Should You Increase Your Home Insurance When Your Parents Move in?

A young girl, sitting on a couch, showing her smartphone to her live-in grandmother.

Statistics Canada reports that nine percent of adult Canadians live with one or more parent, nearly double the number that lived with a parent in 1995. Your insurance won't likely require many changes if you move your parents into your home in Canada. However, some families are choosing to build separate "granny flats" while others are moving parents into a spare bedroom.

Any remodeling you undertake will change the value of your home and is likely to influence your home insurance premiums. If you don't notify your insurance company that you've made home improvements, you could risk having your policy made void. You should always keep your insurance company posted on changes to your living situation, but simply having relatives move in will usually not impact your premiums.

There are some things you should consider before making that move though. Here are some tips for welcoming older relatives into your home.

Plan carefully before moving your aging parent into your home.

As parents grow older, it seems only natural to want to offer them the same care they provided to you when you were growing up. Your parent may not feel the same way: independence is crucial for many seniors.

It's important to allow your aging parent to keep their dignity. If they need help with bathing and getting dressed, they may feel more comfortable getting help from a caregiver instead of you. Establishing clear boundaries about these matters can go a long way toward successfully bringing your parent to live in your home.

Adapt, build, or renovate living space, bathrooms, and safety accommodations.

When you move your parent into your home, it's important to consider safety and privacy. You may need to redo the flooring and improve lighting. Install safety railings and grips in the bathroom and elsewhere as needed. Consider how you'll handle stairs if you have a multi-storey home. While your parent may navigate stairs now, this may not always be the case. If your parent uses a wheelchair or walker, you will need to ensure your doorframes and hallways can accommodate them.

We all need our own space, including aging parents. Some people have divided their home into sections which can open for family activities when desired and close for privacy.

Be honest with yourself and parents about emotional and financial needs.

Asking your older parent to live with you will bring emotional and financial challenges. You may not be able to provide all the health care and emotional support that your parent needs. If you've moved your parent out of a familiar home and neighborhood and you and your spouse work long hours, your parent could end up being even more isolated and lonely.

Moving your parents in could make your family closer.

When your parents move into your house, you can share time with them in a way you haven't since you were young. If your parents are tiring of cold Canadian winters, why not consider snowbirding? There are plenty of warm winter destinations you may want to consider, from the States to the Caribbean. If you travel during the winter months, don't forget to keep your home secure as you travel and look into travel insurance for you and your parents.