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Old timers driven to distraction by lack of car cover

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21/03/2007

Older people, especially those over 70, are finding it hard to take out car insurance as many insurers are reluctant to take them on.

Statistics show that the likelihood of having an accident increases by 13% for drivers over the age of 70, so the elderly are relatively ‘expensive’ customers for the insurance companies.

Even though they compare car insurance like everyone else, they are severely limited as to their choice of insurer, with three-quarters of companies refusing to take on anyone over 80.

David Wyatt, 74, who lives in Chelmsford, Essex, is a typical case. “I have been driving for 55 years and have never had an accident in all that time,” he said.

“I’m pretty fit and active – I still do gardening for people – and all my faculties are in good working order, so why is it so difficult for me to get car insurance? It’s not my age group who tear around at 70mph everywhere, it’s the younger ones.”

But according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average claim for those over 75 is £1,716, 50% higher than for those 60.

A spokesperson for Help the Aged, which has undertaken a lot of research into motor insurance for the elderly, said: “Securing value-for-money cover is becoming increasingly difficult for the elderly.”

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