Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that automobile insurance wasn’t required by law. How many people would end up driving around without insurance, even the most baseline liability coverage? Probably millions. After all, most people assume they’re safe drivers and aren’t going to become involved in an accident, anyway, so why would they need insurance?
It would be a foolish thing, especially when you consider the reckless nature by which people drive today, to get in your car and head around town, to work, or even on a cross-country trip without automobile insurance. While you may go your entire life without being involved in an accident, that is the rare exception to the rule.
Even if it wasn’t a requirement by law, responsible, prudent adults, especially those who seek to protect their assets, future earnings, home, family, and so forth, will carry this type of insurance.
So why don’t they look into long-term care insurance more?
Long-term care insurance is generally not something people even think about until they’re moving through their 40’s, well into their 50’s, or approaching their 60’s. They don’t look into it because they never think it’s necessary, especially at that younger age.
However, as people move through their 60’s and into their 70’s, the chances they will require some type of long-term care increases every year. With the rising cost of long-term care, it stands to reason that carrying this type of insurance is not just a good idea, but fiscally prudent, just like having automobile insurance.
What if you never use long-term care insurance?
Every year people reach a point in their life when they no longer drive for one reason or another. They may have paid into that automobile insurance policy for decades and only rely on it once or twice, if at all.
Once the coverage ends, they don’t get a refund. They weren’t involved in an accident, so the insurance company never pays out on the policy. The same thing will happen with long-term care insurance.
If a person carries this type of insurance for 20 years, for example, but never requires long-term care before they either let the policy lapse or pass away, there is no pay out. There is no beneficiary for this type of policy.
However, imagine a scenario where a person requires three years of long-term care in a nursing home at $150,000 per year. That may very well wipe out not only their savings, their investments, but also force them to sell their house before Medicaid would kick in.
That’s why long-term care insurance is there. That’s why it’s a good idea for older Americans to consider it now.