Why Millennials lack insurance
The American Millennial generation includes more than 83 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Besides being the largest generation yet, it is also the most racially diverse and most educated. However, when the topic of insurance arises, researchers and media outlets have labeled Millennials as America’s most underinsured generation.
When trying to discern why Millennials are foregoing insurance, it’s clear that the factors are multiple, but the worst case scenario consequence is quite similar for all—financial ruin.
Recent research studies exploring insurance coverage gaps among the Millennial generation show that around 25 percent of the 18-29 age group lacks health insurance. By contrast, a 2015 Gallup poll estimated the uninsured rate for the U.S. population as a whole at less than 12 percent. Other findings show that 64 percent of them have auto insurance, only 12 percent have renters insurance, 10 percent have homeowners insurance and only 36 percent have life insurance.
Why the low numbers?
The main factor contributing to Millennials’ lack of insurance coverage is economics. This generation emerges from college only to discover a disrupted labor market limited by stagnant wages. If you add the obligation of student loans and other necessary expenses, you begin to understand why so many are cash-strapped and reluctant to buy coverage.
Another reason for not purchasing policies is a sociological one. Millennials are the generational children of famously overprotective parents; some rely on their parents for car and health insurance. There are the so-called Boomerangs—those who move back home after college and stay on their mom and dad’s auto insurance policies until they find a place of their own. And there is the Affordable Care Act, which allows parents to list their children on their health coverage plans until they turn 26.
The decision is a gamble
In just a few words, Millennials driving and renting or purchasing homes without insurance are taking a big risk that could result in years of debt.
Driving a vehicle without having auto insurance, in most states, means breaking the law; being at fault in a wreck that injures someone or causes damage to their property, means you’ll have to pay for medical expenses and repair or replacement costs on your own. This has every chance of turning into a financial burden of tens of thousands of dollars, and in some states, jail time.
Even though renters and homeowners insurance policies aren’t required as is the auto insurance, opting not to purchase any is not wise. In case of renters, the landlord’s policy won’t offer any coverage, and in the event a mishap takes place (such as fire or burglary), you’ll have to pay to repair or replace everything you own. In case of liability, if a guest is injured on your property and needs medical attention, you could be responsible for the medical bills.
Bottom line, the common theme here is money, better said the lack of money. If you already have financial problems, rolling the dice on staying uninsured is a daring, but also dangerous move. The key to finding affordable coverage is research, compare quotes from different providers to find the one that will protect you and your belongings while also fitting in your budget. You can start with Resident Shield.