hit 25, because that’s when insurers see a big drop in the number of claims submitted per age group..
Also, experience can matter more than actual age. Remember, your rates are set by a mix of aggregate data from people like you and your own personal driving history. If you get your license when you’re 26, you’ll be paying higher rates than a 26-year-old who’s been driving for a decade already because you’re still relatively green and more likely to get into accidents.
Similarly, if you’ve had your license for a while but your driving skills aren’t particularly up to snuff — maybe you’ve had an accident or two — turning 25 won’t mean much because you haven’t proven yourself to have earned a discount.
Generally, you can expect your car insurance rates to continue decreasing for most of your life until they start ticking up again after age 65. But since age isn’t the only factor that goes into car insurance rates, this isn’t a hard rule. For example, getting a nicer car or moving to a neighborhood or city with higher crime rates can influence your rates and have you paying more even in the prime of your life.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 60 to 64 year olds have the lowest rate of claims – they’re relatively really good drivers with a low accident rate – so their insurance premiums are low. But claims rates start going up again for 65 year olds, and fatal car crash rates increase at 70, so those drivers will have higher premiums.
What else can affect your premiums?
Your auto insurance premium can vary depending on all sorts of things, including:
- Your driving record
- Where you live
- The vehicle you’re insuring
- How often and where you drive
- Coverage types and limits
- Insurers’ discounts
- Your credit history, gender and marital status
Each of these factors (and potentially a few others) can lead to higher or lower insurance rates. All else equal, teen drivers will almost certainly pay more due to their age, but once you’re in your 20s, there could be more nuances at play.
In your 20s? It’s time to shop for auto insurance
While you should expect a lower rate by the time you turn 25, relative to earlier in your twenties, this doesn’t happen by default from your 25th birthday.
Shopping around could find you a lower rate, even if you’re under 25 – especially if you have a good driving record.
“Some companies may start dropping rates at 23 for a certain type of demographic,” says Weiss. “For example, those with a good driving record, with a college degree, in an urban area.In my experience as an independent agent, most insurance companies do not lower your rates at 25.”
While some insurers may not like covering young drivers and decline them or only offer them especially high rates, there is an upside to this.
As you get older there are more companies that want to insure you – meaning the competition for your business goes up, potentially putting you in a better place to get a lower premium.
“As you get older, you open yourself up to being able to compare quotes from more companies, which gives you a great chance to save,” says Weiss.
Shopping around = lower rates
Because you may have more options open to you once you’re over 25, shopping around will help you find the lowest rate you can.
Doing your research is pretty much top of any list of tips for saving on insurance. Now that you can include companies that may not have offered you a reasonable rate in the past, you’re in a stronger position.
Don’t be put off by the idea of the hassle of switching car insurance companies. As long as you follow a few easy steps, it’s pretty straightforward.
Get your discounts
Be sure to look for discounts and savings opportunities that you may be newly eligible for during your 20s:
- A good student discount for maintaining good grades (such as a 3.0 or higher) during college. However, this may only be available if you’re still under 25 years old.
- Look for discounted rates for association members, such as an alumni association, fraternity, sorority, or through your employer.
- Complete a defensive driving course.
- Understand the different types of auto insurance coverage and only pay for what you need.
- If you have renters, homeowners or life insurance, see if you can get a multi-line discount for buying several policies from the same company.
- Let your auto insurance company know if you get married, as single people may pay higher premiums.
- Consider an insurer that has a telematics program, if you’re generally a cautious driver or don’t drive many miles each year.
- While it isn’t a discount, the level of deductible you choose also affects what you pay for insurance. Choosing a policy with a higher deductible will lower your premiums. The tradeoff is that if you make a claim, you pay a higher amount out of your own pocket before the insurance company pays the claim.
How to reduce the impact of age on your car insurance rates
Even if you are a young, single, or new driver, there are ways you can lower your car insurance premium.
Here are some strategies to consider:
- Take a driver education course – this is especially beneficial if you’re either a new driver or you have a history of at fault accidents or traffic violations
- As a new or teenage driver, ask about student driving discounts – you usually have to have a good or excellent school record to qualify
- If you are over 65, ask about senior car insurance discounts
- Drive carefully—in most states violations and accidents are dropped from your record after three years
- Consider the car you’re driving – sports cars and high-priced cars naturally carry higher insurance premiums than other vehicles
- When you buy a car, look to add insurance-friendly safety features, like air bags and anti-lock brakes
- If you are a teenage driver, you can usually get a lower premium by being included on your parents’ policy, rather than having a separate policy of your own
Other ways to save on auto insurance
You’ll probably see a decrease in your car insurance rates when you turn 25, but if 25 is a long way off or if you’ve passed your quarter-century already, there are plenty of other ways to save on car insurance than waiting for the passage of time.
Ask your insurance company about:
- Good student discounts
- Good driver discounts
- Vehicle safety discounts
- Bundling and policy renewal discounts
Many people wonder at which age auto insurance becomes cheaper. Policyholders often expect their rates to go down after hitting a certain age and then contact their company when their renewal premium comes in at the same price.
It is often believed by many that when a driver turns 25, they will automatically get a discount for their age. Although at any given age, a policyholder can see an instant rate reduction, prices are not based on "age", but on the amount of years they've been licensed. For example, a 25 year old driver who just got their license purchases a policy, it is more likely that they will be quoted a higher rate than a younger driver, say 22, who has been driving since the age of 16.
Once a driver hits three years licensed, they are likely to get a discount since they may be now qualify for a "good driver discount" given that their driving record is clean, meaning no violations. If there is something to look forward to as a young driver, hitting three years licensed should be it. Car insurance can significantly go down with the application of a good driver discount since it can range in the area of 20%.
Each insurance company has it's own guidelines about proving driving experience. Some will automatically give you full driving experience since the age of sixteen once you hit three years driving. For example, if one is 25 when they become licensed, at age 28, they will get credit for 12 years driving experience. (since age 16) Other companies will use "actual driving experience" which will be the exact length of time based on the issue date of the license.
At one point, too much age would raise rates instead of lowering them. For example, if one approaches the later years in life, they may be more probable to an accident. Through statistics, insurers may raise rates for those in their senior years.
The length of time licensed is just one of many factors which affect rates. Other driver factors that determine price are:
- driving record history
- marital status
Having a history of tickets and accidents may indicate a higher probability of being involved in an accident; therefore, it may result in increased premiums. Marital status also has an impact because statistics show that single drivers have a higher loss ratio vs. those who are married.
 At What Age Do Car Insurance Rates Go Down? https://www.moneyunder30.com/age-car-insurance-rates-go-down
 How Age Affects Auto Insurance Rates https://www.dmv.org/insurance/how-age-affects-auto-insurance-rates.php
 What age does car insurance go down? https://www.policygenius.com/auto-insurance/what-age-does-car-insurance-go-down
 What age does car insurance go down for good drivers? https://cover.com/blog/when-does-car-insurance-go-down-age/
 How age affects auto insurance https://www.progressive.com/answers/how-age-impacts-insurance/
 At what age does car insurance go down? https://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/learn/what-age-rates-go-down.htm