Insurance for the old? No chance


Old people are a menace aren't they? They piss-up your house and rattle tea cups in their dentures with their trembling liver-spotted hands. I can't wait to be that irritating.

Of course, stick an old codge behind the wheel of a car and you've got a death-trap. Their milky eyes peering over the steering wheel, they press the accelerator toward queues of infants without the reaction times to avert certain tragedy.

And yet, people whine about how hard it is for our elderly to get car-insurance.

Naturally, I'm being glib and needlessly nasty to keep the tone of Bitterwallet. One age charity is getting all kinds of cross because finance firms are discriminating against older people. New evidence from Age Concern and Help the Aged shows that half of motor insurers and a third of travel insurers automatically exclude people aged 80 or older, regardless of whether they're healthy or not.

"It defies belief that in 2010 a business is still able to refuse to deal with someone because of the date on their birth certificate," says Michelle Mitchell, the charity director. "We accept age should sometimes be taken into account in pricing insurance, but automatic age limits completely undermine the message the Equality Bill is supposed to be sending. Our fear is that household name insurers will see the new law as a green light to shut their doors to older customers."

The charity asked a number of motor insurers to quote for an 84-year-old man and an 87-year-old woman. Half of those contacted refused to offer cover. Who are they? The list includes Admiral, Axa, the Co-operative, Halifax, Sainsbury's and Tesco. Oh, and let's not forget eSure, who have adverts fronted by the seriously decrepit Michael Winner.

You may well be thinking "Sod those coots!", but you can go younger and access to insurance becomes dicky.  Once you hit 65 some companies will refuse to provide insurance quotes.

"Premiums for motor insurance are determined by the risk profile of individuals," explains Lana Clements of More Than. "Older drivers do present genuinely higher risks than drivers between the ages of 25 and 65, which is why age is a factor in the way that motor insurers calculate prices. But this would also apply to drivers under the age of 25."

Even if an old twat is accepted for insurance, they should be expecting cover that's well over the odds. Even then, they may be required to be accompanied by a younger member of their family.

My advice to Bitterwallet's greying readers? Use this article as proof as to why your family members should give you a lift absolutely everywhere and at any time you feel like it. They're eyeing up that sideboard you've got in the best lounge, so milk the little shits for every mile you can.



  • Methuselah
    Well if the experience of being driven by my ageing relatives is anything to go by , any means to keep them off the road is good. I hope that I have the sense to stop driving when I get to be that old (unlikely I agree, after all I am an avid bitterwallet reader).
  • itchy
    The insurance companies are full of shit - Every person who applies gets some bullshit excuse as to why they don't qualify for the advertised low premiums. This is just another example of it. How about a few stats of how many accidents the old bastards get into? Do they show as a larger percentage of accidents in total or in comparatively with the other age groups - I thought the daily mail told us to blame it on the youth of today and the foreigners? I agree with Methuselah old people are bad drivers - but no worse than any younger bell-end behind the wheel.
  • Warwick H.
    Mof - Get some accident stats and see which twats cause all the accidents, it aint the elder of us and out of curiosity how many claims have you made on your insurance ?.
  • piggy
    Old sods can't drive for toffee, and it's because back in the stone age they hardly had to do shit to pass their driving test! Ofcourse traffic was far lighter back then, but once you hit 65 or 70 or something you should have to pass a driving test every year or 2, just to prove your not too decrepit yet!
  • Richard
    "But this would also apply to drivers under the age of 25" Have you ever seen a quote for car insurance for the under 25s?
  • Jack
    There should be a compulsory re-test at 65 (if there isn't that sort of thing already). And then add a little bit more to their age group, e.g. slowly turn them from the price of age 25 at around 65, to price of age 21 by the time they are like 70. Then treat them as a 17 year old by the time they are 80. Then if they are good drivers, they will still have no claims bringing it down a bit.
  • The B.
    Didn't see a single oap on the road this morning, although I did see multitudes of people driving with ice on their windscreens because they couldn't be arsed to scrape it off. I particularly liked the guy who'd cleared a 10cm diameter circle in the middle of his van windscreen and was peering through it with his windscreen wipers on (presumably the friction would heat up and loosen the ice).
  • BobF
    @Methuselah Im personally hoping that by the time I get to being "too old to drive" the cars will have been driving themselves for years. On that note though, if and when cars do drive themselves, how will insurance companies come up with excuses?
  • F.D. A.
    I think some of you miss the point here... The elders who are looking to get their insurance renewed are not first time drivers. Some of them have been driving for more than 40 or 50 years and have more driving experience than many of us here.
  • Mosschops
    Experience counts for a small percentage compared to reaction time. Compare my reaction time at 30 to a codger - then give the crumbly a red bull and me 2 pints of beer - make the same reaction test. If I would not dream of driving with alcohol in my system because it will slow my reaction time by x milliseconds then a biddy is equaly likely to mame and kill people as someone with a moderate amount of alcohol. Is this acceptable? Is it ok that someone's child may be killed (and often is) because they've been driving for years? Add into this deafness, poor eyesight and an inability to turn your neck properly and you got a pretty efficient killing machine. "There weren't the cars on the road in my day" - what the f*** has that got to do with it, there is now so drive properly and read an up to date copy of the highway code or get off the road. You certainly wouldnt do the same thing if you were a pilot. Why not?
  • Dude
    Some insurance companies do refuse to insure under 21s/25s, some wont insure you if you have a claim, or penalty points, some wont insure you because of where you live, what car you drive or what job you do - shy should the old be any different.
  • Mosschops
    Oh forgot to add if they give me back the money they take off me for free bus pass (which they dont need because they are apparently fine to drive) then I might consider having some sort of sympathy. Heating allowance too, free swimming and cheap TV license.
  • Monevator
    To be honest, we just have to wait a while (I'm assuming most readers are under 40-50 here!) By the time the baby boomers have been through wrinkly-fication they'll have tilted the whole game in the benefit of the old. They did it for the young, and then for the middle aged. I don't see them dropping the ball, until they drop off the perch.
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