Answered – your top questions about car insurance for Australian seniors and pensioners

Here's what drivers over 60 need to know about this tailored coverage

Answered – your top questions about car insurance for Australian seniors and pensioners

Insurance News

By Mark Rosanes

A driver’s age is one of the biggest factors insurance companies consider when calculating car insurance premiums. Typically, older Australians, including those in their 30s and 40s, are charged lower rates than their counterparts in their 20s, who are deemed high-risk drivers.

Circumstances change, however, when motorists reach a more senior age. Although not as likely as to be involved in accidents as young and less experienced drivers, according to data from the Office of Road Safety’s National Road Safety Strategy, senior citizens, because of their age, bring a different set of risks.

These risks, according to the financial comparison website Canstar, stem more from the condition of their health than their driving behaviour. 

“Car insurance can start becoming more expensive for drivers over the age of 60,” the firm wrote on its website. “People in this age group are statistically more prone to suffering from health problems that could affect driving ability, such as impaired hearing and vision, slower reaction times, and sudden heart or brain issues. This means insurance companies may spend more on claims for older drivers, and thus charge higher premiums as a result.”

Several personal finance websites have laid down ways that Australian seniors and pensioners can save on auto insurance. But before they do, there are a few things that people in this age group need to understand about this tailored coverage. Here are some of the most common questions seniors ask, along with the answers from industry specialists.

What is seniors’ car insurance?

Seniors’ car insurance is a specialised policy offered to older drivers who reach a certain age. The age limit varies depending on the insurance provider, usually ranging from those as young as 45 to those over 80-years old. These auto insurance policies often have features and benefits tailored to senior citizens and pensioners based on their driving history, which include the number of claims they have made across their driving lives, according to the money-saving advisory website Mozo.

Who qualifies as a senior?

There is no industry standard definition for a “senior” or “pensioner” when it comes to car insurance, Mozo adds. Typically, the age limit or other requirements vary from insurer to insurer, so it is best to get those details from each provider.

What are the licensing requirements for senior drivers in Australia?

States and territories have different rules for seniors who want to keep their driver’s license. Here are licensing requirements for each state and territory, according to specialist insurance provider Australian Seniors.



Australian Capital Territory

Annual medical report submitted to the Road Transport Authority for drivers aged 75 and older

New South Wales

  • Annual medical checks for Class C drivers aged 75 to 79
  • Annual medical checks and on-road assessment for drivers aged 80 to 84, depending on their licence type
  • Annual medical checks and either on-road assessment or take out a modified licence for drivers 85 and older

Northern Territory

  • Disclose medical conditions that may affect their driving ability
  • Encouraged to undergo medical assessment for fitness to drive


Valid medical certificate issued by a doctor for those 75 and older when driving, renewed every 13 months

South Australia

  • Holders of Class C licences are sent a self-assessment form by the state from age 75
  • Pass a 30-minute practical driving test if a doctor deems necessary


  • Disclose medical conditions that might affect their driving ability
  • Five-year limit to licence validity once driver turns 65


  • Disclose medical conditions that might affect their driving ability, regardless of age
  • Encouraged to self-assess their driving ability each year

Western Australia

  • Annual medical assessment starting age 80
  • Practical driving test if recommended by a doctor

What are the different types of car insurance coverage available for seniors?

Just like standard car insurance, policies for seniors and pensioners have different features and benefits. These include:

  • Compulsory third-party (CTP) coverage: Protects against liability should the policyholder cause injury or death while driving
  • Third-party property coverage: Covers legal liability for loss or damage to someone else’s property
  • Fire and theft cover: Provides coverage if the vehicle is torched or stolen
  • Comprehensive cover: Pays out for vehicle damage caused by an insured peril such as fire, storm, on-road accident, and vandalism; also covers legal liability for loss or damage to someone else’s property
  • Caravan and trailer insurance: Covers for loss or damage to the policyholder’s caravan or trailer
  • Roadside assistance: Provides expert assistance for vehicle breakdowns.

Does car insurance for seniors cost more?

Apart from age, several factors impact the price of car insurance premiums. These include the driver’s gender, claims history and driving record, as well as the vehicle’s market value, make, model, and colour. According to Mozo, auto insurance for seniors can be a cheaper alternative to comprehensive policies because “loyalty, safe-driver, and reduced-kilometre discounts can accumulate and bring down costs over time, in addition to specific senior and pensioner discount offers.”

How can Australian seniors and pensioners save on car insurance premiums?

Canstar recommends several practical tips that can help senior citizens slash car insurance rates. These are:

  • Availing of any senior-specific discounts from the insurance provider
  • Parking the vehicle in a secure location
  • Completing a safe driving course
  • Switching to a less expensive vehicle
  • Checking eligibility for a no-claims bonus
  • Installing anti-theft devices
  • Increasing car insurance excess.

Read more: Car insurance refunds have mostly flopped, but there’s still a chance for redemption

Are there specialist providers of car insurance for seniors in Australia?

While all car insurance companies in Australia offer policies for senior drivers, there are specialists that provide coverage tailored specifically for the over-50 demographic. Here are some of them:

Insurer/Policy name

Features and benefits

Apia Comprehensive Car Insurance

  • Up to $1,500 coverage for after claim expenses when the car is stolen or damaged
  • Up to $20 million legal liability coverage for damage caused by the policyholder’s car
  • Lifetime guarantee on repair work authorised by the company
  • Drive Less Pay Less discount if distanced travelled is under 20,000km per year


  • 24/7 roadside assistance with unlimited callouts
  • Windscreen and window glass cover
  • Hire car coverage after an event for unlimited days

Australia Seniors Comprehensive Car Insurance

  • New for old replacement for 24 months
  • Hire car coverage after theft
  • Guaranteed cover on authorised repairs
  • Flexible payment options
  • Agreed value
  • Hassle-free claims
  • Emergency repairs and towing costs

National Seniors Comprehensive Insurance

  • Cover for fire, theft, accidents, and malicious damage
  • Covers for legal liability for loss or damage to someone else's property caused by a motor vehicle accident, whether the driver is partly or fully at fault
  • Up to 10% discount on first year’s premium if the policy is purchased online
  • Safe driver discount
  • 24/7 phone or online claims services

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