Drivers over 70 are in the crosshairs of insurance companies, with many facing price increases of more than 50 percent when they renew their policies.
This is despite the fact that many of these customers have exemplary driving records dating back decades and have not filed a claim for years.
A Money Mail investigation found that while over-70s face the highest premium increases of any age group, turning 80 is often the trigger point for insurers to suddenly increase premiums.
Data collected by insurance consultancy Consumer Intelligence shows that renewal prices for those over 70 are rising above those of the entire market.
In the three months to the end of August, they rose by £63.04, compared to the market average of £46.40.
Premium increases: In the three months to the end of August, renewal prices for over-70s increased by £63.04, compared to the market average of £46.40
Dennis Reed, director of seniors campaign group Silver Voices, says inflated premiums are adding to the financial stress on many retirees’ family budgets.
He says insurers know they can dramatically increase premiums for seniors without violating age discrimination rules.
This is because insurers insist that older drivers are at greater risk and that risk should be reflected in the premiums they pay.
Data released earlier this week by comparison website Compare the Market shows that car insurance premiums for young drivers have increased by 50 percent over the past year.
The latest report from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows that, in 2021, those under 25 and over 75 submitted the highest average claims, although older people claimed less frequently.
“There are strong counterarguments that as people get older, they become more careful and risk-averse,” Reed says. “These customers should see their premiums reduced, not increased, especially when they have a long claims-free history.”
Industry statistics show that the frequency of claims among older people is lower than among younger drivers. However, the ABI says that while the number of claims may be lower, the size of the claims they make is larger than most other age groups.
An independent expert told Money Mail: ‘The ABI says claims costs are rising, especially for over-70s.
For their part, people over 70 say that the cost of their coverage is increasing. As an observer, that seems about right. But does that make it fair? No, it’s not like that.
Some of the increases older car owners face when their coverage renews are off the charts.
Data collected by Money Mail shows that increases of 50 per cent or more are common, although in some cases (not all) customers have been able to find cheaper cover by shopping around.
For example, Jackie Galloway, 78, from near Newmarket in Suffolk, recently received the renewal premium for her Saga MG3.
His premium for the previous three years had been set at just under £226. His renewal bonus was £452 for one year or £575, fixed for three years, respective increases of 100 and 155 per cent.
“I don’t drive more than 4,000 miles a year,” Jackie says exasperated. ‘I will be 79 next January and I would have thought that Saga, a company dedicated to serving the interests of older people, would understand that at my age I am not sure I will be able to drive in three years, or even three years from now. to be alive.’
The latest report from the Association of British Insurers shows that, in 2021, those under 25 and over 75 submitted the highest average claims, although older people claimed less frequently
By shopping around, he managed to get comparable insurance for £270, a more tolerable 20 per cent increase.
“Using a comparison website to find better value for money is the only way to control the rising cost of premiums,” he says.
Maria Postings, a retired teacher from Woodford Green in Essex, has been less fortunate.
Insurance on his four-year-old Toyota RAV4 Hybrid renews Monday at a price 98 percent higher than last year. Despite shopping around, you haven’t found significantly cheaper equivalent coverage that would justify a switch.
“My premium is rising from just under £648 to £1,284,” says Maria, 73. “In 50 years of driving, two people rear-ended me and that’s it.
‘The car is equipped with an immobilizer and I use a steering wheel lock. I do everything according to the rules… and I still get hit with bonuses, which seems unfair to me.’
Malcolm Brockman is a member of the British Drivers Alliance, which campaigns on issues affecting motorists such as 20mph speed limits and the recent expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in London.
Malcolm, 76, was told that if he wanted to renew coverage on his BMW 328i, he would have to pay 57 per cent more than last year. He couldn’t find cheaper coverage anywhere else and reluctantly renewed, but he’s angry that he had to pay such a large increase.
“Insurers don’t take into account experience, driver training or driving history,” says Malcolm, who lives in Maidstone, Kent. ‘I am a former police driver with a maximum no claim bonus and I don’t drive more than 8,000 miles a year.
“It seems that insurers, like everyone else interested in the automobile and motorists, are pulling our leg.”
He adds: “Who is following this scandal and when are we likely to see justice return?”
It is an opinion shared by many other older readers.
Berni Targar, a 76-year-old retired steelworker from the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, speaks for many.
“My insurer, Policy Expert, wanted to increase my premium by 94 percent,” he says. “I was shocked, but I think older people are being exploited in many markets, such as broadband and energy supply.”
And he adds: ‘Shopping is not always profitable. In fact, the only way to get my insurer to reduce her renewal offer was to sacrifice my protected no-claims bonus.’
This protection allows the insured to file a claim without losing their no-claim bonus.
The ABI told Money Mail: ‘Insurers are aware that many households continue to face a higher cost of living. They remain determined to ensure that motor insurance remains as competitively priced as possible.
‘However, rising repair costs, as well as energy inflation and increases in labor and spare parts costs have made this increasingly challenging.
‘Insurance is risk-based, and our data shows that the average cost of claims is higher for both younger and older drivers, which may affect premiums for those age groups.
“Anyone concerned about being able to pay their premium should talk to their insurer, and it can still pay to shop around to find the policy that best meets their needs.”
Unfortunately, not always.
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them, we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.