Care Home Residents Left at Risk of Theft Due to Lack of Sufficient Insurance Policies

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

Many care home residents are left unable to insure their valuables as insurers refuse to cover possessions kept in care homes.  Every year possessions such as jewellery and mementos are lost or stolen from care homes and these cannot be replaced if appropriate insurance is not in place.

An increasing number of care home residents are having to sell their homes to cover the costs of their care and this inevitably makes it more difficult to arrange cover.  As a result, many residents going into care homes are forced to part with valuable or treasured items.  Residents who still own their own homes may have the option to extend their policies to cover possessions kept outside of the home and are therefore in a slightly better position.

The Charity Director General at Age UK, Michelle Mitchell, has said “We fail to see why it should not be possible for insurers to provide cover for personal belongings in care homes, given that there are policies to cover students in university accommodation.”

Some care homes do offer cover for valuables, however these policies may be limited to theft or restricted to a small amount.   Another issue may arise if theft is limited to occasions where there are signs of forced entry as this may be hard to prove if the care home has a large number of visitors and staff coming and going on a regular basis.  Often accidental damage is only covered if the damage is caused by staff and not the residents themselves.  A small number of insurers offer cover however terms and conditions may limit the circumstances that a successful claim could be made.

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