For all the differences between the generations, one thing remains constant: the need for proper insurance coverage. However, each generation typically has concerns that differ from the others due to age, their place in the workforce, and a host of other factors. In this three-part series, we’ll explore the unique insurance needs of the three oldest generations. In Part 2, we’ll focus on Generation X. If you missed Part 1: Baby Boomers, you can read it here.
Who Is Generation X?
Members of Generation X, or Gen Xers, were born between 1965 and 1979. They are currently 39 to 53 years old. Some may have very young children while others may have children in or on their way to college, making it impossible to offer a one size fits all approach. This is fast-moving time for most families. Because work and children take up much of the Gen Xer’s time, they often deprioritize things like insurance. However, because many are also accumulating wealth during these years, their insurance coverage is often inadequate for the lifestyle they are leading. For a group most in need of insurance coverage, they are often the most lacking.
Liability insurance provides coverage in the event someone is injured on the insured’s property and also can cover expenses for legal defense and settlement in case of a lawsuit. Having a house full of friends and kids in a pool or on a trampoline can quickly lead to an injury. Kids on the internet also pose a risk as they can be accused of cyber bullying or libelous remarks that can result in a lawsuit. Even when the accusations are without merit, legal defense is expensive. Liability insurance can not only help by covering these costs, but it can also connect the policyholder with access to experts to deal with the situation. If the insured loses a lawsuit, liability insurance can help provide funds to cover the settlement. Without an appropriate amount of liability insurance, however, assets can quickly be wiped out.
Members of Generation X are at an age where many not only own their homes, but they may be buying second or vacation homes, investment properties, or are upgrading and renovating their living space. In addition, they are often filling these spaces with valuable jewelry, collections, and other items that could require special insurance. A basic homeowner’s policy won’t necessarily cover these upgrades, leaving a wide gap in coverage. Again, because insurance often isn’t top of mind for this group, they may forget to update their policies accordingly.
Life and Disability Insurance
For this group, the ability to earn income is most valuable. The growing family needs money to continue and improve lifestyle, but also to fund college educations and save for retirement. An untimely death or disability that renders one unable to work can change everything. Life insurance policies must be enough to cover the individuals lost earning potential for years to come. Long term disability insurance is basically paycheck protection – it continues income that is necessary to pay the mortgage, provide food and clothing for the family, and save for future needs. Whether a disability is temporary or long-term, a steady flow of income is essential to keep life on track.
Domestic Staff Insurance
To assist in the care of the growing families, many Gen Xers may hire nannies and household staff. Hiring domestic employees comes with a variety of insurance requirements that cannot be overlooked such as workers compensation and employment practices liability insurance (EPLI).
Whether traveling for family or business, insurance is an essential coverage. Trips can be cancelled or interrupted and bags can get lost or delayed. For travel outside the United States, having the peace of mind that you’ll have assistance in case of a medical emergency is invaluable. Some policies also provide assistance in the event that a passport is lost or stolen or evacuation is necessary due to political unrest. Policies that provide golf packages provide coverage under some circumstances for golf green fees and other expenses if a scheduled game is missed. Students who are studying for a semester abroad will especially benefit from the assistance a travel policy can provide and their parents will appreciate knowing someone has their back while so far from their child.
For members of Generation X, the biggest concern is change. As members of this cohort move upmarket, acquiring wealth and possessions, they must keep an eye on their insurance coverages to be sure they are consistent with their lifestyle. The off-the-shelf insurance policy that worked in their younger years may no longer be appropriate. Making insurance a priority is essential to protecting the life they are working so hard for.
All insurance policies are different. Be sure to review your insurance policy for specific information about coverages available to you. Nothing in this post is meant to suggest a guarantee of coverage.