BOSTON (CBS) – First step in helping mom figure out if she is adequately insured is finding the policies. Next, review them and be sure you have the latest policy and that the premiums are paid. It would not surprise me if you found that mom has saved expired policies.

  • Homeowners: If mom owns her home make sure she has a homeowner’s policy. No one requires you to have insurance coverage if you own your home outright. If she is renting be sure she has a renter’s policy. When you and mom did her net worth statement is there anything of value that may need special coverage such as a stamp collection, jewelry or antiques
  • Auto Insurance: There is a discount for drivers over 65 and another for low mileage. One of the hardest things you will ever discuss with mom is whether she should be still driving.
  • Health Insurance: Medicare does not cover everything. She should have a Medigap policy, which covers things Medicare does not. There are six Medigap providers in Massachusetts. She will also need Medicare part D for drug coverage.
  • Life Insurance: As we age life insurance becomes very expensive and our need for life insurance decreases. Life insurance is used to cover the loss of our income stream to our dependents.

Some individuals own life insurance to pay for their funeral or to leave an inheritance to the children. If mom has paid up policies check the cash value and beneficiaries. You want these policies stored in a safe place.

  • Long-Term Care Insurance: I don’t know if she needs LTC. This is a personal life style call. If she can’t afford the premium then she probably doesn’t need it for she will be eligible for Medicaid.

If there is a home you want to protect then you and your siblings can buy the long-term care insurance for her. Long-term care insurance premiums are considered a medical deduction for tax purposes.