Vital insurance you need in your 20s: cover for students, backpackers and more

It's fun to be young, but there are also risks. Not all of us in our 20s have the appropriate insurance coverage in place, so check out this handy round-up.

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Last updated: 26 September 2018 - 11.16am

Even though money can be tight in when you're in your 20s, you should still aim to get appropriate insurance coverage in case the worse happens.

Whatever life has in store for you – be it university, a family, travelling the world or moving abroad – there's always insurance available to help keep you safe and covered. 

Have a look at these policies and see where you could be missing out.   

Slash the cost of your car insurance

Car insurance premiums can be a little harder to predict in your twenties than it is for teenagers and older people.

Much of the cost depends on how long you’ve been driving. If you’ve been driving (sensibly) since you were 17 then your premiums will be lower compared to being older but recently passing your test.

Of course, your car is a significant factor too. Cars are graded between one and five, with five being the most expensive to insure. A grade one car like a Fiat 500 is ideal for a younger driver.

The best modifications you can make are to install an immobiliser and alarms as they’ll knock a load off your premiums.  

It’s worth going for telematics insurance policies, which are aimed at younger drivers.

A black box will be installed in your car which reads what speed you travel at, how you handle steering, what times of day you drive and other factors which determine how safe of a driver you are.  

And don’t assume that the basic third party coverage will be the cheapest. Comprehensive car cover can be cheaper, especially for young drivers. And that’s before you even have to make a claim.

Try tweaking your job title too – insurers will look more favourably on some over others. For example, an editor will get cheaper premiums than a journalist.

Travel insurance for every trip

Your 20s is one of the best times to do some globetrotting, but remember to fit your travel insurance around the activities you plan to do.

If you’re away on a whirlwind backpacking adventure, get hold of some specialist backpackers’ insurance.

This type of insurance is certainly a bit more niche so you’ll need to go to a specialist. Policies usually last for 12 months but they can vary wildly.

Insurers often impose strict rules on coming back to the UK – most don’t allow any trips back. If you do, your insurance policy will be invalidated.

Others will allow up to two trips back for occasions like Christmas and weddings.

A backpacker policy can cover multiple countries on one policy as well as working overseas. Some even cover a basic set of adventure sports.

Alternatively, there’s specialist travel insurance if you plan to work abroad. This will cover manual jobs as well as office jobs.

Some adventure activities are also covered, but you’ll need to pay a premium for others.

If you just want to do a spot of exploring during your holiday leave, a single or annual policy will do. 

[Read more: How to safeguard your income with Critical Illness, MPPI and Income Protection]

Get life insurance while it’s cheap

It might seem like you don’t need it just yet, but it’s best to get your life insurance in place early.

If you plan to have a family of your own or have dependents who rely on your earnings, life insurance is a must. A policy can cover any financial responsibilities you might have like a mortgage, debts or your own business.

You might already be covered through your employer – if you’re not sure, check your contract or employee handbook.

The upshot is that because younger people are considered low-risk, premiums will be much lower than they would be for older people. A policy can cost as little as a fiver a month.

Get started by visiting a price comparison site where you can get a free, no obligation quote.

Keep your possessions safe...

Also known as renter’s insurance, tenant's insurance is a particular type of contents cover which protects possessions against damage, fire, theft and flooding.

Generally speaking, it covers electronics like TVs and laptops, furniture, bikes, jewellery, sports equipment and DVDs.

To make sure all of your possessions are covered, the best advice is to go room-to-room and get a rough idea of the value of your possessions.

Remember to contact your insurer if you buy any bigger-ticket items like a flat screen telly though.    

You could pay a bit extra and get accidental damage cover if you want to cover your smartphone or other items in the house. 

Don’t worry about buildings insurance – this will be taken care of by your landlord. It’s also their responsibility to insure their own contents and furnishings.

[Read more: Which insurance products do you really need and which are just a rip-off]

...As well as your coursework

Particularly for the earlier half of your twenties, student insurance might be a good idea.

This covers you if you’re living in halls of residence. It’s worth getting as student accommodation is a prime target for thieves on the prowl for expensive smartphones, laptops and other electronics.

Not all insurers do these – you’ll need to go to a specialist who offers specific insurance for halls of residence.

Again, policies vary. Tuition fees, bikes, musical instruments, gadgets and coursework are among some of the items covered.

The good news is that insurers can tailor a policy just for you, so you can get everything in your room covered, or just one item.

Some things may be covered on your family’s home insurance, but as always, check that small print.

It may well be the case that a home insurance policy only covers certain items or will only insure one child living at university at a time.

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