Car insurance: it gets so expensive in old age


Reliable retirees behind the wheel give many contemporaries a queasy feeling. They are considered to be the potential cause of accidents and more and more experts are calling for compulsory driving tests for the oldies. Many car insurers are already […]

Car insurance: it gets so expensive in old age.  Seniors pay high surcharges for car insurance (source: imago images)

Reliable retirees behind the wheel give many contemporaries a queasy feeling. They are considered to be the potential cause of accidents and more and more experts are calling for compulsory driving tests for the oldies. Many car insurers are already treating retirees as a security risk. With some car policies, the costs double with age.

One would think that the oldies would have to travel cheaply because the insurers reward years of accident-free driving in the system of no-claims classes. In addition, retirees no longer do the same mileage as commuters and employed people. For many seniors, a well-cared-for car is more likely to be in the garage than to be moved on the street.

Car insurance: low premiums initially

And so pensioners, if they have previously been on the road without an accident, initially also pay contributions that younger drivers can only dream of. But that changes rapidly with increasing age, as a comparison of tariffs by the comparison portal Transparo for shows.

Transparo compared the tariffs of five insurers for five different age groups. The age of the vehicle owner increases in five-year steps from 60 to 80 years. All seniors drive a VW Golf VI with fully comprehensive insurance. Due to the large number of different tariff options, the comparison cannot be representative, but at least it shows the rough direction of how the costs develop in old age.

The range of insurance costs in the example tariffs for a 60-year-old driver who drives around 12,000 kilometers per year and is in no-claims class 30 ranges from 255 to just under 326 euros. For the eighty-year-old driver, costs from the same providers range between 458 and 626 euros. For this age group, the companies demand up to 92 percent higher contributions compared to the age group of 60-year-olds.

From the age of 70, the insurers too

The development between the age groups is interesting. The 65-year-olds pay only a few percent more than the five-year-old drivers. The insurers are really reaching out to drivers over 70 years of age. A provider whose contribution for the 70-year-old is 12 percent higher than the tariff for the 60-year-old driver already requires 29 percent more contribution for the 75-year-old.

The 80-year-old pays 53 percent more with this provider compared to a driver twenty years younger. But there are exceptions. With an insurer, the premiums for 80-year-olds no longer increase compared to 75-year-old drivers.

Calculations by the Motor Information Service (mid) also show how high the age supplement is. Allianz, the second largest car insurer in this country, collects a Mercedes 200 D registered in Hamburg from an 85-year-old compared to a 60-year-old more than 2.5 times the premium.

After all, some retirees should still be able to get over the higher insurance costs if they rarely use their car and therefore only spend comparatively little money on fuel. However, if you are a pensioner who is short of money, you shouldn’t easily put up with the extra costs in old age. This is especially true if the driver was no longer accident-free and loses damage-free classes.

When it comes to age supplements, however, there are major differences between the providers. The Axa usually has a surcharge that fluctuates between 43 and 47 percent. Market leader HUK-Coburg is almost modest with around 38 percent. However, individual providers oppose the statement that they would cash in on seniors.

No fixed, percentage surcharge

“We don’t have a special supplement for senior citizens,” claims Christian Weishuber, spokesman for Allianz Insurance. At the same time, however, he confirms that “the age of the policyholder and the driver has an influence on the premium to be paid.” The Axa emphasizes that there is no fixed percentage surcharge for seniors because a “multivariate tariff” is used.

The risk of accidents increases sharply with age

Regardless of whether the insurers name the age premium or paraphrase it, they have good reasons for the additional costs. Because the risk of accidents increases sharply for older drivers. “According to our calculations, the risk of causing an accident with fatalities and injuries is already higher for over 75-year-olds than for young drivers between the ages of 18 and 24,” warns Siegfried Brockmann, Head of Accident Research at the insurer.

The elderly are mainly involved in turning and crossing accidents. A study by the Allianz Center for Technology (AZT) had already shown in 2009 that the risk of causing an accident increases disproportionately in old age from 75. “The cause of accidents in the age group over 75 is often that older people lose track of things more quickly in complex situations,” says Christoph Lauterwasser, managing director of AZT.

Older drivers don’t just have to accept the increased costs. The examples from Transparo show how big the price differences are between the few providers. By comparing the car insurance tariffs, you can probably find a cheaper provider.

Check tariff options

In any case, those affected should clarify which insurance coverage they actually need and whether fully comprehensive insurance still makes sense. “Seniors often get a bonus with partial comprehensive insurance,” says Ivana Höltring from the market watcher Nafi from Höxter. Probably because the car that is not in use is often well protected in the garage.