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10 Steps to Protect Seniors from Insurance Scams

New Jersey seniors face a constant barrage of insurance offers—disability insurance, Medigap, supplemental plans, mortgage life, self-funded healthcare, long-term care insurance, permanent life, term life, and more. Salespeople often use questionable tactics to convince seniors to buy unnecessary policies. For example, a pitch might offer a very low-cost first month premium but hide terms that allow the insurer to charge inflated rates monthly. Seniors might be sold an expensive long-term care policy with minimal benefits or be scared into believing their current policies are at risk.

If you are caring for an aging parent, it’s crucial to be aware of their insurance policies and involved in future purchasing decisions. Checking your parent's insurance coverage may not be exciting, but it can be one of the most important steps in safeguarding their finances.

How to Protect Your Elderly Parents from Insurance Scams

1. Talk Insurance Explain to your elderly parent that as their caregiver, it's important to know about their insurance policies. This helps in filing claims and deciding if they need more or less coverage. Financial discussions can be tricky, as parents might feel a loss of control or privacy.

2. Organize Their Policies Create a file folder for each policy, where you’ll keep a copy of the policy and any correspondence. Include credit card statements and checkbook records listing payment amounts and dates for each policy.

3. Analyze Each Policy Tackle one file at a time. Note the type of policy, premiums paid each year, and the actual or probable cash or payment value. Identify the beneficiaries and the person authorized to make inquiries, claims, or cancellations. You might find that some beneficiaries are no longer alive.

4. Ask "Why" About Each Policy You don't need to be an insurance expert to spot a policy with no value. Unnecessary insurance could cost your parent hundreds or thousands of dollars annually. Refer to the policy for cancellation instructions and identify yourself as the recognized caregiver when dealing with insurance companies.

5. Check Their Automobile Policy Your parent may be charged for driving 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year when they only drive 1,000 miles now. Updating the mileage can reduce costs significantly. Also, check the current value of their vehicle; reducing its valuation can lower the premium.

6. Contact the Local Insurance Broker If your parent bought a policy from a reputable company, the local broker should be willing to adjust the coverage and reduce the premium cost. Take the initiative and meet with the broker to discuss options.

7. Check for Life Insurance If your parent bought life or long-term care insurance recently, the annual premium might cost more than the benefit. Canceling such a policy and shifting the premium cost to an interest-earning account could be more beneficial. A bank counselor can offer advice and set up the account.

8. Ask for Help from Friends and Family If you have questions about your parent's insurance policies, seek help from a qualified family member or friend who works in the financial or insurance industry.

9. Stop Mail and Telephone Pitches Tell your parent not to respond to phone solicitations about their insurance, especially Medicare. Scammers often pose as Medicare representatives to obtain personal or financial information. Register your parent's contact information with the National Do Not Call Registry.

10. Seek Help from Elder Advocates The local senior center or Area Agency on Aging may have volunteer consultants who can provide unbiased information about insurance. An expert you can trust can help ensure your parent has the right coverage.

Taking these steps can save money and prevent future frustrations, giving you and your parents peace of mind.

Contact AmoryCare

For assistance and further support, contact AmoryCare:

Service Areas

AmoryCare serves several counties in New Jersey, including Union, Morris, Essex, Bergen, and Passaic counties. Specific service areas include:

  • Union County, NJ: Berkeley Heights, Summit, Linden, Scotch Plains, Westfield, Murray Hill, Plainfield, Mountainside, Garwood, Clark, New Providence, Elizabeth, Roselle Park, Winfield, Kenilworth, Vauxhall, Cranford, Springfield, Union, Fanwood, Rahway.

  • Morris County, NJ: Bernardsville, Boonton, Brookside, Budd Lake, Butler, Califon, Cedar Knolls, Chatham, Chester, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Far Hills, Flanders, Florham Park, Gillette, Greenvillage, Hibernia, Ironia, Kenvil, Lake Hopatcong, Landing, Ledgewood, Lincoln Park, Long Valley, Madison, Mendham, Millington, Montville, Morris Plains, Morristown, Mt. Arlington, Mt. Freedom, Mt. Tabor, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, New Vernon, Newfoundland, Oak Ridge, Parsippany, Pequannock, Picatinny Arsenal, Pine Brook, Pompton Plains, Port Murray, Randolph, Riverdale, Rockaway, Schooley’s Mountain, Stirling, Succasunna, Towaco, Wharton, Whippany.

  • Essex County, NJ: Livingston, Roseland, Essex Fells, West Orange, South Orange, Short Hills, Millburn, Maplewood, Montclair, Verona, Cedar Grove, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, Belleville, Nutley, West Caldwell, Fairfield, Irvington, Newark, East Orange.

  • Bergen County, NJ: Allendale, Alpine, Bergenfield, Bogota, Carlstadt, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, East Rutherford, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Emerson, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fair Lawn, Fairview, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Glen Rock, Hackensack (county seat), Harrington Park, Hasbrouck Heights, Haworth, Hillsdale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Leonia, Little Ferry, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Maywood, Midland Park, Montvale, Moonachie, New Milford, North Arlington, Northvale, Norwood, Oakland, Old Tappan, Oradell, Palisades Park, Paramus, Park Ridge, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood, River Edge, River Vale, Rochelle Park, Rockleigh, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Saddle River, South Hackensack, Teaneck, Tenafly, Teterboro, Upper Saddle River, Waldwick, Wallington, Washington Township, Westwood, Wood-Ridge, Woodcliff Lake, and Wyckoff.

  • Passaic County, NJ: Bloomingdale, Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Pompton Lakes, Prospect Park, Ringwood, Totowa, Wanaque, Wayne, West Milford, Woodland Park.



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