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Posts Tagged ‘car insurance for over fifties’

Consider the following scenario that really happened recently on a busy highway in Johannesburg. An elderly gentleman was in the fast lane of the highway with a string of cars behind him. He was driving at around 75km per hour and the younger guy just behind him was getting increasingly frustrated and impatient. When he finally managed to get into the lane just left of the elderly man, he slowed down and with arms waving tried to indicate to the older man that he must move out of the fast lane. The elderly man didn’t even move his head, he just held on to the steering wheel and continued driving in the fast lane. He was clearly concentrating and didn’t even give other drivers a thought.car-insurance-over-60

The actions and reactions of other drivers on the road in this scenario raises a few questions. Are older drivers a bigger danger on the road than younger drivers? Should older drivers be penalised for their age when their car insurance premiums are calculated? Or could we argue that they should pay less for car insurance than younger drivers because they have the benefit of experience behind them?

If we look at the facts around this subject, we know that car insurance companies favour females above males as far as calculating car insurance premiums go because females are known to be better drivers than males as they are more patient and often have children as passengers. It is also a fact that young males – usually those under 25, are known to be high risk drivers because they are prone to speeding, drinking and driving and in general not very attentive on the road. Males and females over 40 are seen as drivers with lower risk as they are more experienced and not as impatient as younger drivers and therefore their car insurance premiums also tend to be lower.

It is, however, also a fact that as people age, factors like impaired vision, mental and/or physical deterioration, slower reaction times and a lack of confidence on high speed roads can severely impede their driving skills. The question is how do car insurance companies determine at what age car insurance premiums should increase, and is it fair to assume that all people  reaching that specific age would automatically qualify as high risk?

If looking at statistics that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the USA released, drivers between 64 and 69 are the safest drivers on the road, no doubt, because they have years of driving experience behind them and also because they have learned the art of being patient. Unfortunately, many people in that age group are already suffering with age related disabilities and car insurance companies could argue that even though that age group was proven to be the lowest risk for them, they should be paying more for car insurance because their physical deterioration turn them into high risk drivers.

This issue could be debated and discussed and pulled apart, argued for and against charging senior citizens more for car insurance and setting an age at which this should happen for whatever reasons are decided. The question, however, remains. Can a specific age be determined at which senior citizens should be charged more for car insurance?

 

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