Insurance Guide for Caregivers: Important Facts You May Not Know

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There are 19 million people in the silent generation living in the U.S. That’s about 5.5% of the entire population. This is a generation that was named as such for working hard and keeping quiet and unfortunately, can have a tendency to get complacent, even with their insurance bills. Many older seniors of this generation are dependent on their children, relatives or they live in a nursing home.

If you’re a caregiver for someone born between 1926 and 1946, they are probably on Medicare, which comes with options you may not be familiar with and want to learn more about. Also, a senior who is driving less, sharing a vehicle or has given up driving altogether may have unique car insurance needs.

Car insurance rates have gone up for the senior you care for, due to their advanced age and also because of severe storms, inflation and other economic factors that have affected everyone across the country. It’s the same thing with home insurance – rising prices. 

Take a look at some statistics about the silent generation, which may help you decide which insurance products you need for the senior in your life. 

  • Roughly 5% of the population is from the silent generation and may be eligible for Medicare.[1]
  • The silent generation only accounts for 4% of recent home buyers but 20% of new home buyers.[2]
  • Almost 78% of the silent generation own their homes.[3]
  • The silent generation does not tend to buy new cars.
  • 84% of the silent generation are retired.[4]
  • About 81% of silents are married.[6]

Key Takeaways

  • Caregivers should consider a Medicare Advantage plan over Original Medicare for savings and more comprehensive coverage.
  • Seniors who choose to stay with Original Medicare should buy Medicare supplements to cover out-of-pocket expenses.
  • More than half of silents own a home and need homeowners insurance and those who rent instead need renters insurance.
  • Some elderly drivers can save by dropping certain coverages on their auto insurance policy.

Medicare and Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplements

Medicare is a government-run program for legal residents and citizens who have paid social security taxes during their lifetime. Most people from the silent generation have Medicare coverage and most have had coverage since the age of 65. If not, it’s important to have this type of medical insurance because private health insurance can be very expensive for this age group.

When a senior signs up for Medicare, they have the option of choosing Medicare Advantage instead of original Medicare. 

It’s never too late to switch to Medicare Advantage, the private version of Medicare, which can include vision, dental and hearing coverage as well as a prescription drug plan.

Original Medicare does not cover vision, dental and hearing coverage and for a prescription drug plan, Medicare recipients are encouraged to buy a Part D plan for prescription medications. Medicare supplements, like Part D, help pay for out-of-pocket expenses. Part D will help cover the cost of prescription medications.

Some Medicare Advantage plans have zero dollar premiums but it’s important to consider coverages, not just the monthly pricing. Use your previous year’s medical history to determine how much care you need when buying a plan.

Switching back into or out of Original Medicare happens October 15 through December 7, during the Medicare open enrollment period. It’s a good idea to compare insurers to see who has the best options for the senior you’re caring for.

Seniors cannot buy Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage plans – only one or the other.

Car Insurance

Most seniors from the silent generation have stopped driving or are getting ready to give it up. There’s no right age to decide to stop driving and it’s a decision that might require some convincing. As we age, we are slower to react and must drive more defensively to avoid dangerous situations.

For seniors who still drive and have a car, having car insurance is a necessity, unless the car is shared with another owner who has a policy. If the car is being leased or financed, lenders require full coverage car insurance, which means state minimum requirements in addition to comprehensive and collision coverages. 

Most seniors of the silent generation do not have newer cars, which means that they may own their car and can drop comprehensive and collision coverage if the case is fully paid off. This is only a wise option if the car in question is worth less than $4,000. Another way to save money is to get a low-mileage discount for driving less.

If the senior lives in a household where cars are shared, each person in that household will be considered when you are being rated by the insurance company. Seniors in this age-range see some of the highest rates but it’s important to list this driver on the car insurance policy if it is a car that the senior borrows regularly. Otherwise, you may have no coverage if they are involved in an accident in that car.

Home Insurance

More than half of the silent generation owns a home but if they have paid off their mortgage, homeowners insurance is no longer required. If home insurance was formerly lumped into escrow, the homeowner may be at risk of no longer having coverage after paying off the mortgage. If they are still covered by the original insurer, they may be paying too much in premiums so it’s important to compare rates every six months.

Severe weather can cause a flood or fire that could destroy the house and all personal possessions. With a homeowners insurance policy and a flood policy, there will be financial assistance in rebuilding the home and replacing personal belongings.

To keep homeowners insurance rates low, it’s important to inform the insurer of upgrades, like a new roof or a new sprinkler system for fire prevention. Filing too many claims will rate the rate and payouts will be small if the home is not well maintained.

Creating a home inventory of personal property will help decide how much personal property coverage is needed and it’ll come in handy if you ever have to file a claim on behalf of the senior you care for.

Switching Home Insurance Policies

Switching homeowners insurance is simple and you only have to worry about buying a new policy and canceling the other. Avoid lapses in between the switch because a lapse in coverage will raise the insurance rate at renewal, even if you lacked coverage for a single day. 

Renters Insurance 

If the senior you care for is a renter, they must buy a renters insurance policy, even when it’s not required by the landlord. A landlord’s insurance policy will not cover personal belongings, only the home’s structure, floors, walls and some fixtures. Meanwhile, a renters insurance policy will cover the senior’s belongings including electronics, furniture and clothing. 

Inventories for Renters

Before buying a policy, consider how much coverage is needed, especially if there is more than one person occupying the home. Creating an inventory is the best way to figure out how much coverage you need and it makes filing a claim much easier. After adding up how much your items would cost to replace, select your coverage limit. This inventory will be revisited and helpful if you need to file a claim in the future.


Is long-term care insurance something the silent generation should buy?

Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of nursing home care, assisted living or in-home care. However, premiums are generally quite expensive for people 78+ years old.

How can seniors lower their insurance premiums?

Seniors can compare car and home (or renters) insurance rates every six months, to save up to 40% on insurance costs each year. They can add Medicare Supplements to their Original Medicare plan or switch to a Medicare Advantage plan if they want prescription drugs, dental, hearing and vision coverage to be included. 

Will Medicare pay for me to take care of my elderly parents?

Medicare typically does not pay for long-term care services, such as in-home care but in some instances, Part B of Original Medicare will pay for some services if a doctor has certified the senior as homebound. However, a 24-hour caregiver without the right qualifications and not deemed medically necessary by a physician will not be paid through Medicare or Medicare Advantage.


  1. Statista. “U.S. Population Share by Generation 2022.” Accessed Feb. 19, 2024.
  2. Old Republic Title. “Part 1: Silent Generation and Baby Boomers.” Accessed Feb. 19, 2024.
  3. Forbes. “U.S. Millennials: Home Ownership And The Growing Chasm Between Aspiration And Reality.” Accessed Feb. 19, 2024.
  4. Pew Research Center. “Section 6: Generations and Entitlements.” Accessed Feb. 19, 2024.

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