Unlike other insurance products – such as car or health insurance – home insurance for the over 50s should be cheaper because of your age. While it pays to shop around when deciding how to choose home insurance, once you hit 50 you should see home insurance premiums fall compared to someone aged less than 50 insuring a similar property.
The reason behind the good news for over 50s home insurance is down to risk. Insurers assess how likely you are to make a claim and how much this will cost them. While people over 50 generally have more personal items and property of higher value than younger homeowners, insurers have found that people aged 50 and over tend to make fewer claims. Insurers have also found that when someone claims on an over 50s home insurance policy, they tend to be more truthful with their claims – making over 50s attractive customers for insurers.
While cheaper over 50s home insurance is the general rule, there are plenty of exceptions. As insurance risk is assessed individually and by postcode, your premiums may be higher depending on your circumstances. If your house is situated in a flood risk area or you’ve recently purchased high-value items or your postcode has been prone to a recent spate of burglaries, home insurance premiums can spiral.
The best bet when deciding how to choose home insurance is to shop around and get lots of quotes from different home insurers and price comparison sites.
Do you need over 50s home insurance?
Generally speaking, you can buy home insurance from any insurer that will insure your home. You don’t need to apply to an over 50s specialist, such as Saga home insurance, to insure your home.
However, specialist over 50s home insurers can offer discounted home insurance or provide additional cover and extras that are tailored to older customers.
Benefits include being able to insure for a higher amount – people over 50 tend to have higher value property – and taking advantage of unique extras. Age Partnership offers £10,000 of cover in the advent of squatters. Saga includes a dedicated personal claims manager with its home insurance and replaces matching pairs or sets, such as a three-piece suite, if it cannot replace or repair one of the items to match.
If you’re heading abroad and aged over 50, read our expert guide Travel insurance over 50: buying the best policy.
Where to buy the best over 50s home insurance
There are a number of specialist over-50s home insurance providers, and you can sometimes save money buying direct:
Saga home insurance – Defacto 5 star rated, it claims to offers policies from less than £100. Includes free access to its Possibilities membership programme.
Age UK – Defacto 5 star rated, it claims to offer policies from around £170 per year with no hidden admin fees. Buying from Age UK helps support its charitable work.
Rias – Defacto 5 star rated with a host of optional extras. Includes dedicated claims handlers available 24-hours-a-day, and cover to help find and repair problems such as leaks.
Sunlife – Defacto 5 star rated home insurance, it claims to offer a discount of 25% for over 50s. Includes access to a 24-hour-a-day claims line and alternative accommodation if your home became uninhabitable.
LV= – Scoring 9/10 on Reevoo, LV= offers specialist over 50s home insurance including a 12-month warranty on anything that is repaired on the policy and a discount for applying online.
You can also skip going direct and use online insurance price comparison websites instead. Insurance price comparison sites don’t have all insurers on their panel, such as DirectLine, and sometimes you can get a better quote going direct to the insurer. It’s worth obtaining a home insurance quote on a price comparison site and also checking directly with insurers to make sure you’re getting the best price.
How to choose the best over 50s home insurance for you
There are two types of home insurance: buildings cover and contents cover. Most people tend to buy both – called home and contents insurance – at the same time and from the same insurer. It’s worth knowing that you can buy the cover separately and from different home insurers, but you’re likely to save money and time buying home and buildings cover together as a single policy.
Buildings insurance – while buildings insurance isn’t compulsory like car insurance, if you have a mortgage or equity release you’re likely to find that having buildings insurance is a condition of the mortgage or equity release product. Buildings insurance should cover the complete cost of rebuilding your home.
Buildings insurance will also cover damage, such as subsidence, roofing damage, leaks and physical damage to your property such as that caused by a storm or falling branches. Make sure you get a regular valuation for the cost of rebuilding your home. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has a special calculator that provides a more accurate cost of rebuilding your home.
Contents insurance – If buildings insurance covers the physical property, contents insurance covers everything that is inside your home. From furniture and curtains to laptops or frozen food, contents insurance will pay out if any of your contents are stolen, lost or damaged. Accidental damage is usually an extra cost. You’ll need to make an accurate valuation of all the items you own, and it can be worth taking photos of you wearing or holding high-value items such as jewellery or laptops to make it easier to claim.
It’s worth adding personal possessions cover, especially as we increasingly carry expensive gadgets such as mobile phones, around with us when away from home. Look also for policies that offer ‘new for old’, as these will mean you’ll get a brand new product in the event that the old one is damaged or stolen. Some policies that don’t offer new for old, will only pay out the market value of the damaged product, such as a 5-year old laptop – and this can be vastly less than the price you originally paid for it.
How to save money on over 50s home insurance
While your cover will vary depending on your circumstances, there are several tips for lowering the cost of over 50s home insurance:
Fit smoke alarms – Even without the benefit of lower home insurance premiums, fitting a smoke alarm is essential. The best ones connect to the mains, as well as offering battery back-up. Fit at least one smoke alarm per floor and test them weekly to ensure they work. Smoke alarms have a useful life of around 5 years and then need replacing.
Fit security alarms – ensure that you have a working burglar alarm installed. Maintain it annually and test it regularly. Ensure that the alarm box is visible and use stickers on windows and doors to inform a potential burglar that the home is alarmed.
Upgrade locks on doors and windows – decent locks that meet British Standards can reduce the cost of home insurance and make it harder for a burglar to get access to your property.
Value content accurately – while most people undervalue their home contents, overvaluing can cost money. Insurers won’t payout for more than the actual cost of replacing contents, so you could end up paying for cover that you don’t need.
Shop around – home insurance renewal premiums can be expensive. Insurers rely on the fact that many people don’t shop around each year. Insurers tend to make their profits from people who have the same policy over many years. Shopping around can dramatically lower the cost of the amount you pay for identical over 50s home insurance cover.