Important Insurance Coverage for Seniors
For seniors, making sure your insurance policy reflects your lifestyle will protect both yourself and your family's financial future.
While some may cringe at the idea of being called a “senior citizen” there are many benefits that come with your age and wisdom. You’ve worked hard to get here and to support your family. In order to keep supporting your family and provide you with peace of mind, here are some coverages you should have to make sure you’re getting the most from your insurance policies.
Home Insurance for Seniors
If it’s time to downsize, now is the perfect time to take inventory of your belongings. As you move your items, estimate the value of each item and make a running total of the value. When to make the move to downsize to a rental, you can provide your broker or agent with a rough number of your personal property, so they can make sure you are insured adequately.
In some instances, you may have special, high-value items, such as jewelry, stamp collections, electronics, or bicycles. Some property insurance policies have special limits on these types of items and your property may be worth more. In this case, you can schedule these items separately on your policy for the value of the item.
To ensure they are covered at their full value, you must provide either a receipt, appraisal, or proof of value form. The premium to schedule high-value items will depend on the value you insure them for.
Read: How Insurance Companies Calculate Your Home Insurance Premiums
If you are moving into an assisted living facility or a senior’s home with care options, you may not need your own insurance policy. In some cases, your relative’s property insurance will have an extension that will cover family member’s belongings in care facilities up to a certain value without any additional premium required.
If it is the case their insurance company does not offer this extension, your current provider may have options for tenant’s insurance packages specifically for seniors. These packages usually have a lower minimum value of coverage for your property for instances where you are only moving in a facility with only a few personal items (i.e. no furniture or high-value items).
Travel Insurance for Seniors
As you probably already know, as we age our bodies change and respond to our environment differently—suddenly even the way we sleep can make our bones ache! Insurance companies recognize this and assess the risk of a medical emergency accordingly. As a result, insurance rates may be higher for travel insurance as you age.
You may be asked to answer a medical questionnaire about pre-existing conditions and medications you are taking. If you have a stable pre-existing condition, companies will usually cover emergency medical expenses even for this condition. Every company has a different definition of what “stable” means (sometimes it can mean having no occurrences or changes in medications for that condition for 30, 60, or 90 days).
Because the standard companies can get more expensive once you hit a certain age, it is a great idea to shop around! Some companies specialize in medical coverage for seniors and special packages for those who travel annually to escape the winter chill.
Read: What Canadians Need to Understand About Their Travel Insurance
Life Insurance for Seniors
Similar to travel insurance, rates of life insurance will increase as we age, and our options for coverage and premium levels can diminish. If you are struggling to find and life insurer due to age or health concerns, you may discuss a Guaranteed Issue life insurance policy. These policies usually do not require a medical exam and are easier to apply for. However, they also usually have a lower value death benefit as result.
Find Out Now: Get a Life Insurance Quote Online
Talk to Your Insurance Representative
As you enter this new stage in life, it’s a great idea to check in with your broker to make sure your insurance policies reflect your new lifestyle. Some things to adjust on your file may include your daily commute, adding any group discounts, and reducing property value amounts you have recently sold to downsize.
You may also consider allowing other family members to speak on your behalf in cases where you cannot speak for yourself. This usually requires a simple phone call for verbal permission, or sometimes a form can be signed to grant permission to a trustworthy family member. Ultimately, you will have to sign off on documents yourself (unless you also supply power of attorney documents), but in simple situations such as asking about premium balances and coverage questions, your family will be able to call on your behalf.
Read: Considering Long-Term Care Insurance? Here's What You Need to Know!
Making sure that your financial future is protected beyond your years is the greatest gift you can provide your family. As always, speak to your broker or agents about options that best reflect the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to cultivate.
Written by Kaitlyn Kokoska
Kaitlyn Kokoska is a content writer and ex-Personal Insurance Broker from Edmonton, AB. After dipping her toes in the insurance industry, she realized that client education is the key to financial empowerment. She’s now on a mission to make insurance a more accessible topic. You can find more information about Kaitlyn on her website.