As many Americans know all too well, driving ability can deteriorate quickly with age, and with that increased risk obviously comes higher auto insurance bills. As such, many older Americans – most of whom lived on lower, fixed incomes – may be on the lookout for ways to cut their auto insurance bills. Therefore, it could be wise for insurance agents who have older clients to work more closely with these people in particular to help them find ways of reducing their risk, and with it, their monthly premiums.
Nationwide, about 23 million people with drivers’ licenses are 70 years of age or older, and only about 6 percent of those people – slightly less than 1.4 million – say they’ve had a conversation with someone about their ability to drive safely these days, according to a new survey from Liberty Mutual Insurance. Despite this fact, 84 percent say they would be open to talking about the issue, but just haven’t done so.
“These are difficult conversations, but important to have early and often, because everyone ages differently,” said David Melton, driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and managing director of global safety. “Too often, these discussions are avoided until warning signs appear or, worse, there is a crash. It’s a step we all need to take to ensure the safety of our loved ones and the community.”
Digging into the numbers
Among respondents 75 years old or more, 41 percent drive every day, and 38 percent drive at least several times a week, the report said. Despite this fact, 16 percent say they struggle with slower reaction times, 13 percent say they have trouble seeing or hearing, and 9 percent think they can sometimes get lost or confused while behind the wheel. Moreover, 85 percent say it’s harder for them to drive these days when it’s dark out, when traffic is heavy or when they don’t know the area.
Insurance agents should try to keep in mind that when it comes to clients of all ages, many tend to value good customer service over the mere ability to find them better deals on their coverage. If the two can be brought together, then it’s all the better, but for the most part, people would rather have a good relationship with their insurer or agent than find the absolute best deal available.