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Do I need renters insurance in an assisted living facility?

An older couple sits outside their assisted living facility on a park bench

Assisted living facilities, nursing homes and senior housing provide seniors and those with disabilities a safe place to live and to receive care. In many cases, assisted living homes allow residents to furnish their rooms or apartments with personal touches, including clothing, furniture and other belongings.

When (or if) the time comes to move out of your permanent residence and into an assisted living facility or active-living community for seniors, it’s important to understand how best to protect any personal property you bring with you into your new home. While you may assume that homeowners insurance covers these items, there may be an even more affordable way to provide coverage for them: renters insurance.

Benefits of Renters Assistance if You Live in an Assisted Living Facility

Homeowners insurance protects your belongings and your dwelling in the event of an accident or catastrophic loss. When you move out of your home, you may think that the assisted living facility has coverage to protect your belongings. The assisted living facility’s insurance policy does cover structural damage to the physical property and facility, but not your own personal property or belongings.

Even if you’ve sold your home, you still have possessions. Whether it’s clothes, furniture or even a television for your living space, renters insurance in assisted living facilities can protect your valuables. Much like it does for traditional apartment living, a renters insurance policy can protect belongings in your room or apartment should it be damaged, lost or stolen. In some cases, it could even cover accidental injury to your visitors.

Because renters insurance is generally affordable, it’s a great choice for seniors who are on a fixed income and wouldn’t be able to financially weather an unexpected accident or loss.

How much does renters insurance cost?

Renters insurance can cost as low as $10 per month, but the actual price differs from person to person. Several key factors determine the cost of renters insurance, including location, safety, coverage levels, deductible, crime and credit score.

  • Location: If you live somewhere with a low risk of natural disasters or a safer neighborhood, your renters insurance costs may be lower.
  • Crime: High crime rates can impact the price of renters insurance. Suburbs and rural areas may be viewed as safer, which could lower those costs. Higher rates of crime could raise your rates.
  • Coverage level: The more insurance you need—and whether you want actual cash value or replacement cost—the more you’ll probably pay. Your deductible will also impact the price of your renters insurance.
  • Credit score: People with lower credit scores tend to pay more for insurance. Higher credit scores can help lower your premiums.

What does renters insurance cover?

Renters insurance mainly covers three things in the event of a loss:

  • Personal property: Your personal property coverage includes belongings like furniture, clothing, sporting goods and electronics (TVs, radios, etc.).
  • Liability:  Liability coverage helps pay for instances where your visitors may suffer bodily injury or property damage.
  • Additional living expenses: If you’re unable to live in your assisted living facility or apartment, renters insurance can help cover the cost of temporary housing, food and other expenses if you’re no longer able to inhabit your residence.

What does renters insurance not cover?

Renters insurance doesn’t cover everything. There are common coverage exclusions to nearly every renters insurance policy for specific perils, including:

  • Bed bugs or other pests: Renters insurance typically won’t cover pest-related damages or costs because these are viewed as maintenance issues. 
  • Earthquakes and flood damage: Earthquakes and floods are not common parts of either renters or homeowners policies, but they can be added separately. 
  • Vehicle theft or damage: Renters insurance will not cover damage or theft of your car—that’s what auto insurance is for—but it will cover belongings inside your car at the time of theft.
  • Roommate property: Roommates aren’t typically covered under your renters insurance policy unless you add them. It’s not a good idea, though, unless they’re related or your spouse. Non-relatives added to a policy will split coverage, meaning that a $20,000 renters insurance policy could cover significantly fewer of your belongings. It must be split among the two of you.

Renters insurance can provide protection for your personal property, but it may have lower limits for high-value items. Jewelry, electronics and other expensive items may require a higher sub-limit on your insurance policy. When buying your policy, ask about these limits to ensure you’re not blindsided by a lack of coverage.

Can I use homeowners coverage to protect my belongings in an assisted living facility?

Some insurance companies do allow you to tie your belongings in the assisted care facility to your existing homeowners insurance policy, but you’ll want to check with your insurance company for more details. This may make sense if you still own your home and want coverage for it, too. If you’re concerned about breaking your budget, the more cost-effective route may be to purchase renters insurance that specifically covers you for your time in the nursing home, assisted care facility or senior living facilities.

SelectQuote Can Help Seniors Find the Right Insurance Policy for Their Assisted Living Needs

Navigating the choices around moving into assisted living can feel complicated, but ensuring your belongings are protected shouldn’t. SelectQuote can help you choose the right renters insurance policy for your needs. We shop rates from several insurance companies at once and provide you with options to maximize your coverage, find discounts and save time and money.

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