How To Protect Your Elderly Parents From Being Scammed
Hey, so here’s something that I haven’t discussed before. Whilst it might seem a little morbid, especially during the festive period, it’s certainly a subject that should be discussed with your loved ones at some point.
When I say loved ones, I’m not actually talking about your little (and slightly hyperactive) angels either. No, I’m referring to the very special people who welcomed you into this world.
You probably don’t want to discuss life insurance plans with your parents and it’s probably a conversation your very own children won’t want to have with you, but it is important.
Unfortunately, insurance scams are way too common. Scammers cash in on the fact that seniors don’t have much access to the internet, therefore making them unable to decipher if something is legitimate or not. Or they take advantage of seniors who are eager to retire abroad to start their new life. One of the reasons they get away with it is because it’s much harder to take legal action against fraud in a foreign country, meaning your very own Mommy or Daddy are at serious risk of being ripped off.
Once you’ve broached the subject of life insurance with them (if you’re unsure of how to do so, check out this post on discussing life insurance with your parents), it’s important to find a reputable company that offer senior plans.
Whilst it might seem like you’re trying to find a needle in a haystack, there are many companies out there that do offer it. Most senior citizens have resigned themselves to the fact that they cannot get access to life insurance because they are simply “too old.” But that’s not the case! Companies such as seniorlifeinsuranceplans.com offer senior life insurance.
Now, before you convince yourself that all insurance companies are out to get you (and your parents), take some time to read through my quick and easy guide on how to avoid life insurance scams.
Do your research
This applies for anything really. You know I’m a frugal mommy and you should be too! Never hand over money before seeing the fine print. Just like we’ve always been warned against cowboy builders who do less than half a job and run off once the money has been exchanged, you should avoid insurance scams at all costs. It’s not exactly cheap, so it’s worth taking a little time to research. If your parents don’t have access to the correct information, do it for them.
Happy customers and a legitimate looking website
So, what to look out for. Well, the first one is a legitimate looking website. Practically every single genuine company has a website these days. Heck, people who are famous for doing nothing have websites, so companies selling a pricey product should certainly be able to offer its customers a platform where all information can be accessed. If there is no online presence, your alarm bells should be ringing.
Look out for customer reviews – I don’t mean the ones on their site as they could be completely made up. If people on the entire internet don’t have much to say about this company on other third party websites, then the chances are it’s a scam.
An obvious giveaway is…
If you’re dealing directly with an agent, ensure they are affiliated with the company you’re buying insurance from. Chances are, if they are communicating via an email address ending in @hotmail.com, @gmail.com or @yahoo.com, they aren’t working for the company you think they are. Most companies will provide their employees with company email addresses.
Pay close attention to detail
It’s not just as simple as finding what looks to be a decent insurance provider and that being that. Providers can be sneaky and you could find that the charges slowly increase over time without you or your parents even noticing until it’s too late. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before choosing a life insurance policy.
Most of our parents come from a generation of being proud, a generation that hates to borrow or receive handouts. Discussing the cost of life insurance with your elderly parents and suggesting helping to cover the payments might be an uncomfortable conversation, but it is one worth having. Explain to them that funerals cost thousands and that senior life insurance could be the best solution to ease stress for everyone. In one simple conversation, explain to them that you want to take care of them in the same way they did for you for so many years. In fact, you’ll probably find that they still actually do.
Now that you’re well on your way to sorting out life insurance for your parents, perhaps it’s time to consider how you can protect your kids future if anything were to happen to you.