Insurance Discounts Seniors Should Know About
When the Social Security Act was passed in 1935 to provide financial assistance to senior Americans during the Depression, many older citizens were financially in trouble. It was then that senior citizen discounts began being offered by hotels, retail shops and restaurants among other establishments.
Seniors are still being offered discounts across many markets today. One of those markets is the insurance industry. Insurance companies offer many ways for seniors to take advantage of discounts. It's just a matter of finding the right company and getting the best quote.
Savings can be especially helpful to those seniors living on a fixed income. It makes sense to take some time to explore the different insurance reductions available to seniors in order to help manage rising living expenses during retirement.
Being retired and not commuting to work each day can be a reward in and of itself, but there's another advantage. Less miles driven means your auto insurance rates can also be reduced. This savings is called a low-mileage discount. Each insurance company is different, but generally mileage below 14,000 per year can qualify for a discount.
Another way to obtain savings on auto insurance is to take a driver safety course. These are offered in every state and vary by area, driver age and driver history. Approved course providers can be found on each state’s government or state department motor vehicle (DMV) website.
Typically, these courses can be taken online or in person; they are four to six hours long and cost around $25. Once the course is completed a certificate will be provided to show proof to your auto insurance company. This results in yearly premium reductions of around 5 percent to 10 percent and will expire after three years at which point another safety course can be completed to reinstate the premium savings.
AARP offers a driver’s safety course for just $20 for members.
A reduction in homeowner’s insurance premiums can be offered to individuals as young as 50. This savings is sometimes called a retiree discount. Designed for homeowners who work less than 24 hours a week, this discount can save a senior up to 15 percent.
Home features like security systems, green materials, storm and hail-resistant homes can also enable discounts for seniors. Other qualifications for homeowner’s insurance discounts might include: gated-community, homeowner’s association (HOA), affinity groups like AARP, newly purchased or renovated home, good credit, and home-paid-in-full discounts.
Long-Term Care Insurance
The savings seniors can receive in relation to long-term care have more to do with the right timing. Long-term care premiums are less expensive the earlier one buys in. Insurance companies reward this advanced buy in and it means many more years of protection for the participant too. Someone at age 50 can pay around 40 percent less over time and have a longer period of coverage versus someone opting in at age 75.
Of course, all of these savings are dwarfed by the cost of assisted living and other senior care without insurance.
Another reason for establishing long-term care insurance earlier is that long-term care policies have a high number of exclusions of coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Individuals in their 50s and 60s have a better chance of not experiencing symptoms or medical conditions that would disqualify them for long-term care.
Don’t forget that many insurance companies can offer great discounts if you buy several different insurance products. This is called a bundling discount and can include auto, life, long-term care, homeowners and health.
That said, sometimes smaller insurance companies offering only one insurance product can provide significant savings over larger companies offering many insurance products. It is beneficial to research different companies before deciding whether to bundle all or just a few policies.