Today’s families have
varied insurance needs
Sometimes the empty nest doesn’t stay empty. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans living in multigenerational households has doubled since 1980.
Baby boomers supporting their parents and their college graduates returning home are among the more than 50 million Americans living in multigenerational homes. These modern families may have unique concerns when it comes to home, health, auto and life insurance.
To help you understand how to protect you and your family, our Kansas Insurance Department staff and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offer these tips.
Having an adult child, parent or other family member move into your household can be stressful. To make sure your insurance coverage is adequate, here are some questions to consider:
- How long does your family member plan to live with you?
- Are you charging rent (a fee for room and board)?
- Does your new house mate have all of his/her belongings with him/her?
- Will this person regularly drive your vehicle(s)?
When a new household resident moves in, know what your homeowners policy covers in terms of limitations or even exclusions. First, check with your insurer or agent to see if you need extra coverage. If a fire or theft were to occur, any resident’s belongings are typically covered by a standard homeowners agreement. However, belongings are subject to limitations, and high-priced items may need extra coverage.
If you plan to charge your new household member rent, he or she may want to consider renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance is typically inexpensive and covers the renter’s property and liability up to policy limits.
Insurers now allow adult children up to age 26 to be covered by their parents’ health insurance policies. If your adult children are older than 26, they’ll need to look into an individual policy.
If an older relative moves in with you and is over the age of 65, that person may qualify for Medicare. For more information about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov, the official U.S. government site. If your parent is moving in due to health concerns, you may want to carefully consider long-term care insurance.
Car insurers are permitted to request information regarding who is living in your household and who drives your vehicles. If your new resident drives, notify your auto insurance company. If the resident owns his/her own car, your insurer may simply want a copy of his or her auto policy.
If the household member does not own a vehicle, you may want to add them to your auto policy if he or she is a licensed driver. Depending on the person’s age and driving history, this may impact your rates. If you misrepresent information to your auto insurance company about drivers using your vehicle, future claims could be denied, and your policy could be canceled or not renewed.
If you find your family dependent on you to provide for them, you should review your need for life insurance. To determine if you need coverage, ask yourself the following questions:
- How much of the family income do I provide?
- If I were to die, how would my survivors—both children and parents—get by?
- How will my family pay final expenses and repay debts after my death?
- Will there be estate taxes to pay after my death?
In each policy area, you should visit with your local insurance agent or company to determine what is best for your family’s insurance needs. If you have additional questions, contact our Consumer Assistance Division, 800-432-2484, to speak to one of our consumer assistance representatives.