Millennials think they’ll be young and healthy forever — a generational naïveté that’s causing insurers to reconsider the traditional sales model in favor of a more personalized approach.
A common stereotype of Millennials is that they don’t plan for the future — and when it comes to insurance, there may be some truth to this statement: Gen Yers are, in greater numbers than the generations that preceded them, opting out of traditional long-term insurance plans.
This trend can be attributed to a variety of factors unique to this generation, and understanding them is key for insurance agents looking to successfully sell to Millennial clients. Here’s what you need to know.
Millennials & Technology
It’s no secret that Millennials interact with technology on a daily (and often hourly) basis. Having grown up with access to the internet, they’re more likely to research products online than any other generation, and they do it more efficiently. A Recent Nielsen study found that Millennials conduct more than 50% of their insurance-related research on their mobile devices, according to Marketing Land.
Furthermore, Gallup found that Millennials are more than twice as likely to buy insurance online than any other generation — which means that agents must do more to truly engage with Gen Y consumers online. In light of this trend, many insurance companies have launched web-based platforms — including apps and internet lead generators — that make buying and researching insurance faster and easier than ever.
Meanwhile, the insurance options offered by the typical employer have changed dramatically since Baby Boomers dominated the American workforce. Coming out of high school and college during the tech and startup culture boom, Millennials often aren’t being covered under the same long-term retirement and insurance plans that their parents’ employers once provided.
For example, the lucrative pension plans that were once commonplace for professional roles are nearing extinction.
Furthermore, having grown up during the Great Recession and bearing witness to the evaporation of their parents’ retirement funds, Millennials are increasingly taking it upon themselves to develop savings and retirement plans, according to MarketWatch, leaving many financial planners and insurance providers in the lurch.
This can perhaps be attributed, in part, to the fact that this generation is entering the working world with higher levels of debt than their parents, and in turn, are receiving higher rates of financial assistance from their families, according to the Wall Street Journal. A recent article in Time cites a Pew Research Study that found that “Among adults ages 40 to 59 with at least one grown child, 73% said they’d helped support an adult son or daughter in the prior year.”
Dan Kadlec argues that family financial assistance has created a shift in the perceived “need” for insurance by Millennials, as they can now rely on their parents to “bail them out” of a costly health or auto-related incident, for example.
Converting Trends Into Sales
With these large-scale trends in mind, there are a number of ways insurance companies can better engage this rapidly growing client demographic. Millennials spend more time online than any other generation — by embracing forward-thinking digital marketing strategies, agents can capitalize on this fact in order to grow their book of business.
Although the number of uninsured Millennials is staggering (nearly 1 in 4 don’t have health insurance), there is hope that through better online engagement and marketing tactics, insurance agents can begin tapping into the spending power of this vital demographic.
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