Last updated: 23/07/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes
Over 50s home insurance
In this handy guide we’ll be explaining what kinds of home insurance you need, why insurance companies charge over 50s less for home insurance, and what you need to consider when taking out a home insurance policy.
In This Guide:
- What kind of home insurance do I need?
- Is home insurance cheaper for over-50s?
- What other benefits are there for over-50s home insurance?
- What information will I need in order to get a quote?
- How can I get the right level of cover?
What kind of home insurance do I need?
There are two main types of home insurance policy: buildings insurance, and contents insurance. Buildings insurance typically covers the actual brick and mortar structure of your home, as well as some fixtures and fittings. Some policies will cover other structures on your property too. As for contents insurance, this covers anything else in your home that isn’t covered by buildings insurance.
Buildings insurance is compulsory if you have a mortgage and own the property. Even if you are lucky enough to own your property outright, it’s worth protecting yourself with both buildings and contents insurance just in case.
You’ll most likely need both types of policy, most events that will cause you to make a claim will require both forms of insurance. For example, if your home gets damaged by a flood, you’ll need a buildings insurance policy to claim for any damage to fixtures, fittings, or the building itself. You’ll also need a contents insurance policy to claim for any damage to furniture or other possessions in your home.
The good news is that insurers tend to offer discounts for customers who take out a joint buildings and contents insurance policy, so that’s something you could take advantage of.
Is home insurance cheaper for over-50s?
Generally, yes. Insurance companies consider people over-50 to be a lower insurance risk. This is because, statistically speaking, older people are much less likely to make a claim on their home insurance. On top of this, if they do have to make a claim, it’s usually for a much smaller amount than younger homeowners typically claim for.
Additionally, there’s also evidence to suggest that older people are more honest when it comes to making a claim too.
As with all forms of insurance, the premium that your insurer will charge you will be heavily based on your personal circumstances (e.g. the area in which you live, etc.). But insurers tend to give favourable rates to people over 50 for a multitude of reasons:
- Older people tend to have a better understanding of how to maintain a home properly - especially those in their 50s and older. This is because they’ve usually owned a home for many years, and so have built up their knowledge over time.
According to the ABI (Association of British Insurers), preventing frozen pipes in winter with basic home upkeep can save insurers an average of just under £9000 per claim. It’s this kind of foresight that over-50s tend to have, compared to younger homeowners.
- People tend to become more conscious about home security as they get older. A recent ONS (Office for National Statistics) survey showed that older homeowners were more proactive when it came to home security than younger ones.
Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and home burglar alarms are just a few examples of the kinds of popular measures taken by older people to secure their home.
- Another ONS survey showed that 94% of older homeowners know their insurance policy and what it covers inside out. Thus, older homeowners are much more likely to be more precise when calculating the value of repairing their home, as well as the value of their possessions. This allows them to only get the level of cover that they need, and not pay over the odds for additional cover that they don’t require.
If you’re looking for cheaper insurance, shopping around is always a good idea. Money Expert can help you get and compare home insurance quotes from more than 50 providers in just a few minutes so you can find the best deal on the market.
What other benefits are there for over-50s home insurance?
Other than the potential for lower premiums, there are a few additional benefits to being over 50 when it comes to home insurance.
You’ll be able to access the services of specialist over-50s insurers such as Saga and RIAS - taking advantage of their discounts and products developed specifically for people with your needs.
There’s also the possibility that you’ll receive higher levels of cover for contents insurance, and a higher maximum limit when taking out buildings insurance.
There are often discounts for installing security features within your property and home, and you’ll also be able to take advantage of extended cover for empty houses. Some providers will cover an empty home for over 6 weeks when the policyholder is over the age of 50, when the typical duration covered for younger policyholders is usually 30 days.
As with all insurance policies, the terms provided by each insurer will differ, so you need to be diligent about checking the policy wording before you commit to a home insurance policy.
It’s also worth noting that even though you’ll be eligible for discounts and cheaper insurance packages, cheaper policies aren’t always the best fit for your needs. Be sure to check that the policy you buy has all of the features and levels of cover that you require for your property and circumstances.
What information will I need in order to get a quote?
Before shopping around for an insurance quote you’ll need to gather together the following information:
- The build date for your property - you can find this on your home buyer’s report or mortgage survey
- The types of locks and alarms used on your property
- Details of previous claims - you may need to contact your previous insurer
- The cost of rebuilding your home - you can calculate this yourself, or pay a chartered surveyor to assess your home
- The value of your personal belongings
- The materials used on your roof (slate, tile, asphalt shingle, etc.)
You need to be as accurate as possible with this information, especially the rebuild cost and value of your personal belongings. Getting these wrong can make your policy useless if there’s a big discrepancy.
How can I get the right level of cover?
It’s crucial that you don’t underestimate the value of your property and possessions. The best way to be sure you aren’t underinsured is to go through your house room by room and count up the cost of replacing every single thing in there.
High value items (jewellery, heirlooms, etc.) need to be insured separately if they aren’t covered by the single item limit on your policy usually around £1500. Luckily, over-50s are usually afforded higher maximum amounts. Having said this, be sure you aren’t overestimating the value of the rebuild cost and your possessions, otherwise you’ll be overpaying on your premiums.