As people grow older, certain things in life start to become more expensive. Medical visits and procedures may grow more frequent and serious, life insurance may go up drastically if not locked in at some point, and even your home insurance will go up.
Or will it?
The answer is, not necessarily. While age is often a factor when it comes to homeowner’s insurance, it’s far from the biggest factor. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the things that can cause your home insurance premiums to go up — or down.
Is Home Insurance for Seniors More Expensive?
The answer to this question is: not always. Many factors are simply out of your control when it comes to home insurance, and most of them are just industry standard. For example, home insurance is highly dependable on where you live — things like crime rate, susceptibility to certain natural disasters, or the market value of the surrounding land, for example. Older houses may often cost more to insure due to the presence of aged plumbing, heating, or insulation. The primary reason an elderly person’s home insurance might be higher comes down to this: older people often accrue more possessions and financial resources as time goes on, which can lead to needing more coverage.
Factors That Raise Home Insurance for Seniors
In many cases, insurance goes up because there is greater risk involved. Other times, insurance premiums may rise because there are more things to cover, and more coverage needed. For example, here are some of the common things that often drive up home insurance premiums for senior citizens:
- Renovations and home modifications for disability or mobility purposes, such as ramps, and bathroom modifications such as roll-in showers, chair lifts, and so on.
- Coverage for heirlooms, jewelry, art, antique furniture, and other high-value items that may have increased significantly in value over the years. Some of these may be valuable enough to require an additional endorsement on the insurance policy.
- Some insurance companies offer the additional benefit of a grave and/or memorial insurance. Taking this option will, of course, raise your home insurance premiums due to the added coverage.
Factors That Lower Home Insurance for Seniors
But it’s not all bad news. There are several factors that can bring your home insurance down as you get older. Some of the most common ways of doing this include:
- Retirements mean more time spent at home (in general, at least), which can reduce the risk of home burglaries. You can talk to your insurance provider about possibly lowering your rates due to this reduced risk.
- It’s common for retirees and older homeowners to downsize as children move away and homeowners find they don’t need as much space as they once did. Moving to a smaller home or even a condominium or apartment may bring your insurance rates down. You can even get dedicated condo insurance.
- Moving to a retirement village or assisted living facility means a lot of life changes, but it will put an end to the need to pay home insurance. If you do end up making this move, it might be a good idea to take out renters’ insurance so your belongings are still covered.
6 Ways Seniors Can Get Cheaper Home Insurance
So now that you’ve gotten a better handle on what will bring your home insurance situation up or down in price — what steps can you take to do something about it? Thankfully there are a few tried-and-true methods for helping to bring your home insurance rates down.
- First, talk with your insurer. Try to negotiate a better rate with your insurer or see if there are other benefits available to you. This can be particularly profitable if you’ve been with the same home insurance company for years.
- On the other hand, if your current home insurance company just isn’t doing it for you anymore, it can’t hurt to shop around and compare rates. Not only can you find an insurer that can help you tailor your policy to your specific needs, but you may end up getting the same or better coverage for less money. For example, Ross Martin at The Zebra points out that insurance companies like The Hartford or AIG have policies specifically aimed at providing cheap home insurance for seniors.
- Ask for discounts! Many insurers offer upwards of 50 discounts that customers may not know about. Some insurance companies, for example, provide insurance discounts to AARP members.
- Bundle your home and car insurance policies together – this is a common tactic that almost always works out cheaper for you in the end.
- Try to keep your good credit score. Most insurers look at credit rating when assessing premiums, so the higher yours is, the better.
- Tighten up home security with cameras, surveillance systems, and other technology. Your insurer will often give you a discount since this reduces risk.