There are many mistakes that can be made when considering long-term care insurance, and some of them can be very costly.
Some of the most common mistakes include only getting quotes from one company, assuming knowledge of long-term care costs when no real research has been done, relying on someone else’s opinion of what policy design is best for your circumstances, and so on.
All of these mistakes can prove to be expensive. For instance, I often see consumers who just don’t want to put in the time and effort necessary to learn about long-term care insurance choices. As a result, they will often take the first policy offered to them without really shopping around. They may put in an application with the first insurance agent who contacts them even if that agent only represents one company.
This is rarely a good decision as premiums can vary considerably from one company to another depending on the consumer’s age, health, and coverage needs. Without making a comparison between the top carriers in the long-term care insurance field, there is no way of knowing whether you have gotten the best deal possible.
However, the single most common and expensive mistake that many consumers make with long-term care insurance is to simply procrastinate making any decision at all.
They may have heard that long-term care insurance is a good thing, and so they investigate the cost for themselves. But once they have all the facts and figures necessary to make an informed decision, they just decide to put it off for a while.
Unfortunately, deferring the decision for a year or so often turns into several years. In the meantime, the insurance premiums they were originally quoted no longer apply as this insurance gets much more expensive the longer you wait to get it.
In addition, they often develop illnesses that at the very least will lower their rate classification and make their premiums increase. In some cases, their health may even deteriorate so rapidly and unexpectedly that they are not insurable at all with any reputable carrier at any cost. They may complain about the insurance companies but the fault is not with the carriers. What they have done is similar in nature to waiting to purchase homeowners insurance until their house is on fire. It’s just not a wise thing to do.
I often see folks who have procrastinated for quite some time about purchasing long-term care insurance who can now no longer afford the premiums because they waited too long or who may never be able to get the insurance again because of serious health issues that have suddenly arisen.
So, of all the mistakes that can be made when considering long-term care insurance, there is one that is by far the most common and expensive in my opinion: procrastination.