If you’re a millennial, like me, then we’re at an age where we’re dealing with student loans (either taking them out, or cringing at the payments we have to keep up with), renting an apartment or buying a home, getting married, having kids, and ultimately… purchasing insurance. In short: adulting. All of these things are major life events, and every single one of these events can have major financial implications for us later on in life. The best way to take on new financial challenges is to have a financial safety net – which is where insurance comes into play. Yet, a survey from Princeton Survey Research Associates International has named we millennials as the most underinsured generation.
Of course there’s a lot of reasoning behind that data. There are a lot of things to pay for, and a lot of people my age just want to live life and spend money on the things they enjoy – we have enough bills. I get that, and I agree for the most part. Insurance has this stigma to it that it’s something for older adults – more experienced at adulting – and it has an image of being expensive. The thing is, it’s actually cheaper than you might think, especially while you’re still young, and especially if you take just a little time to learn more about it.
Insurance is full of jargon and what I call “insurance words” that make take the standard definition of a word and change it to be just a little bit different from every day language. That can be hard to digest, and even more boring to try to understand. It’s a lot easier to ignore it and turn on some Netflix – or to go through one of the seemingly easy and helpful companies with mildly funny ads you see or hear on YouTube or Spotify. But really, it’s easier than you might think – and more important than you might want to consider. No one wants to deal with a pipe bursting in their apartment, a burglary, a fire, or worse – so why not be prepared just in case so you don’t have to think about it again?
So, from one millennial to another, here are five tips for buying insurance:
- Shop smart. When looking for insurance, your No. 1 priority should be to find adequate coverage. Don’t worry so much about price as value. Value is the best price with the right amount of coverage. Price is important, but you’ll want to determine what kind of coverage you need first. Then you can fit that coverage into your budget and determine which carrier (ie, company) can provide you with the most comprehensive policy for your situation. You may be tempted to choose insurance with the lowest price tag, but if you don’t have enough coverage (or the right kind of coverage), you will see less financial benefit when it comes time to file a claim.
- Talk to an independent agent. That’s me! Or anyone else here at Wethington Insurance. An independent agent works with multiple different companies, which is different from “captive agents” who can only sell insurance from the carrier they work for. (Captive agents would be people working for All State, Geico, State Farm – those companies with the mildly funny ads mentioned above). Working with an independent agent can help make sure that you are getting the best coverage, for the best price. You’ll also benefit from independent agents’ insurance knowledge; we know how to talk you through your options and actually explain what each policy includes. An independent agent will make sure all of your assets are covered, help you find discounts or other ways to save, and be a valuable resource as your life changes and your insurance needs change, too.
- Look for discounts. Once you evaluate your coverage needs, factor in your budget and find ways to save. Ask your insurance agent if there are any discounts on your coverage. Often, carriers offer discounts for things like paying your policy in full, staying auto accident-free or, if you’re in school, getting good grades. You also can save money by “bundling” multiple policies, such as purchasing a home and auto policy from the same carrier.
- Fill in the gaps. An average policy will cover the basics, but you may need to add extra coverage to meet your unique needs. For instance, you may have items like electronics or a nice piece of jewelry that would be financially difficult to replace, even with the assistance of your average renters or homeowners policy. You may want to add additional coverage for these items.
- Purchase life insurance—you aren’t too young. Life insurance is essential, no matter how young or old you are. And for millennials, buying now is a smart move because it’s cheaper to buy a life insurance policy when you’re young and healthy. This kind of insurance can help your family cover unexpected costs in your absence, including student loan debt or a mortgage, in addition to end-of-life costs. And if you have kids, a life insurance policy can also support their education or childcare expenses. Additionally, every millennial should consider long-term disability coverage, which helps you stay afloat financially if an accident happens and you become disabled and unable to work.
I’ve been around insurance in some way for most of my life – because it’s what my Dad does. He’s always been a person who enjoys helping others. When I first started studying insurance, I wasn’t too into it. I still don’t like to study it (when I have to renew my license) because I think the real purpose is the connection with people; listening to them, learning what’s important to them, and helping them figure out how to protect it. I get it, bills aren’t fun, and neither is insurance… but I’d much rather pay $150 a year to completely cover EVERYTHING OF VALUE in my apartment than lose it all in a disaster and have to buy it all again outright.
I think you can agree with that.
If you have any questions, or would like to talk about what’s important to you and what you can do to keep it protected, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected], or give us a call at (859) 486-6873.