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 other residential communities provide valuable services for seniors who need professional care. While moving out of their personal space and into assisted living can be a difficult transition for some, these facilities often allow residents to furnish their living space with personal items to make it feel more like home.

If you move out of your permanent residence and into an assisted living facility or residential community, you’ll want to protect any personal property you bring with you. While your instinct may be to turn to homeowners insurance, there’s an even more affordable option: renters insurance. Let’s discuss the benefits and coverage of renters insurance for assisted living residents.

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 clothing, furniture or electronics 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 protects belongings in your room or apartment should they 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 $14 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 in a safer neighborhood or in an area with a low risk of natural disasters, 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?

The main benefit of renters insurance is the peace of mind that you have a financial safety net if your belongings are damaged or lost. However, coverage extends beyond just protecting your material possessions. 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.
  • 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 while repairs are being made after damage to the structure, 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?

While renters insurance provides valuable protection, it doesn’t cover everything. Knowing what isn’t covered will help you decide if you need to purchase additional coverage beyond a standard renters insurance policy. 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 coverage for them 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 to your policy. It’s not a good idea, though, unless they’re related or your spouse. Non-relatives added to a policy will split the 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, certain 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?

While some insurance companies will provide coverage for your belongings in an assisted living facility via your current homeowners insurance policy, you’ll want to clarify with your carrier. Maintaining your homeowners insurance policy makes sense if you still own your home and want it to stay protected while you’re living separately in a residential community. However, rather than increasing your coverage limits or altering your homeowners insurance policy to cover your belongings in assisted living, it may be more cost-effective to purchase renters insurance for the duration of your stay.

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

Moving into assisted living can be a complicated transition, and the last thing you want to worry about is making sure your belongings are protected. At SelectQuote, we can help you find the right renters insurance policy for your needs. Our licensed insurance agents can save you time by searching  a variety of carriers in just minutes. Let us find the policy that makes sense for you and save you money along the way.

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