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This Mother’s Day, Check On Your Parents’ Insurance Policies

SELECTIVE INSURANCE (5/11/2017) – Mother’s Day is dedicated to thanking our mothers for the countless good things they have done for us. If your mother is of a certain age, it’s also important to be mindful of the practical concerns regarding her health and well-being – as well as your father’s. Checking up on their key insurance policies, and helping them make sure they’re appropriate for their needs, is one great way to do so.

Where are your parents living?
Depending on your mother’s and father’s ages, they might consider moving into an independent living community for senior citizens, or have already done so. According to Senior Housing News, a trade publication, such housing has been growing readily and is expected to experience further growth during 2017.

Your parents’ living quarters will affect their insurance needs. Independent living senior housing communities can be owned or rented. If rented they function in many ways like any other apartment complex. Complex owners rent apartments or condominiums to tenants and may include certain utilities in monthly costs. Independent living communities for seniors  are simply facilities restricted to residents of a certain age and above. Individuals or families living in these facilities typically would need renters insurance rather than a homeowners insurance policy, as Senior Living, a website dedicated to offering advice for seniors, points out.

Renters’ insurance coverage “provides financial protection against the loss or destruction of your possessions when you rent a house or apartment,” according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) It tends to be less costly than a standard homeowners’ policy, the I.I.I. notes, since it only covers the value of personal belongings, not the building itself. Depending on the value of your parents’ possessions, they may want a replacement-cost policy for their personal property. According to the I.I.I., renters’ coverage pays the full cost of replacing items lost due to fire, theft, vandalism, lightning and non-flood water damage, potentially without any reduction in payout due to depreciation.

Flood insurance coverage typically requires a separate policy or an addendum to an renters policy, so it’s wise to consider flood risk based on their location and other factors.

Are your parents landlords?
If Mom and Dad are moving out and don’t sell their home, renting out the place can be a great source of supplementary income, especially if they’re retired. This, too, may require an adjustment of their insurance.

The I.I.I. noted that some homeowners policies may include provisions to ensure coverage on homes used for short-term rentals, or allow such protection to be easily added. In other cases, renting the house for short periods of times to tenants constitutes a business enterprise, and thus requires the appropriate commercial liability or business insurance. Long-term rentals – for lease periods of six months, a year or more – will often need landlord policies, which insure the property itself and also protect the building owner from liability if tenants are injured on the premises.

Are they driving?
If your parents are still driving, they will obviously still need auto insurance. If they don’t have comprehensive auto coverage already, it might be an appropriate time for them to add it. Comprehensive auto insurance covers damage incurred from virtually every scenario up to and including collisions, such as explosions, earthquakes, floods, riots and more, according to the I.I.I.. Finally, if your parents aren’t driving anymore, the car will still need to be insured if you are, or someone else is, taking possession of it.