Whether you are celebrating the payoff of your mortgage, downsizing to a smaller home, or moving somewhere warm to enjoy your retirement, home insurance is an important part of protecting your investment.
After many years of home ownership, seniors can expect to be rewarded with discounts and overall good rates. Some insurance companies go the extra mile when it comes to helping seniors insure their homes, so check your options before settling on a policy.
The Basics of Home Insurance for Seniors
Seniors have most of the same needs for home insurance as anyone else; if your home is paid off you have the minor difference of not having to provide proof of insurance to a mortgage company or meet their requirements for coverage.
Your insurance needs will vary based on the type of home you own. If you have owned a single-family detached home for many years and are downsizing to a condo or townhome, you will discover the insurance policy changes somewhat. Attached homes with an association policy to cover the structure itself only require homeowners to purchase “walls-in” coverage – meaning it protects only those things on the interior.
Regardless of what residence you choose, you will still need to carry insurance for your personal property, and those needs may have changed over the years. If you are downsizing and giving a lot of items away, you may need less coverage. On the other hand, antiques and family heirlooms may actually have gone up in value over the years. It is worth having potentially high-value items appraised so that you can insure them properly with a rider if needed.
Liability insurance is a part of every home insurance policy, and now is not the time to reduce it. Even if you feel the risk is low, liability coverage can protect the retirement savings you have worked for so many years to gather.
Specifics of Senior Home Insurance
While there is no specific coverage you need for your home as a senior, there may be some specific discounts available.
Many home insurance companies offer a 50 plus discount, or a discount for those that are retired. The amount of these discounts can vary by company and location, so it is worth shopping around to see what the best deal for your particular needs is.
As a general rule, you probably won’t save as much on a senior discount as you do staying with a company where you have multiple policies and longevity discounts, but it is certainly worth getting a quote. This is especially true if you are looking to switch all of your insurance.
Due to the fact that many seniors are on a fixed income, we made a point of selecting companies with good rates overall. As always, those good rates must be combined come with good value, great coverage, and no compromises. We were on the lookout for a senior’s discount, of course, as well as any other benefits offered to seniors.
We also looked for companies that go the extra mile when it comes to claims service. The last thing you need is to have to fight an insurance company to pay your claim; all of our choices rank high on the claims satisfaction survey. The same goes for good ratings when it comes to customer service.
We chose companies whose products are widely available. While many local companies offer great products and services, choosing national companies makes the information useful to as many people as possible.
Our Top Recommendations
These three companies provide great service and comprehensive policies for seniors.
The AARP-branded home insurance products through The Hartford are designed specifically for the needs of seniors, putting them at the top of our list. Their rates are already discounted for seniors, and they also offer a retiree credit to bring them down further. You can also take advantage of the AARP branded auto program for another discount.
The Hartford is a solid company that generally ranks well in customer satisfaction. You will need to be an AARP member to get in on these products, but that comes with a whole array of other benefits that make it well worth joining.
Allstate offers a truly impressive line of discounts, which includes up to 10% for 55+ retirees. Other discounts you could qualify for are a claim-free discount, new home purchase, and even a discount just for being a new customer – 10% off for the first two years.
Allstate’s captive agent approach means you will always have someone you trust to talk to about your insurance, and their home insurance policies are comprehensive and full of included benefits. Allstate competes very well in our rate comparison tests, and with those added discounts they add up to a good value.
Amica Mutual is the only company on our list that does not offer a specific discount to seniors, but their rates are excellent to begin with, and they can’t be touched for customer service. Amica won JD Power’s top award for both property claims satisfaction and homeowner claims satisfaction in 2017, and if you’re looking to bundle with your auto insurance, they also won that claims satisfaction award.
Amica has an excellent homeowner’s insurance program; their policies include many things standard that are add-ons elsewhere. For seniors that value great service on a great policy above all else, Amica is a great option.
Shopping for Home Insurance for Seniors
Aside from looking into potential discounts, shopping for home insurance as a senior is not much different from any other point in life. It is important to compare rates as well as coverage to make sure you’re getting what you need, and vital to ensure you’re with a reputable company.
When shopping for home insurance it is always a good idea to shop your car insurance around as well. Especially if you have just retired, you should be able to qualify for lower rates; not surprisingly, the companies that offer discounts to seniors on home insurance often offer them on auto as well. A bundling discount will make them an even better deal.
If you are making a big retirement move – to another state, for example, it is a good idea to ask around about local or regional insurance companies. Florida, for example, is a popular retirement location, but the homeowner’s market there can be tricky at best. Expert advice is often a good idea in a case like that, so it may be a good idea to find a reputable local independent agent to give you some help.
The Bottom Line
As a senior, you have earned your upcoming years of relaxing, low-stress living. Your home insurance should give you the peace of mind to do just that. Choose an insurance company that is known for taking good care of their customers – seniors included – and you won’t have to worry about what would happen if something goes wrong at home.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.