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MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2021

Insurance in old age: Which are important?

Insurance in old age: Which are important?

No one likes to deal with the subject of insurance. Once they have been taken out, most people try to give it as little thought as possible and leave the relevant documents to gather dust in folders. However, it is worthwhile to check your existing insurance policies every now and then to see if they still meet your needs.

Retirement is a good time to do this. This is because insurance needs often change with retirement. Some insurance policies no longer make sense. Others should be adapted to the current life situation. This may save you money. In the following we have compiled an overview of important and unimportant insurances for you in old age.

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Liability insurance

Private liability insurance protects you if you damage other people or property. For example, if you accidentally knock over an expensive vase while making coffee. But also if you cause an accident as a pedestrian due to inattention. “Private liability insurance is also essential in old age,” says lawyer Elke Weidenbach. Nevertheless, it can be worth taking a look at the contract: Most people have their entire family covered. But once the children have left home, you can save money by switching to a partner tariff. Conversely, if you live alone in a flat with your children in old age, you can be included in their liability insurance.

The lump sum coverage should be at least three million euros. “Five million is better,” says Weidenbach. It is also important to have bad debt coverage. This covers you if someone else damages you but they do not have liability insurance themselves. In this case, your insurance will pay for the damage.

You should also check which claims your liability insurance covers and what it does not cover. For example, if you take up voluntary work after retirement or get a pet, you should be insured for these areas.

Motor vehicle liability insurance

Anyone who drives a car must have motor vehicle liability insurance anyway. In addition, there is a choice between partial and fully comprehensive insurance. Partial cover insures against damage to the car caused by wild animals or natural hazards such as hail, as well as against theft. Fully comprehensive insurance also covers self-inflicted accidents and wilful damage by third parties. Which option makes sense depends on the value and age of your car.

You can save money if you are the sole user of your car. The premiums are also calculated according to how many kilometres you drive per year. If you drive less when you get older, you should report this to your insurance company.

Home contents insurance

Home contents insurance also makes sense in old age. The more valuables you own, the more important it is. Household contents include not only furniture, but also clothes, books or the bicycle parked in the cellar. “It is important that there is no underinsurance,” says Weidenbach. The insured value should not exceed the sum insured. Otherwise, the insurance company will not fully pay for the damage incurred. Therefore, make sure that there is an “underinsurance waiver” in the contract. Irrespective of this, it is worth checking whether the sum insured is appropriate for your belongings. If you move to a smaller flat and dispose of a large part of your household effects, you should inform the insurance company so as not to pay too high premiums.

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Homeowners insurance

Important for all homeowners. Homeowners insurance protects you against the costs incurred if a broken water pipe or lightning strike damages your home. If you convert your own four walls to make them barrier-free or add a conservatory, you should report this to your insurance company to avoid being underinsured. Lawyer Weidenbach advises to also cover natural hazards, i.e. destruction caused by floods, avalanches or earthquakes, for example.

Occupational disability and daily sickness benefits

Occupational disability insurance or daily sickness allowance insurance is no longer necessary at retirement age. However, these policies do not necessarily expire when you stop working. In this case, you must cancel the insurance. You can find the deadline for this in the contracts. As a rule, written notice by e-mail or letter is sufficient.

Travel health insurance

If you fall ill on holiday or during a longer stay abroad, you should be insured accordingly if you don’t want to be stuck with the treatment costs. .

Anyone going on a trip abroad should therefore take out travel health insurance for this time. Insurance companies often charge older people higher fees. Therefore, it is best to obtain several offers for comparison. As a rule, however, travel health insurance is not expensive: some people who enjoy travelling can get by with less than ten euros a year.

Accident insurance

Accident insurance is not as important for senior citizens as it is for people in gainful employment. The latter can use accident insurance to cushion the loss of income they suffer after an accident. Pensions, on the other hand, are not affected by an accident. Nevertheless, a corresponding policy can make sense, especially for older people who pursue dangerous hobbies. In addition, accidents in old age can result in severe health impairments, which can make it necessary to make expensive alterations to the house. Before taking out a policy, always check exactly in which cases the accident insurance applies and whether, for example, illness-related accidents are excluded. Some insurance policies also end at a certain age.

Special senior accident insurance policies are aimed at the older target group. They include so-called assistance benefits - that is, if the insured person can no longer take care of himself or herself because of an accident, the other side pays the costs for menu service, shopping or cleaning the flat. The benefits of these offers are controversial. “For those who do not have the means to pay for it themselves in an emergency, senior accident insurance can make sense,” says Elke Weidenbach. Again, it is worthwhile to make a comparison, as the rates often differ depending on age.

Private supplementary nursing insurance

Many people’s nightmare is to become dependent on nursing care in old age. The benefits provided by the statutory long-term care insurance are not always sufficient to cover the costs of long-term care. A private supplementary long-term care insurance can help to close this gap. Insurance companies distinguish between different variants, all of which have advantages and disadvantages:

Long-term care insurance: This covers the costs incurred by a professional care service or a care facility. Private care at home is not covered.

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Long-term care pension insurance: A fixed pension contribution is covered in the event of long-term care. The contributions are quite high. There are three options: Benefits in the event of death, a pension in the event of need for long-term care or a retirement pension. The Association of the Insured tends to advise against this option.

Self-employed long-term care pension insurance: This pays a fixed monthly amount that can be used by the person concerned. This type of insurance also often involves high costs.

Daily care allowance: An agreed daily rate is insured for a certain degree of care, which you can dispose of yourself. In principle, this corresponds to the daily sickness allowance.

In principle, it can also make sense to take out supplementary long-term care insurance in old age. However, premiums are calculated according to age and state of health. Those who take out a policy late in life must therefore reckon with high costs. Therefore, check carefully what benefits they can expect from private long-term care insurance. It is also worthwhile to assess how well you are already prepared for the event of need on the basis of pensions, current income and private assets.

Death benefit insurance

This is one of the capital-forming life insurances. Many people do not want to burden their survivors with funeral costs and therefore take out death benefit insurance, which provides money for their descendants in the event of death. However, the policyholder often has to pay in large sums. Sometimes even more than the surviving dependants get out in the end. Taking out such a policy is actually only worthwhile if the death occurs a few years after taking out the insurance. Weidenbach also advises an alternative: “If you don’t want to burden your survivors, you can also put money aside for them directly.

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