Insurance issues that baby boomers may be overlooking
Stephanie Taylor Christensen
As the baby boomers age, they’re likely expecting big financial changes and challenges, including the cost of health care and long-term care. Here are some issues baby boomers may not have thought of — and some tips for getting the best insurance rates and coverage.
Auto insurance discounts
Don’t be shy about your age. Many auto insurance policies provide discounts for seniors, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Seniors are keeping their driver’s licenses longer than they did in the past, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But as vision, hearing and health change, so do the driving skills that seniors need. Refresh your skills and enjoy potential auto insurance savings by taking a driving safety course for seniors. Discounts and eligibility vary by state and insurance carrier, so check with your auto insurance company.
Ensure that home insurance coverage is current and appropriate, particularly if you’ve lived in the home for a long time. If you have made upgrades and renovations to the home over the years or have simply accumulated more belongings, you may need additional coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Check with your agent to ensure that your insurance coverage is still enough.
If you have paid your mortgage in full, remember that you still need home insurance to protect your assets and the structure itself. If you have downsized and are considering selling your home and renting an apartment, remember to transition your home insurance policy to a renter’s insurance policy before you do so. Renter’s insurance provides liability coverage as well as coverage for your personal property in the event of a disaster. Security and safety devices, like fire and burglar alarm systems, may qualify you for an insurance discount of up to 20 percent, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Life insurance and annuities
The Insurance Information Institute recommends that baby boomers consider buying or extending life insurance, which can fulfill financial obligations after your death and provide financial aid to your survivors like spouses, children or even parents. Consider whole or universal life insurance, which include savings components.
In addition to life insurance, you may want to consider annuities. Annuities also include death benefits, but also provide protection in case you “outlive” your finances. Essentially, a life insurance policy provides economic protection to your loved ones, while annuities protect you, according to the Insurance Information Institute. There are several annuity options based on various long-term goals.