Tenn. Seniors Receive Auto Insurance Discounts for Class Completion

Old man's face in rearviewAs the number of older drivers continues to climb, many may be opting to take newly offered driver refresher courses, which can lead to discounts on auto insurance.

The 70-year-old-and-over population in America grew to 28 million in 2008, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), and 78 percent of them had drivers licenses.

To help maintain the driving skills that naturally deteriorate and obtain auto insurance discounts, seniors can take driver’s education courses that cater to their specific needs.

The AARP will begin offering a special driving safety class to adults over 50 in Tennessee next month. Once completing the course, seniors can contact and notify their auto insurance company to receive a discount, instructor Diana Whittle told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

“You don’t have to pass a test,” Whittle told the paper. “But once you have completed the class, I will give you a certificate. You take that certificate to your car insurance dealer and they are required by the state of Tennessee to give you a discount.”

Generally speaking, people over the age of 65 are less likely to get into an accident when compared to their younger counterparts, says AARP. However, they are more likely to get into an accident than their middle-age counterparts. A driver’s course is still a good idea, as seniors should learn the effects age may have on their ability to navigate the road.

According to AARP, thirteen states require the auto insurance companies operating within their borders to offer discounts to drivers upon completion of online, state-approved driver-improvement courses. Even more states require insurers to give discounts to drivers who complete courses in the classroom.

A  study released late last month by the IIHS showed that, even though the number of elderly drivers is increasing, their fatal-crash rate actually decreased between 1997 and 2008.

In response to news of the study, AARP Senior Vice President Elinor Ginzler stated, “AARP is delighted that one of the most trusted authorities on car and driver safety continues to refute stubborn stereotypes about older drivers with new data.”

Drivers can visit AARP’s website or use the directory of state insurance departments at consumeraction.gov to see if their states require companies to offer discounts for class-completion and which type of classes they can use to lower their auto insurance rates.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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