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Auto Insurance Rates in Your 40s and 50s: Cheap? Maybe

April 17, 2015
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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If there’s a golden age for auto insurance quotes, it would be your 40s and 50s. With three or even four decades of experience behind the wheel, you’re what some might call a road warrior. You know what it means to merge, even in the worst traffic, and can power through snowstorms and other bad weather like a champ. You’re more likely to have settled down and started a family, and (generally) you drive responsibly.

But that doesn’t automatically mean car insurance over 40 will be cheap. Here are a few things to keep in mind when comparing rates.

Age is among a number of factors

It is true that middle-aged drivers, on average, pay less for insurance. Crash rates are relatively low for this demographic, and older drivers tend to take fewer risks while driving than drivers in their 20s and 30s.

But there are several other factors that go into an auto insurance quote, such as:

  • Gender — Research shows that men are involved in accidents and engage in risky behaviors, such as speeding or drunk driving, more often than women. Men may also be more likely to buy vehicles, such as sports cars, that are costlier to insure, and they don’t buckle up as often. So even in your 40s and 50s, you’ll likely get a higher insurance quote if you’re a man.
  • Driving record — Steering clear of tickets, claims and at-fault accidents is key if you want less expensive auto insurance. Many insurers offer a discount for safe drivers, and a history of moving violations and fender benders will lead to a higher premium.
  • Where you live — Dense, highly populated areas typically have higher rates of accidents and crimes such as auto theft and vandalism. Young people tend to prefer these areas over the suburbs and will likely pay more for insurance because of it, all other factors being equal.
  • The car you drive — Your car’s age, make and model can propel your rate higher or lower, especially if you’re buying collision and comprehensive coverage. Generally, the newer the car, the more it will cost to repair or replace and the more you’ll pay for insurance. The claims history for similar models also makes a big difference.
  • How many miles you drive — The more you drive, the higher your risk of an accident, thus upping your insurance. Some companies offer a low-mileage discount if you drive less than a set amount each year.

Teen drivers change everything

Many parents are in their 40s and 50s when their teen children start driving. This changes everything when it comes to auto insurance.

Adding a teen driver to your policy is going to make your premium skyrocket, mostly because of the risk young drivers present. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate of fatal crashes for drivers ages 16 to 19 is nearly three times higher than the rate for drivers who are 20 and older.

Drivers 15 to 24 years old also account for 30% ($19 billion) of motor vehicle injury costs among males and 28% ($7 billion) among females.

But don’t lose hope. If you find yourself with one or more teens eager to get behind the wheel, there are still plenty of ways to get cheap car insurance for teen drivers.


Image via iStock.