Teens vs. Seniors: Who Pays More for Car Insurance?

Both teens and seniors draw the short straw when it comes to paying premiums for auto insurance. You can be sure when both age-groups are behind the wheel, they’re paying top-dollar to be on the road. But which one actually pays more for car insurance?

Seniors

It’s logical to think older drivers (65-years and older) are more likely to pay higher car insurance premiums. After all, time takes its toll on everyone. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points to several limitations that account for high rates among the elderly. For example, poor vision due to failing eyesight can explain the increase in the cost for seniors. Likewise, other conditions common to the elderly, like arthritis, the use of prescription medications, reduced cognitive function, slower reflexes and deteriorating motor skills all lead insurance companies to charge seniors more for their auto insurance.

So, it’s no wonder you could assume impaired vision and slowed motor abilities would require the senior community to pay the most for car insurance. However, if you share this opinion, guess what? You’re wrong!

Teenagers

First of all, insurance rates are a direct reflection of an individual’s probability of getting into a wreck. So, let’s look at the facts. Statistically speaking, a teenage motorist will be involved in three-times as many auto accidents per mile when compared to drivers age 20 and up. Similarly, deaths stemming from car accidents are three-times more likely among drivers 16 to 19-years-old.

As you would expect, drivers under 20 aren’t as likely as adults to drink and get behind the wheel. However, when they do drink and drive, teens have a far greater chance of running into trouble on the road. Even though inexperience is the leading cause of auto accidents involving teens, there are several other reasons why this age group are more prone to crashing their cars.

For starters, teenage drivers have a greater inclination to speed. Of course, whether this affinity for acceleration exhibited by teens is an innate predisposition or merely adolescent ignorance, we’ll never know. But the fact remains, inexperience adds to teenagers’ lack of situational awareness, as well as their riskier driving behavior. For instance, teens tailgate cars in front of them more regularly. Plus, teens forego many safety measures adult drivers follow, such as wearing seatbelts.

Furthermore, teenage drivers are more likely to rack up traffic tickets and violate traffic laws than seniors.

Young men

Teens pay the highest premiums for car insurance. However, males under 20 get the worst of it. Although the gender gap gets smaller as drivers get older, during their teenage years, male drivers must endure the highest insurance costs.

But then, male drivers aren’t exactly known as the safest drivers. In fact, adolescent boys have earned quite a poor reputation, and their rates reflect this “less-than-perfect” reputation. So, where a 17-year-old boy might pay $330 per month for coverage, a similarly-aged female is likely to spend under $300 (given all other conditions remain the same, such as make and model of the car). As previously mentioned, this gap tends to get smaller with age. So, when both sexes reach the age of 20, the deficit will be much less noticeable.

What’s more, if a teenage boy is single, his auto insurance rates increase even more. Okay, I know what you’re thinking – why would someone’s relationship status affect their car insurance rate? There are several reasons behind a rate reduction for married teens, including the combination of policies among partners. Consider that a married 19-year-old male may pay $139 per month for car insurance. Nevertheless, his single counterpart will likely spend a tad under $200.

All things considered

There are a variety of factors that influence the amount a specific age group pays for car insurance. For those over 65, declining health conditions are the main reason for raised rates. Alternatively, teenage drivers’ lack of caution and overly aggressive driving places them atop the car insurance price schedule.

It’s important to remember that individual car insurance plans fluctuate greatly. Not to mention, there are a variety of reasons that lead to differing auto insurance prices for those under 20 and over 65. As explained above, factors such as gender and marital status also determine how much a person may pay for car insurance. Yet, at the end of the day, one thing is for certain regarding the cost of car insurance – teens pay more than seniors.

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