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Friday, February 27, 2009

Car Insurance Tips for Senior Citizens

By Tom Martens

Exactly how you define the term "senior citizen" depends on whom you ask, but it is a term that means different things to different people. However you define it, senior citizens still have to maintain adequate insurance coverage, especially if they drive. While auto coverage proves expensive for many retirees, there are many ways you can lower your premium costs while maintaining not just the minimum coverage to keep your car on the road, but enough coverage to protect your hard-earned assets. Auto coverage is required to drive your car, no matter what your age or financial status.

Sit down with a qualified insurance provider and thoroughly review your policy. Make sure it still fits your needs. If you are driving more, you might need additional coverage. But if you are driving less, then you could perhaps scale back on your premiums and save some money while still having proper car insurance coverage.

If you also maintain home and life insurance, consider getting all your policies from the same company. This practice is called bundling, and it is a good way to lower your premiums on all your policies. Bundling also makes paying easier, since you only have to keep track of bills from a single insurance provider. If you bundle all your policies, it is also possible to arrange a single due date, or staggered due dates, making it easier to pay premiums on a fixed income.

Ask your insurance provider if they offer senior citizen discounts. Many providers also offer discounts to members of certain groups, like AARP, or other clubs or organizations. If there is more than one driver in your household, ask if there are discounts for multiple drivers or multiple vehicles.

If you don?t want coverage, or you don't need it, don't buy it. It's not unusual for companies to try to sell you riders to your policy that are not really necessary, but cost you a lot of money. Don't let any salesperson pressure you into buying something you do not want or need. If you tell the agent you are not interested in the coverage and they insist you buy it anyway, then look for another insurance company.

Never purchase coverage you don't understand. Insurance is a complicated business. There is no reason to be embarrassed if you don't understand something the first time you hear about it. If it takes several explanations for you to feel comfortable with the facts, that's just the agent's job. Make sure you get all promises in writing. Review every policy thoroughly and never put your signature on a document you haven't read, don't understand, or just don't like.

Finally, if you are not satisfied with your insurance provider, shop around and get new insurance quotes. Make sure your needs are met and that you have the insurance coverage you need without breaking your budget. Even if you are satisfied, it never hurts to shop around to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.

No matter what your insurance needs, always be sure you buy from an authorized and licensed insurance agent. They can help you examine your situation and offer a policy precisely tailored to your needs, and answer any questions about coverage and premiums.

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