For senior citizens, having the right homeowners insurance in place provides peace of mind so you can spend your time focusing on the things that really matter, like enjoying retirement and spending time with friends and family. But what is the right home insurance for seniors?
The elderly are not always able to research and get quotes for insurance coverage online as easily as other age groups. There are some unique factors that seniors should consider when purchasing homeowners insurance. By understanding coverage options, limits and discount opportunities, the elderly can find the best home insurance policy for their unique personal and home circumstances.
Homeowners insurance policy considerations for seniors
Home insurance coverage for senior citizens is not much different from coverage for other age groups. But some seniors may have modifications done to their home that require additional coverage, like having a stairlift or wheelchair ramp. These home modifications should be discussed with your insurance agent to determine if you need to increase dwelling or other structure coverage.
Seniors may also want to consider higher limits for guest medical payments and personal liability coverage. A standard home insurance policy provides limited guest medical payments, but can be increased if needed to cover visitor injuries on your property. If you are sued because of injuries or damage you cause or happens on your property, having higher limits for personal liability can help you navigate a settlement or court case.
Common coverage limits for home insurance
Most standard homeowners insurance policies offer the same coverages, but limits can vary. Some coverages can be increased or added to customize your home insurance policy to meet your needs as a senior.
- Dwelling coverage: Varies, based on the amount needed to rebuild your home if it were a total loss.
- Other structures: 10% of the dwelling coverage but can be increased if needed.
- Personal property: Varies, typically between 50%-80% of dwelling coverage but can be increased if needed.
- Personal liability: $100,000 but can be increased as needed. Limits vary by insurance company.
- Loss of use: Varies, but is usually a percentage of the dwelling coverage. Can be increased if needed.
- Medical payments: $1,000 but can be increased, usually with a cap of $5,000 or $10,000.
Is homeowners insurance more expensive for seniors?
The cost of homeowners insurance is determined by a number of factors. Your age, claims history, location, the age of the home, appliances and roof and how much coverage you need will determine your rate. Each insurance company sets its own rate structure, so your age as a senior may influence the rate differently depending on the company.
The biggest factor deciding your home insurance cost is the dwelling amount, as shown in the table below. The more coverage you need, the more you will pay for homeowners insurance. The older your home is, the more you could pay, as well. However, if your home has updated appliances or a newer roof, you may be eligible for discounts. Some insurance companies also offer senior citizen discounts on insurance policies.
National average annual cost of homeowners insurance
|150K dwelling coverage||250K dwelling coverage||350K dwelling coverage||450K dwelling coverage|
Homeowners insurance discounts for seniors
Seniors can take advantage of discounts to keep homeowners insurance rates low. Consider these discounts when shopping for home insurance or reviewing your renewal policy:
- Claims free
- Bundling home and auto insurance
- Legacy or loyalty discount
- Home improvements (new roof, impact resistant roof materials, storm shutters, upgraded HVAC or plumbing, etc.)
- Monitored burglar and fire alarms
- Smart home devices
The best homeowners insurance for seniors
The best homeowners insurance for seniors will depend on your specific coverage needs. To find the best home insurance company, consider getting quotes from multiple companies to find the one that offers the coverages you need at the best price.
There are several types of homeowners insurance, but an HO-3 home insurance policy is the most common for homeowners. Seniors with a high value home, or with high value items like jewelry, furs or fine arts may have or want to consider an HO-5 policy, which provides additional coverage limits. If you are a senior citizen with a much older home or one not easily replaced, an HO-8 may be a better policy. Not all insurance companies offer each type of home insurance policy, so that may determine which is the best for your needs.
When shopping for home insurance or reviewing your renewal policy, it is important to know what coverages can be adjusted to cover your home and personal belongings. If you have antique or heirloom items, you may be able to get special coverage or higher limits on standard coverage to protect them. A standard HO-3 policy has specified limits for select items, which could mean if something is damaged or stolen, you will not get the full value or it may not be covered.
Because insurance companies and policies differ, seniors should compare coverages and quotes to find the best options to cover their home and personal property. You may consider working with an independent insurance agent. The independent agent can shop with multiple insurance companies for you after learning your unique needs to find the best home insurance policy for you.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:
- Coverage A, Dwelling: $150,000, $250,000, $350,000, $450,000
- Coverage B, Other Structures: $15,000, $25,000, $35,000, $45,000
- Coverage C, Personal Property: $75,000, $125,000, $175,000, $225,000
- Coverage D, Loss of Use: $30,000, $50,000, $70,000, $90,000
- Coverage E, Liability: $300,000
- Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000
The homeowners also have a $1,000 deductible and a separate wind and hail deductible (if required). Depending on your dwelling coverage limit, you may need to have a higher deductible.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will differ.