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Homeowners insurance is an expense that seniors need to plan for, even in retirement. As long as you own a home, you should keep it insured. 

Many retirees have paid off their mortgage. Without a lender requiring you to buy a policy, it can be tempting to skip homeowners insurance coverage. 

But unless you are wealthy enough to self-insure, which is to have enough savings to cover repairs or rebuilding yourself, it’s not a good idea. Without insurance, you could be faced with paying for expensive repairs — or even paying to replace your house completely — should a disaster strike. 

“In the absence of homeowners insurance, property owners risk a huge financial loss, as they will be solely responsible for all costs to make repairs or to rebuild,” says Erin Collins, senior vice president of state and policy affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.

Here is what you need to know if you are a senior shopping for homeowners insurance.  

Key Takeaways

  • Most seniors should carry robust homeowners insurance coverage, even if they own the home they live in free and clear of a mortgage. 
  • The type of coverage seniors require might differ depending on the type of property they call home. 
  • Qualifying for discounts — including those specifically available to seniors — can reduce the sting of rising homeowners insurance costs.

Important homeowners insurance factors for seniors

The type of insurance you require depends on where you live. Many seniors still own single-family homes and need homeowners insurance. 

Others might own condos and need condominium insurance that offers protections not found in their condo association policy. And those who rent their home will need renters insurance.

Home owners need insurance that protects both the home itself with dwelling coverage and the contents within. Condo owners need similar types of protection, but less of it, as the condo association’s master policy should cover the structure itself and external features. 

Renters insurance provides personal property coverage but does not protect the rental unit. A landlord’s policy covers the building. 

The one thing all of these policies share is liability coverage. This protects you if you are responsible for damages to another person or their property. 

Key coverage options for senior homeowners

Whether you own a home or condominium — or rent an apartment — you will likely need some type of insurance coverage. 

Here are the types of insurance options seniors might need: 

Homeowners insurance: This type of insurance offers property coverage that protects your home and other parts of your property in the event of damage or destruction. Homeowners insurance offers contents coverage that protects your possessions, furniture and more. Homeowners insurance also comes with liability coverage that reimburses you when you are responsible for damages to another person or their property.

Condominium insurance: This type of insurance offers many of the same protections as homeowners insurance. For example, both types of policies offer liability insurance and contents coverage. However, most condo owners also have separate coverage — known as the condo association’s master policy — that protects the building exterior and common areas.  

Renters insurance: If you rent a unit, you need to purchase renters insurance. It provides both liability coverage and contents coverage. However, it does not provide property coverage. Instead, the landlord’s insurance policy provides this protection. Renters insurance is usually much cheaper than homeowners insurance. 

How much does home insurance cost for seniors?

Home insurance rates do not change based on age. Many other factors determine how much you will pay, including: 

  • The amount of insurance you purchase
  • The type of property you live in and where it’s located
  • Your claims history
  • The deductible you choose
  • Whether you qualify for discounts

An survey of homeowners insurance rates found that the average cost of home insurance in 2024 is $2,601 if you purchase $300,000 in dwelling and liability coverage and choose a $1,000 home insurance deductible

The average condo insurance rate is $795 for $60,000 in personal property coverage and $300,000 liability coverage, with a $1,000 deductible.

Condo insurance is cheaper because the structure of the building is covered under your condo association’s master policy, and you are only responsible for the inside of the unit.

Is homeowners insurance typically more costly for seniors?

Homeowners insurance costs do not differ based on a person’s age. 

Many other factors impact the cost of insurance, including how much coverage you purchase, where you live, your history of filing insurance claims and more. But your age will not impact the price you pay. 

Best homeowners insurance providers for seniors

Your individual insurance needs and other factors — including the type of policy you want, the type of property you own, where you live and your insurance needs and claim history — will determine which insurance provider is best for you. 

However, a handful of insurance companies have earned a strong reputation with senior homeowners. Some of the best include: 

  • The Hartford. With its AARP partnership, The Hartford caters to senior homeowners specifically, providing discounted rates and other perks.
  • Allstate. Allstate is one of the few companies that offers a retiree discount on home insurance.
  • Erie Insurance. Repeatedly ranked among the best, Erie Insurance tops ratings lists including our list of the Best Home Insurance Companies for 2024 and J.D. Power’s rankings.

Special discounts on home insurance for seniors

For the most part, senior homeowners are eligible for the same discounts that any other homeowner can enjoy. There are few discounts specifically available to older homeowners. 

However, it is possible that some seniors who live in a retirement community might be eligible for discounts available to everyone who lives in that community, Collins says. 

“Some senior citizen organizations may also negotiate special benefits and discounts through affiliated insurers,” she says. 

Otherwise, seniors should ask their insurer about available discounts. 

“Seniors can inquire with their agents or insurers about possible steps to qualify for other discounts carriers may offer,” Collins says. 

Examples she cites include: 

  • Roof improvements
  • Burglar and fire alarm installations
  • Installing smart home devices such as gas and water monitors and shutoffs

How to apply for retiree discounts for seniors

Insurer discounts offer a great way to trim your homeowners insurance costs. However, discounts won’t do you much good if you don’t take advantage of them. 

The best way to apply for discounts is to look at what is available on the insurer’s website or ask your agent or a representative about discounts for which you might qualify, including retiree discounts such as that offered by Allstate.

For example, if you join AARP, you can take advantage of that organization’s partnership with The Hartford. Members can save up to 20% when they bundle their homeowners and auto insurance coverage.

If you qualify for any type of discount, your agent or a company representative should let you know what you need to do to get the price break added to your policy.  

Specific insurance needs for senior homeowners

Insurance needs do not change much as the homeowner ages. The goal is to protect the home and the owner’s finances, which is true regardless of age. 

However, older homeowners might need extra coverage for upgrades made to the house. 

Collins says seniors with high-value homes or high-value heirloom items may want to consider additional coverage limits or personal property riders. 

“Costly home modifications to facilitate mobility for seniors — like stairlifts and wheelchair ramps — may also affect the home’s value and appropriate coverage needs,” she says.

Purchasing home insurance for senior citizens

Once you are ready to buy homeowners insurance, take the following step-by-step approach to securing a policy: 

Decide what type of coverage is right for you. Do you need a homeowners, condo or renters insurance policy? Also, decide whether you want to select personal property coverage at a less expensive actual cash value level — which pays you for the depreciated value of your items — or more robust replacement cost value coverage, which will reimburse the cost of replacing your items with something brand new.

Determine how much coverage you need. It’s important to purchase enough coverage to replace your home should it be destroyed, and to cover the cost of replacing your possessions. For homeowners insurance, make sure the dwelling coverage matches the replacement cost of your home.

Shop around. The best way to get a great deal on the right policy is to compare quotes from multiple providers. Many experts suggest that you get a minimum of three quotes. 

Check out the companies that seem like good candidates. As you narrow down to one or two providers, read customer reviews, check the company’s financial status as rated by companies such as AM Best and check the insurer’s complaint score with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). 

Choose a deductible amount and ask about discounts. Selecting a higher deductible will reduce your premiums. Just make sure you can afford the deductible should you file a claim. Also, ask about any available discounts. 

Purchase a policy and any additional coverage you might need. Once you have secured a homeowners policy, look into other types of insurance you might need, such as flood insurance, earthquake insurance and umbrella liability coverage.


Expert advice: Optimal home insurance plans for seniors

For more tips on how seniors can get the best home insurance policy, we talked to Kenton Brine, president of the NW Insurance Council, a Seattle-based nonprofit that offers information about property and casualty insurance to consumers, communities, the media and elected officials.

Kenton BrinePresident of the NW Insurance Council.
Q: Some seniors have paid off their mortgage and might think they no longer need homeowners insurance since a lender no longer compels them to buy it. Why is this a mistake?
Let me answer this question with a question for any senior — retired or still working — who has paid off their mortgage: Can you afford to rebuild your home and replace your possessions if your home was a complete loss due to a fire? For most of us, the answer is a hard no. Add to that the cost of finding a place to live while your home is being rebuilt — costs typically covered under the additional living expenses benefits in a homeowners policy. Unless you are wealthy, have a family you can move in with for an extended time, or are prepared to simply walk away from your home, these costs will be prohibitive. Your possessions are covered wherever they are. If your home is burglarized and your possessions are stolen, homeowners policies help pay to recover what you’ve lost. But also, they apply to your possessions stolen from your car or from your luggage if you’re traveling. Liability protection is also provided — with limits you can increase — under your homeowners policy in case you are sued by someone who is injured on your property or due to your negligence. Without this coverage, a claim filed against you is your responsibility and can cost your savings, your retirement income, even your home.
Q: When it comes to homeowners insurance, is there anything the senior homeowners need to be aware of that applies to folks their age and in their stage of life?
A: As more Americans choose to age in place in their homes rather than move to senior living communities or facilities, it is important that they talk at least a couple of times each year with their insurance agent or company, to make sure their coverage meets their lifestyles, financial position and needs.  First and foremost, keeping track of the ever-rising cost of home repair and rebuilding may not be top-of-mind for some seniors, so it can be easy to be left underinsured — a situation that arises when the homeowners policy doesn’t include replacement cost coverage and, following a total loss, the homeowner has insufficient policy limits to pay the full cost of rebuilding the home.  And, of course, home maintenance is critical and can affect your insurance claim if your home suffers storm damage. So, seniors who have difficulty with home repairs and maintenance should consider seeking assistance or services to keep their homes well-maintained.  But also, talking with your agent or company may reveal ways to save on the coverage you need, like raising deductibles — the “out-of-pocket” expenses paid by policyholders when they file a claim — adding security systems or bundling home, auto and other policies with the same company. 
Q: What types of homeowners insurance discounts might be available to senior homeowners?
A: We’re not aware of any age-related discounts on homeowners insurance policies, but insurance companies do sometimes offer discounts for long-term customers, as well as for things like home security systems, installed fire extinguishers and smoke/heat detection systems.  Also, as previously discussed, many insurers offer discounts to customers who bundle their home and auto policies with the same company.

Editor’s note: Answers have been edited for brevity.

Final thoughts and recommendations on homeowners insurance for senior citizens

Protecting your home as a senior is just as important as it was at any other age. Ensure you have enough coverage to replace your home and protect your finances if you’re sued by someone injured on your property. 

The best way to get the policy you need — and at an affordable price — is to shop around and compare quotes from several providers before choosing the insurance company that is right for you. 

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Chris Kissell
Contributing Researcher


Chris Kissell is a Denver-based writer and editor with work featured on U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Fox Business, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Money Talks News and more.