Who are the millennials?
It’s all about birth dates. These differ depending on who you are talking to. It’s confusing – but perhaps the safest is to go with a middle standard of 1984 to 2004. Exact time lines are not as important as understanding that this generation grew up in the internet age, and generally in more privileged circumstances than their parents, so their outlook is quite different.
What is interesting is that many millennials are now dealing with their fellow generation when considering insurance. It’s also important to note that they will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2030. So their needs, priorities, and points of view are going to change the way many businesses operate – not only internally, but in the way interaction is conducted with clients.
Their impact on the insurance industry
Developing and retaining millennial employees will help insurance companies align their marketing and services to suit a generation that is going to become their chief customer base within the next ten to twenty years; millennials working in-house can provide strategic direction that will better equip the company to meet new expectations.
Millennials embrace diversity and have a pertinent value system that considers the impact of business on people, communities and the environment. This makes them valuable to the decision-making process because many millennials will choose their insurance investments with companies that engage with broader philanthropic issues and prove positive commitment to improving local and global problems.
The rumoured instability of millennials is not entirely true. As with any aging process, there is a point at which millennials settle; they may still be seeking a healthy work/life balance, but ultimately they are likely to merge this view with the benefits of financial stability and broader career opportunities. Skills enrichment, training and opportunities for creativity attract millennials, but eventually they will also seek stability – and at this point they are more likely to develop interest in the value of insurance.
The way millennials are influencing change
Millennials expect new technologies and more streamlined operations, and they are already primed with the education and digital know-how to utilise these changes to suit their circumstances. They understand the efficiency of technological solutions.
- Millennials embrace both innovation and personal service. They are the digital generation that prefers to operate entirely on line, but also expect companies to be sufficiently equipped to back up services with prompt attention and solutions.
- As the connections with the millennial generation increase, companies will develop greater understanding with regard to hiring and retaining strategies. On the customer side, grasping how best to sell products to this generation is critical.
- Millennials are getting married and having children at a much later date than people in the sixties and seventies. They have different views with regard to lifestyle, beliefs, and ambitions. They tend to stay home with their parents for longer and are reluctant to become homeowners with all the concomitant commitments that decision will bring. As a result, they may be slower to take up insurance policies.
- This lifestyle sees them often delaying luxury purchases, such as houses, cars or televisions. However, they are enthusiastic comparison shoppers, so choosing insurance products will not be done in a hurry. They may seek good advice but will still want the best price possible. User reviews are hugely influential in how they make choices.
- They will spend money on health and fitness. Good health is important – they focus on eating healthily, exercising, and maintaining their weight at optimum levels. Apps for tracking their fitness are hugely popular – and consequently insurance against dread disease is not necessarily top of mind.
- They are tech-savvy and tech-dependent. As employees they are keen to contribute to policies and create new marketing plans. They prefer a more flexible working lifestyle and believe that adjustments to working hours can be facilitated.
- As customers they expect companies to keep up to date with trends and to connect more vibrantly through social media. They will primarily purchase insurance online. There is no doubt that that what millennials anticipate as customers will affect the future of the insurance industry.
Engaging the future
- Successful insurance companies need to build relationships – and infographics, blog posts, videos are the way to engage with this generation. More specifically, a blog can provide personal interaction while solving problems and building trust and credibility in a positive way. A blog will give any insurance company a more friendly ‘face’ and can be used across various channels for broader marketing purposes.
- However, because millennials are inundated with advertising, they are more sceptical and therefore tend to be less engaged. The choice available is vast and they can duck and dive, hop and jump whenever they like. Insurance companies have to find innovative ways to attract their attention and maintain their loyalty.
- Millennials will approve companies that are: Offering services online; Ensuring safety and security online; Streamlining queries and answering speedily; Providing easy website navigation and online payment systems; Making access, account changes, and policy adaptions easy; Engaging in effective social responsibility programmes.
Check your policies, check your life
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With VeriFi you are able, for no charge, to access information on all your life and investment policies at a glance. You are able to check the types of policies you have, the names of the insurance companies providing the cover, the nature and extent of the insurance cover provided – and other vitally important information such as the details on your policies being correct.
To find out more, please visit: www.verifi.co.za