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Homeowners insurance for seniors

Many people set aside the years after retirement for traveling, taking up new hobbies, or enjoying the company of loved ones. The last thing you want to do is to spend your golden years worrying about whether or not your home is properly insured. The right home insurance policy can provide peace of mind, allowing you to focus on the things that matter. 

So what do senior citizens need to consider when searching for homeowners insurance? Is home insurance for elderly homeowners any different for homeowners in other age brackets? In this guide, we assess some specific factors that make senior citizen homeowners insurance unique and furnish advice on how to cover your home and valuables affordably and effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Features of your home are more important rating factors than homeowner age.
  • Modifications to your home like ramps and mobility accessories should be listed as part of your homeowners policy.
  • Home insurance for seniors is not much different than policies for other age groups.

Common homeowners insurance policies and features for seniors

Homeowners insurance for senior citizens is not much different than standard home insurance. However, many senior citizens may have special insurance needs that should be taken into account when looking for a policy. 

For instance, if you’ve made modifications to your home — such as mobility ramps or stairlifts — you will need to inform your home insurance company so these modifications are listed as a part of your insured property. 

Standard homeowners insurance features apply to seniors, including coverage for your primary dwelling, personal property, liability, no-fault medical coverage, and additional living expenses. Depending on your situation, you can up your coverage levels at an additional cost.

Common home insurance coverage limits
Coverage type Typical Coverage Limit
Dwelling Varies
Other Structures 10% of dwelling coverage
Personal Property 50% of dwelling coverage limit
Loss of use 20% of dwelling coverage limit
Medical payments Varies
Personal liability Varies

What types of homeowners coverage do senior citizens need?

Finding an insurance policy that offers the right coverage for your home and lifestyle is key. Make sure that your policy limits are high enough to properly cover your home. In many cases, the amount for which your home is insured might not cover the costs of rebuilding the structure to the same standard as before. Considering a policy with extended replacement cost coverage is a great idea. This additional coverage goes above and beyond your policy limits — usually by 10 to 25% — to account for rising construction costs.

Maintaining higher liability limits could be helpful. Elevated liability limits can offer protection in the event you are found liable for damages or injuries sustained by others. 

This is especially true if you have an attractive nuisance on your property. Examples of attractive nuisances are swimming pools, playground equipment, trampolines, or yard fixtures. Homeowners may be found liable for injuries caused by these items, even if those injured were on the property without permission.  

An umbrella policy can be a good idea for some policyholders, especially high-net-worth individuals. Umbrella policies extend your personal liability limits to ensure you remain properly protected. Limits are usually extended in $1 million increments. 


Other insurance coverage considerations for seniors

Many people don’t know homeowners insurance policies often provide coverage for cemetery monuments and plots. While it’s never easy to think about, ensuring that the monuments of loved ones are covered is very important. This coverage typically covers damage from vandalism and other perils. Monument and burial plot coverage typically covers up to $5,000 in damages, though the limits can be increased. 

Homeowners liability coverage also applies to such plots. Many policyholders don’t realize that they are liable for accidents occurring on cemetery plots. This covers you in the event that someone is injured on a monument while visiting the cemetery.

Home contents insurance for the elderly

Protecting your valuables is important, especially if you own high-value items such as antiques or jewelry. Homeowners insurance policies typically provide coverage for such items up to a certain amount.

Typical insurance limits for common items are as follows:

Sub-limit Property Limitations
$200 Money, gold, coins
$1,500 Jewelry, watches, furs Theft-only
$1,500 Watercraft, trailers Theft-only
$2,500 Firearms
$2,500 Silverware
$2,500 Business property On-premises
$500 Business property Off-premises
Varies Electronics

What’s the best homeowners insurance for senior citizens?

Many insurance companies that offer policies with senior citizens in mind. The Hartford, for example, offers insurance policies tailored to the elderly. Though AARP does not sell home insurance, AARP members may be eligible for special benefits and discounts through affiliated insurers. 

For elderly citizens with high-value homes, specialty insurers such as Chubb and AIG may represent good options. These insurers offer higher coverage limits for homes, personal property, and liability, ensuring your home can be restored to the same standard that it was previously in the event of a covered loss. 

The best homeowners insurance company for elderly people is The Hartford.

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Is homeowners insurance more expensive for senior citizens?

Insurance underwriters use a variety of factors to determine homeowners insurance rates. These considerations include the age and size of the home as well as its location. Personal factors such as credit score and claims history can also contribute to your premium. In most cases, factors relating to the house itself are more influential than the policyholder’s age. In some cases, older homeowners can even receive homeowners insurance discounts. 

Senior citizen home insurance discounts

If you’re looking for cheap homeowners insurance for senior citizens, consider discounts offered by many insurance companies. Most homeowners insurance companies offer some form of discount to eligible policyholders.

Home insurance discounts may be available through:

Bundling home and auto insurance

Most insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who are enrolled in more than one insurance product with one company. The most popular choice for bundling is home and car insurance. 

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Monitored burglar and fire alarm systems

Updated security systems in your home could earn you a discount with some insurance providers. 

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Loyalty programs

Continuous enrollment in policies with one insurance company can earn you a loyalty discount. 

smart home
Home improvements

Improvements like storm windows and roof reinforcements can increase the value and security of your home and become elligible for this discount. 

Low number of claims

As with any insurance product, a clean claims history can save you money on insurance premiums. 

Zebra tip: Some insurers offer discounts specifically for senior citizens. 

If you are retired, your homeowners insurance policy may assume you will be home more often, therefore decreasing the risk of a break-in. Many insurers offer retirement discounts based on this logic. 

While these discounts can lead to lower premiums, one of the best ways to find great home insurance rates is to compare multiple companies. 

Condo insurance for seniors

Many senior citizens live in condominiums, avoiding the worry of building maintenance or routine lawn care. Plus, condos can have shared meeting spaces that can build community and connections. However, condos come with some special insurance considerations. 

Just like homeowners insurance, condo insurance protects your home and valuables. It is, however, different in what it covers. For instance, a condo insurance policy applies only to a particular unit, not to shared amenities such as lawns or shared hallways. These are typically covered by a homeowners association policy. 

A condo insurance policy provides many of the same coverages as a homeowners policy. These include protections for personal belongings, liability, loss of use, and medical payments to others. One coverage unique to condo insurance is loss assessment. Loss assessment complements your master policy in the event of a loss affecting multiple units, such as a fire. This coverage kicks in when damages exceed your own policy’s limits. 

For more information about what's covered by a condo insurance policy, see the chart below. 

What is covered by condo insurance? What is not covered by condo insurance?
Fire and smoke damage Earthquake damage
Explosion damage Flood damage
Wind and hail Intentional damage
Theft or malicious theft Nuclear hazards
Vandalism Routine wear and tear
Riots, civil commotion
Vehicles not owned or operated by the resident
Burst pipes

Renters insurance for seniors

Renters insurance is vital for elderly renters. Like homeowners insurance, renters insurance provides personal property coverage as well as personal liability coverage. As it does not insure the actual building itself, it is often quite affordable. 

Renters insurance is especially important if you reside in — or plan to live in — a retirement home or assisted living facility.

While retirement homes or assisted living centers typically provide some furniture, many inhabitants choose to supply their own belongings. For high-value items, the same basic sub-limits usually apply to both renters and homeowners policies. 

Renters policies also provide personal liability coverage to help protect you against damages or injuries occurring in your home. This comes in handy if you often have visitors, as it’s possible you could be held liable if damages or injury occur during their visits. 

How to choose the right elderly homeowners insurance policy

There are many things for senior citizens to consider when looking for a homeowners policy. Your lifestyle, home type, and the value of your home and possessions can all impact the company and policy that you choose. It’s best to compare home insurance quotes from a variety of companies to get a good sense of what is available. 

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Frequently asked questions

Who has the best homeowners insurance for seniors? Chevron down icon
The Hartford offers policies specifically tailored to the elderly. If this provider is not available in your area, consider AIG or Chubb for high-value homes.
Does age affect homeowners insurance? Chevron down icon
Age is a rating factor in homeowners insurance policies much like other insurance products. However, other factors like home systems and materials are more influential than homeowner age.
Is homeowners insurance more expensive for elderly people? Chevron down icon
Not necessarily. As previously states, home insurance rates take many factors into consideration when assessing premiums— including age, credit history and claims history— but most companies consider factors relating to the home more important than these.
Does AARP offer home insurance? Chevron down icon
Though AARP does not sell home insurance, AARP members may be eligible for special benefits and discounts through affiliated insurers.

Can I add sister to my policy?

If your sister lives with you or uses your vehicle regularly, she can be added to your policy. Given her age and lack of driving experience, I would prepare for a big increase in your premium.
Mar 23, 2018 Manchester, New Hampshire

I just had my cedar siding replaced with vinyl siding. Will this reduce my homeowner's premium, or raise it?

Since vinyl is a lower-risk building material than cedar, it is more likely that your homeowners premium would reduce rather than increase. For more information, call your insurance company’s customer service line to see if they will adjust premiums for the building change.
Dec 2, 2020 Kalamazoo, MI

Cost of sinkhole coverage in Tampa, FL

Florida currently requires homeowners insurance policies and by extension insurance companies to offer coverage for what they call “Catastrophic Ground Collapse,” which may not actually cover damage caused by a sinkhole. Catastrophic Ground Collapse coverage differs from sinkhole insurance by requiring four standards be met before an insurance company will cover your loss: The ground collapse must be abrupt The depression of the ground cover must be clearly visible to the naked eye Structural damage must occur to the building covered on your insurance policy (this includes the foundation) The structure must be condemned and ordered to be vacated by the government agency authorized to issue such an order for that structure If you sustain a sinkhole on your property but don’t meet those criteria, you could be faced with a financial catastrophe. Your home could be damaged, but not severely enough to warrant a “condemned” status, leaving you with a huge repair bill and no coverage.
Aug 1, 2018 Tampa, FL

Do I have to pay the 2% plus my standard deductible if I had a house fire?

Sorry to hear about that. It sounds like you would only pay the 2% deductible and insurance should handle the rest.
Nov 1, 2020 Irving, TX

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Ross MartinManager, Content Quality

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. As a licensed insurance agent, he specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

Ross holds a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London and has a background in copywriting and education. As a former teacher, he applies his educational skills to explain insurance concepts in ways that consumers can understand.

Ross's work has been cited by The New York Times, AxiosInvestopedia, The Simple DollarThe BalanceCar and Driver and Fox Business. He has been quoted by CNET, I Drive Safely and Kin Insurance

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

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