Car insurance for the over 50’s: what level of cover do you need?

As we get older, our needs change and so do our daily routines. This can have an impact on all aspects of life, including some slightly surprising areas – such as car insurance.

It may not be the most exciting thing to spend your time thinking about, but that doesn’t mean that it should be overlooked. In fact, you may well find that you can save yourself a bit of money by looking into the fine print of your policy or comparing what other insurance providers are able to offer.

What level of cover is right for you?

With insurance, many people take a cautious approach, getting more cover than they probably ever need. This isn’t always the worst course of action; after all, nobody wants to find themselves in a position where they need to make a claim but find that their policy is invalidated. However, there is a cost associated with going over and above the necessary level of cover. In an age of austerity, where many people are feeling the pinch, it makes sense not to spend more than you need to.

Apart from bespoke packages, the highest level of cover that most companies offer you is comprehensive car insurance. This means that you will be able to make a claim in the event of a collision or if your vehicle is stolen. Plus you can usually drive other cars with their owner’s permission and depending on your insurer. As you probably know, there is often a big step up in terms of the price when going from a basic third party, fire and theft policy. This is mostly due to the extra add-ons that are included with the comprehensive alternative. Therefore, you should take the time to see what you’re paying for and what benefits it is likely to provide.

Make sure the information you provide is up to date

It is also worth reviewing the information that you’ve provided, especially if you have been with the same insurer for a number of years. Many people simply renew their policies time after time without ever really considering whether the policy is fully representative of their current circumstances. For instance, if you have recently retired and used your vehicle to commute to work, you are now likely to use it less. A reduction in your mileage that you don’t tell your insurer about could end up leaving you spending more unnecessarily.

The good news for those who are just entering their fifties is that there are a number of specialist insurance providers out there who may be able to help you secure an improved deal. By catering for a specific market they are often better positioned to provide cover focused on your needs – usually at a reduced rate too. So this represents the perfect opportunity to get out in the market and look around for a new quote.

As mentioned earlier, the risks of being under-insured are far greater than those for being over-insured. For instance, if you’re on a third party policy only (the minimum level allowed by law) any injuries you may sustain in an accident won’t be covered. Equally, if your car were to be stolen, you wouldn’t be able to secure any compensation as this isn’t included. This creates a huge potential risk, particularly if you are reliant on your vehicle or it is particularly valuable.

So the level of cover you need will be largely dependent on individual circumstances and requirements. It is always advisable to check your terms and conditions with regularity to ensure that changes are made to better reflect your current status. Whilst most policies can only be fully reviewed annually, any urgent changes (including a change of vehicle, address or usage alterations) should be carried out instantly. If you are concerned about any aspect of your policy, please do contact your insurer as soon as possible.