The Gen X Insurance Guide for Ages 44-59

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If you were born between 1964 and 1980, you are called Gen X or a Gen Xer. You range in age from 44 to 59 years old and your car insurance should be lower than ever but your rate increased like everyone else’s, though maybe not as much. Your home insurance or renters insurance has probably gone up too.

Saving money is important, so it’s a good idea to review all your insurance products annually, to trim the fat with excess coverage or add necessary coverage that may save you money down the line. If you have changes in your life, like an elderly parent moving in, it’s important to consider how this will affect your insurance plans.

Here is some data about your demographic that may help you decide which insurance products you need and which you can drop.

  • Health insurance is important to the majority of Gen X and only 19% remained uninsured.[1]
  • 53% of Gen X is married and 71% owns a home.[2][3]
  • Roughly 18% of all renters are Gen X.[4]
  • In 2021, Gen X made up 32% of all new car registrations, making up the largest segment of new car owners.[5]
  • 47% of Gen X are small business owners, that’s nearly half of all Gen Xers.[6]
  • 46% of Gen X owns a life insurance policy.[7]
  • 5.6 million Gen Xers live with a parent or grandparent.[8]

Key Takeaways

  • Gen X should consider a traditional health insurance plan over a high-deductible health plan.
  • The majority of Gen Xers own a home and need homeowners insurance. Those who do not, need renters insurance.
  • Gen X owns the most new cars, which means they need full coverage car insurance.
  • Nearly half of Gen X owns a life insurance policy and the other half should consider buying a policy too.

Health Insurance

Only 19% of Gen Xers are not insured and if you’re one of them, it may be time to buy a policy. Many Gen Xers have health insurance coverage from their employers or they have a private health insurance plan.

If you don’t have health insurance, consider the consequences of remaining uninsured, like medical bankruptcy, which may result if you are injured or suddenly fall ill and have no health insurance coverage.

Also, people who do not have health insurance often neglect their annual screenings, which are important for this demographic; Early detection is always better than treatment for an illness. The good news is that there are options for affordable health insurance, regardless of your income level, so keep reading.

Subsidized Plans and High Deductible Plans Are Cheap

A subsidized marketplace plan can be very affordable. Some cost as little as $40 a month and if you don’t qualify, there are other health insurance plans that will fit your budget. Buying a high-deductible bronze plan with a health savings account (HSA) is the most affordable way to go, even though the coverage is not very comprehensive. At least there’s a deductible so if you end up getting injured or needing surgery, there will be a cap on out-of-pocket expenses.

It is advised, however, that people in this age bracket choose a traditional health plan, preferably silver or higher, over a high-deductible plan when possible, even if it costs a bit more. A more comprehensive plan may cost more each month, but it will likely save you money over the course of a year.

Consider Annual Screenings

For people in their forties and fifties, especially those who have an existing condition, keep in mind that some screenings are recommended and may cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars if you’re paying out of pocket for the tests.

Mammograms and prostate exams become even more important for people in this age group and without health insurance, these exams will cost hundreds of dollars.

Children and Health Insurance

Gen Xers who have a child can provide that child coverage by adding them to their health insurance policy, the other parent’s policy or both health plans. There are benefits to having two health insurance plans and it is permissible by law.

Spouse’s Health Insurance

More than half of Gen X is married and that means you can share a health insurance policy, whether you buy it through an employer or privately. Some people, however, prefer to have separate plans, for various reasons. It is cheaper to share one plan.

Your options for health insurance coverage will depend on your income and budget. Your income will determine whether or not you are eligible for a subsidized plan. If not, you have to consider your budget and health. It’s highly advised that older Gen Xers buy at least a silver-tier traditional plan, even higher if they have a chronic condition.

Car Insurance

Of all the people buying the newest cars, Gen X ranks number one and the most frequently purchased vehicle is the Chevrolet Silverado. Newer cars are worth more, so insurance rates will be higher for this demographic, especially if these cars are being financed or leased. Lenders require full coverage car insurance, which includes state minimum requirements as well as comprehensive and collision coverage.

What’s also important to note about newer cars is that you may have an upside down loan, which means you owe more than the Kelley Blue Book value on the car. In these instances, buying gap coverage is a good idea, in case you have a total loss with the car and are left owing a balance after a car insurance claim payout. Gap coverage would pay the remainder or else it’s all on you.

Gen X ranks number one for buying new cars and the most frequently purchased vehicle is the Chevrolet Silverado.

Most Gen Xers live in a household, where cars may be shared. It’s important to remember that every person in your household will be considered by a car insurance company when you are being rated, which is why they ask who lives with you. You’re rated based on an assumption that your car may be used by someone living with you. Each person’s credit history will be considered, including any teens that may live with (they have the highest rates). If you don’t share cars, there’s a work-around below.

Working Around High-Risk Household Members

If you exclude a high-risk person on your car insurance policy, your rate will be lower but if that person borrows and crashes your car, you won’t be covered at all because they are an excluded driver.

Non-Owners Car Insurance Prevents Lapses

A lapse in coverage will raise your rates, so if you’re considering sharing a car with another person who has an existing policy, buy a non-owner car insurance policy so that when you do buy car insurance, your rate won’t go up due to a lapse, which can be as short as a single day. A non-owner car insurance policy also covers the remaining balance if the car owner’s car insurance coverage is inadequate.

Liability Coverage’s Limitations and Full Coverage

If your car is new, liability coverage will not suffice and it will never cover you if the accident was your fault. Your lender will require you to carry collision coverage and comprehensive coverage if the car is being financed or leased.

If your car is worth less than $4,000, chances are it’s already paid off. You’d really only need to buy state required coverage. The premiums and deductible for collision and comprehensive would add up and cost more than what you’d get as a claim payout if your car is damaged or stolen.

Business Auto Policy

If you use your car for work-related reasons but not a standard commute, you will need a commercial auto policy. Real estate agents, landscapers and anyone who makes work-related trips will not be covered with a personal auto insurance policy, if an accident occurs during a work-related event. Nearly half of Gen X owns a business, so if you fall in that category, it’s important to speak with an agent about whether or not you need commercial auto.

Home Insurance

More than half of Gen X own their own homes and homeowners insurance is required with a mortgage. If you’re not aware that you’re insured, contact your lender and find out who the carrier is on the property and what you’re paying each month. It probably went into escrow.

If you don’t have homeowners insurance because you’ve paid off your mortgage, you should reconsider remaining uninsured since one bad storm, leak or fire could destroy your house and everything you own.

With a home insurance policy, you’d get assistance rebuilding your home and replacing your belongings.

If you have added members to your household or lost them, it’s important to make sure that you have enough coverage to replace everyone’s belongings and that may require increasing limits or buying riders. Creating an inventory will help you determine necessary limits.

Switching Home Insurance Policies

If you go through your escrow paperwork and find that you’re paying too much for home insurance, switch to a different company that offers you the same coverage for a lower price. However, make sure to buy the new policy before canceling your existing coverage. Otherwise, your lender will find you in breach of contract. Also, a lapse in coverage may raise your insurance rate at renewal.

Renting Out a Room

If you rent out a room in your house, it’s best to require the tenant to buy their own renters insurance policy because you’re only insured for your belongings, not theirs. You may even be required to carry a landlord policy, which is tax deductible, but this will not cover your renters, only yourself and your household.

Renting Out a Home

You will need a commercial landlord policy to rent out your home and it’s best to require the renters to have renters insurance. If you are renting out the home through Airbnb, you will still need some home insurance coverage. Find out what you need to insure by speaking with an agent, not after you find the need to file a home insurance claim.

Renters Insurance

Gen Xers who are renters must buy a renters insurance policy, even when the landlord does not require it. If a fire or storm damages your belongings, a landlord’s insurance policy will not cover your personal possessions.

You’d need renters insurance to help make you whole if a leak destroys your electronics, furniture or clothing. The good news is that renters insurance is very inexpensive. Just make sure to have the right coverage limits to protect everything you own.

Inventories for Renters

Before buying a policy, consider how much coverage is needed, especially if there is more than one person occupying the home. Just as with home insurance, creating an inventory for a renters insurance policy is the best way to figure out how much coverage you need and it makes filing a claim much easier. After adding up how much your items would cost to replace, select your coverage limit.

Commercial Insurance

Almost half of Gen X owns a business. If you are a business owner with at least one employee, you’ll be legally required to carry workers compensation and perhaps commercial auto if you use your car for business-related activities or have a fleet of vehicles for work. Most businesses also carry coverage to protect against lawsuits and interruptions due to severe storms as well as coverage for cyber and other types of crime.

General liability insurance is the most common form of commercial insurance business owners buy and a business owners policy bundles the most essential coverages for a better value.

Life Insurance

Buying term life insurance or permanent life insurance is on the expensive side for older Gen X. If you’ve been thinking about buying a life insurance policy and haven’t done it yet, it may still make sense to buy a policy, especially if you have dependents and an existing mortgage that you’d like to help pay off even if you pass. Here are how the two types of coverage differ:

Term Life Insurance

When buying a term-life policy, it’s good to make sure the term does not end before children are independent and a mortgage is paid off. Couples will ideally have separate life insurance policies to cover all bases, including housework.

Permanent Life Insurance

A permanent life insurance policy will help you create a cash value savings account, but may require a physical exam, which will determine your rate. Some parents buy their newborn a permanent life insurance policy to create a college fund, seed money to start a business or a downpayment on a first home. Low interest loans can be borrowed against a cash value too, with better terms than a bank or other financial institution. A term life policy, however, does not have a cash value, only a death benefit.


Is long-term care insurance something Gen X should buy?

Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of nursing home care, assisted living or in-home care for older individuals or those with a disability. Gen X should consider purchasing long-term care insurance in their 50s while premiums are less expensive.

What should Gen Xers with children know about health insurance for their kids?

You can keep children on your health insurance policy until they turn 26, at which point they should buy their own policy, through an employer or privately. 

How can Gen X lower their insurance premiums?

Gen X can lower their insurance premiums by comparing their various insurance rates every six months, except for health and life policies. Sometimes, bundling policies with the same insurer can help lower costs and so does raising one’s credit score, choosing higher deductibles, taking advantage of discounts and eliminating unnecessary coverage.


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