Undercover: an insider's guide to car insurance in later life

5 minute read

Group of people on computers

Finding the right car insurance might sometimes feel like a challenge – especially as we get older and circumstances change. We asked two underwriters for their tips on securing the best cover in later life.

Underwriters assess the risk of insuring a person by considering factors such as their age, driving record, car, as well as many other factors. They set the criteria behind the scenes which then decide whether to offer a policy based on the details provided as well as feeding into the price offered.

In this article, we spoke with LV= senior underwriter David Pounds and fellow underwriter Murad Rangoon. They helpfully answered some questions some older drivers might have found themselves considering around their car insurance.

David and Murad underwriters

David Pounds (left) and Murad Rangoon (right)


Does car insurance always go up as you get older?

If you’re over 65, you may think higher car insurance costs are a fact of life. They don’t have to be. Age is not the only consideration when your premium is calculated, says David.

Between the ages of 55 and 65, you’re likely to pay the lowest amount in your lifetime for car insurance, according to a Statista report. Once you reach 75, however, premiums can start to rise.

“Statistically, we know there are certain age groups that have higher claims exposure, which has an impact on premiums,” David explains. “That said, age is not the only deciding factor in the cost of insurance. There are other things that can bring a premium up or down.”

For example, where a person lives makes a difference, as does the place they park. “People who live in cities sometimes pay more for their insurance,” David says. “That’s because there are more claims for theft from these areas. And owners often don’t have off-street parking, which also increases the chance of them making a claim.”


How to cut risks and costs on your car insurance

David says it’s important for motorists to remember the balance of risk that goes into their premium. Then they can think about ways to mitigate some of it by tweaking their policy.

An obvious adjustment for drivers entering retirement is that they no longer need cover for business use or commuting. David’s colleague and fellow LV underwriter Murad Rangoon says updating these details can help bring insurance costs down, as can a reduction in annual mileage.

Another reason to review policy details regularly is to avoid inaccuracies that could invalidate a driver’s cover. “It’s easy to forget to update details in the course of the year,” says Murad. “If you’ve changed your car or moved, or can remove drivers from your policy, it’s important to make the necessary changes. Then you can be sure you’re paying the right price for your needs.”


Compare more than price when buying car insurance

David advises motorists to pay close attention to the details of a policy before making a decision on which insurance to buy. “It’s by no means the case that cheapest means best when it comes to car insurance,” he says. “Look carefully at the extent of the cover – including things like windscreen protection and legal expenses. If they’re not included, an enticing headline price can actually end up being rather costly.”

David and Murad recommend using price comparison sites, as well as going to insurers direct to compare insurance policies and seek better value. Reading reviews from other customers and checking Defaqto's star ratings and Which?'s company ratings too.

Coverage isn't everything, of course. Consider personal contact with your insurer, too. Some prefer being able to talk over the phone, but not all providers do this.

How to weigh up the costs of insuring an electric vehicle

Electric vehicles (EVs) may be attractive to customers who make shorter journeys, but there are cost implications to consider. Insurance premiums tend to be higher because the cars cost more to buy, so it costs more to repair or replace parts or the battery.

“Electric cars could be more expensive to insure, but their overall costs can be much lower,” explains Murad, who owns an EV himself. “If you can charge at home, you’ll definitely save on running costs. My view is that we’ll all have to drive electric cars eventually, so why not get used to them now?”

That said, he points out the different experience of driving an EV – as well as the fact that longer journeys can take more planning and involve more stops. “It’s all about weighing the pros and cons, and making the right judgement for your needs,” he concludes.

Whatever type of car you drive, you’ll find that premiums today are generally higher than they have been, thanks to inflation and supply chain issues. But when you take in all considerations – such as vehicle type, location, insurance needs and level of personal contact with your insurer – you can make a more informed decision about the cover you need.

With frequent reviews of your policy, you can always adjust for your needs and budget.



If you’re over 50 and want to find the right insurance, try following these top tips:

  • Remember there are many factors that go into calculating your car insurance premium, including your location and vehicle type, as well as your age
  • Removing cover for business use or commuting, once you reach retirement, could help bring down costs
  • Look beyond price, as cheaper isn’t always better. Make sure you read your policy carefully to understand the cover on offer
  • It might be worth considering an electric vehicle, if you’re someone who only makes shorter journeys. Insurance might be more expensive but overall running costs can be much lower
  • When in doubt, reach out to a provider to understand your policy in more detail

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