WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15: Living on a fixed income, many seniors face difficult choices in what expenses to cut in these harsh economic times.

Claudette Fleming, director of Age Concern, says all seniors need home insurance but the one-size-fits all model does not do seniors justice.

She has backed a new home insurance by the Argus Group called Home Essentials, that is tailored towards seniors.

She said: “It is important for seniors to have insurance, but standard premiums can be expensive and often cover items that don’t apply to the senior population.

“For seniors concerned about their monthly costs, this new offering will provide peace of mind. And those caring for an ageing relative can also talk to Argus about how Home Essentials can help their loved ones. It is a great new option for seniors.”

The Argus Group launched the new home cover product yesterday.

The new product is available at 25 per cent below the market price for home insurance and has been endorsed by Age Concern as a product that meets the needs of the island’s growing senior population.

Home Essentials provides coverage for a wide range of perils including fire, flood, hurricane, burglary and escape of water.

Some benefits that could be considered unnecessary for seniors have been removed, allowing Argus to provide the product at an affordable rate for those aged 65 years or older.

John Doherty, executive vice president if Property & Casual at the Argus Group, said  Home Essentials is being launched at a time when Bermuda’s senior population is rapidly growing. The Department of Social Insurance announced in 2011 that approximately 700 residents retired last year, compared to just 276 during the year before.

 With falling birth rates, people living longer and the baby boomer generation preparing to retire, this trend is likely to continue.

Mr Doherty said: “These are difficult times and no one knows this more than our seniors, the majority of whom are on a fixed income after they retire.

“We have designed Home Essentials to provide retirees with coverage that responds to the most common causes of loss, while keeping the cost of premiums affordable.

“We have also made it fast and easy for anyone 65 years or older to qualify, whether their current policy is with Argus or not.

“At Argus we recognise that this is a growing segment of our population, and it is important that we take care of them.”

The product has been endorsed by Age Concern and as of February 1 of this year, Argus became a certified LINK partner with Age Concern. LINK is Age Concern’s programme to connect seniors to services that meet their needs.

Those who wish to find out more information about Home Essentials may contact Argus or attend the Coldwell Bank Home Show at CedarBridge Academy on Friday and Saturday. Argus will be at booths 23 to 25.