Everything You Need to Know About Insurance for Seniors

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Insurance likely seems complicated, even confusing, for some seniors and their loved ones. Knowing about and understanding the various types of insurance and policies, what each policy covers and does not cover, along with the possible pros and cons of each type of policy are some insurance issues possibly confronting seniors.

This comprehensive information provides details about insurance specifically addressing the needs of seniors. Consider whether each of these types of insurance meets your needs or those of your senior family member.

Auto Insurance for Senior Drivers

Seniors are not exempt from laws regarding required auto insurance. Laws vary from one state to another so it is important that you know the laws regarding minimum coverage required and other relevant facts.

If you are a family member or friend helping a senior with auto insurance options and reside in a different state, keep in mind that you should learn about auto insurance in the state where the senior lives which may differ somewhat from laws in your state.

When shopping for auto insurance, make sure the policy meets your needs. One mistake seniors sometimes make is staying with the same auto insurance company for decades without checking out other companies or policies. An article published in USA Today suggests “Checking out the competition on a regular basis…” If you do not receive exceptional customer service from your auto insurance company or agent this is another reason that seniors should check out the competition.

Although some sources indicate that auto insurance rates tend to rise once an individual reaches age 60, shopping around provides seniors the opportunity to find the best policy that meets their needs at an ideal rate.

There is a myth that seniors pay more for auto insurance. The truth is that seniors often receive a discount on their auto insurance policy. The Insurance Information Institute (III) explains that many auto insurance companies actually offer discounts to seniors.

Seniors usually have more driving experience that younger drivers, and are more likely to obey driving laws and traffic rules of the road. Seniors also likely drive less often compared to younger drivers, particularly during bad weather.

Complete a senior accident prevention course and you likely receive an even greater auto insurance senior discount.

Some insurance companies offer a discount for new retirees.

Did you serve in the U.S. Military? Be sure to ask about a discount for veterans.

These are just some reasons that seniors learn they likely pay less, not more, for auto insurance.

Burial Insurance

Some seniors wish to purchase burial insurance or research burial insurance policy information. So just what is burial insurance and how does it differ from other types of life insurance?

It is important that seniors understand burial insurance before purchasing a policy. The Insurance Information Institute indicates that some funeral homes may be licensed to sell burial insurance policies in some states but that most are sold by brokers and licensed insurance agencies.

When you purchase burial insurance, this policy usually prepays the cost of your funeral. It sets or locks-in the cost of your casket purchase, your decision for the flowers you want at your funeral or burial, specifies the type of service, headstone and other details that you desire upon your death.

Some companies sell separate burial insurance. Some sources claim that the term ‘burial insurance' is often just a marketing term for a whole life policy with a smaller face value.

Whether you purchase a burial insurance policy or any other type of insurance policy to pay for your final expenses, pay careful attention to reliable information, including details of scams or predatory policies potentially targeting seniors.

It is your responsibility to know the details of every policy that you purchase and whether a certain type of insurance, including burial insurance, meets your specific needs.

Dental Insurance for Seniors

Seniors that are not aware of the limitations of Medicare coverage likely get a surprise when learning that Medicare does not provide dental insurance coverage. Seniors without any type of dental insurance coverage often pay full out-of-pocket dental costs.

There are ways to get assistance that helps lower some dental costs.

The Medicare Rights Center points out that some Medicare Advantage plans provide dental coverage. Check to see if your plan provides coverage for any of your oral health care costs.

Medicaid pays for some dental procedures if you are eligible for full Medicaid coverage. Check with Medicaid in your state and learn whether you have eligibility for Medicaid-covered dental care.

Many communities have free clinics or reduced-cost clinics. Some dental schools at local colleges and universities provide dental care. Check these facilities in your area to learn about eligibility and costs.

Some private insurance companies provide at least some dental benefits. Seniors often pay extra for dental coverage. If you need dental care, it is likely worth the extra cost for reduced oral health care.

Life Insurance for Seniors

Seniors without life insurance do have options with the variety in today’s types of life insurance policies. Seniors that do have life insurance sometimes do not fully understand the terms and conditions of their policy or exactly what the beneficiary receives upon filing a claim for the policy benefits.

Understanding existing life insurance does not have to be a difficult process. There is no reason to avoid obtaining new life insurance for seniors when you know what to consider before purchasing life insurance and tips for choosing the best life insurance for your needs.

Seniors need to understand the difference between term life and whole life insurance. The differences in these two common types of life insurance play a large part in the cost of your senior life insurance policy.

Which type of life insurance best meets your needs? Knowing the details likely helps the majority of seniors determine whether a whole life insurance policy or a term lie policy is the best choice for their individual needs and desires.

Term life is exactly as the name sounds. It is life insurance coverage for a specific term. Many insurance companies’ term policies are for a term of five years or ten years. At the end of that time period or term, you enter into the next term, often determined by age. For example, if you have a term life policy expiring this year and you are age 64, at the end of the term, you likely enter into the next age bracket and pay the premium for the next term.

When first considering a term life policy one aspect that possibly seems attractive to seniors is the fact that premiums are usually less expensive than a whole life policy of the same amount. Remember that while many whole life policy premiums stay the same for the life of the policy, the premiums increase for term policies as you enter the next term. Term life policies are the right choice for some seniors. The eHealth site provides the example that it is not unusual for seniors in good health to purchase a term policy for 20 years.

Purchasing a whole life or term life policy as a senior comes with other considerations. Some insurance companies charge higher premiums or perhaps deny coverage to individuals over a certain age, which have certain medical conditions or lifestyle habits. Older Americans, particularly those with health issues often pay higher premiums than younger individuals.

One way that some seniors get around paying higher premiums is by purchasing a policy that does not ask medical questions. Guaranteed whole life policies usually do not require a physical exam or ask lengthy questions about health and lifestyle habits.

There is usually a restriction on benefit payouts for the first two years. The beneficiary receives all premiums paid plus a nominal amount, often 10 percent additional, if the insured dies within the first two years of purchasing the policy.

Seniors that pay premiums on time and follow other guidelines set by the insurance company keep their insurance for the life of the policy.

Several life insurance companies recognize that seniors are living longer and offer coverage through age 70, 75 or even age 80 and beyond. The type of policy you purchase and the face value of the policy determine your monthly premiums. Remember that age, health and other individual factors possibly play a role in seniors attempting to purchase life insurance.

The folks at Motley Fool explain that seniors lose up to $12 billion in life insurance annually. Remember that if you let your policy lapse, you lose coverage. Pay premiums in a timely manner and keep your policy in a safe place where you and your loved ones remember that you have the life insurance policy.

Long Term Care Insurance for Seniors

Baby boomers are quickly aging, possibly realizing that the need for long-term care costs is potentially looming as seniors age. Planning for long-term care does not begin when you reach 55 or 65. Many individuals potentially start long-term care planning years earlier than care is actually needed. Other seniors, like in the case of purchasing life insurance or planning for retirement, put off long-term care planning due to costs.

The fact is that the costs of nursing home care or residing at other long-term care facilities likely costs much more than the premiums for long term care insurance.

One factor that recently came to light is the fact that up to 40 percent of seniors that go into a nursing home have a stay of no more than three months. A Kiplinger report also reports that the costs of long-term care are on the rise, increasing approximately nine percent in a one-year period.

Things seniors need to consider when deciding whether long term care insurance is right for them is the fact that long-term care insurance covers many aspects of health care not covered by regular health insurance. Remember, Medicare pays only about 80 percent of health care costs and even less for some types of care and services.

Nerd Wallet contributor reveals that most people purchase long term care insurance when in their 50s or 60s. Purchase long term care insurance while you are healthy and avoid a denial later on when you have a debilitating condition or other illness.

Medigap Insurance

Medigap is a choice that many seniors make when considering their health insurance options. Medicare explains that Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, helps pay some of the costs not covered by Original Medicare.

Sold by private insurance companies, a Medigap policy fills the “Gaps” of original Medicare. It covers costs such as deductibles, coinsurance payments and deductibles.

When you turn 65 years of age, you have a one-time six-month open enrollment period, during which time you have the ability to purchase any Medigap policy sold in your state. There are specific guidelines, such as the fact you must have both Part A and Part B coverage.

Do you and your spouse both want Medigap coverage? Each person purchases their own Medigap policy.

Another important fact that seniors need to know is that Medigap is not the same as Medicare Advantage. A Medigap policy supplements your Medicare coverage, while a Medicare Advantage Plan is a means of receiving your Medicare benefits.

When you have a Medigap policy, you pay the monthly premium to the private insurance company, not to Medicare. You cannot purchase a Medigap policy if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan.

RV Insurance Tips for Seniors

The fact that seniors live longer and stay healthy longer leaves some seniors happy to take to the open roads in an RV. A RV vacation, particularly for carefree empty-nesters seems like a good idea even if you have no experience with RV ownership.

Important considerations for seniors wanting to consider an RV purchase include tips about purchasing RV insurance. Your first thought is likely, “I have auto insurance. I will just add my RV to that policy.” The thing is, your RV is not an automobile. It requires specialized care and specialized insurance considerations.

Alex Glenn, a Nerd Wallet contributor suggests that RV insurance provides for better financial protection. Seniors likely want the best coverage for their RV and for many senior RV owners, purchasing RV insurance is the right choice.

Basic RV policies provide liability coverage, a requirement for RV owners. This RV insurance provides coverage for liability up to your policy limit for injuries and property damage to other individuals involved in a crash.

Comprehensive and collision coverage provides more coverage than a liability-only policy. Collision coverage pays the bills for RV repair is you are the at-fault party in a crash or you collide into objects such as trees.

Comprehensive RV insurance covers several situations, such as theft, vandalism or falling objects hitting your RV. You pay the required deductible, usually subtracted from the amount of your claim.

There are special types of coverage for an RV that usually does not apply to automobile coverage. This coverage possibly plays a part in the decision-making process for senior RV owners. Personal property and attachments covers repair and theft of personal property and attachments such as supplies or a satellite dish.

Do not worry about the out-of-pocket costs associated with an RV breakdown when you have RV insurance. The travel expenses coverage helps pay costs associated with transportation and lodging while the RV gets repaired.

These are just some examples of coverage provided by RV insurance. Speak to an agent specializing in RV insurance to learn more.

Travel Insurance for Seniors

Travel insurance is a must-have for seniors. Knowing travel insurance tips helps seniors make the right decision regarding the right type of travel insurance coverage.

Some sources suggest that travel insurance is an unnecessary expense. However, a TripSavvy article writer states that senior travelers should carefully research the issue of travel insurance.

Travel insurance covers most costs associated with issues such as canceled trips or additional expenses of flying home after a disabling injury. There are three basic types of travel insurance including coverage for trip cancellation, delay or interruption.

Emergency medical assistance and evacuation coverage is an important type of travel insurance for seniors. It covers medical care when traveling, often not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or many HMOs. Receive 24-hour telephone assistance permitting seniors the opportunity to easily locate medical professionals and get emergency help when needed.

This comprehensive insurance information provides crucial details about various types of insurance particularly of interest to seniors. Understanding insurance is not always as complicated as it first appears once you know insurance tips and information for seniors.