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Millennials and Life Insurance: Why the Industry Needs to Evolve

Millennials and Life Insurance: Why the Industry Needs to Evolve

John LatonaJohn Latona Head of Marketing, Haven Life

Millennials are constantly looking for the latest and greatest tools for managing their lives – whether it’s paying and organizing their finances with Venmo, or tracking their daily fitness routines with FitBit. It’s all about staying innovative, finding easy ways to multitask and seeing immediate benefits. Unfortunately, when it comes to thinking about the long term, Millennials are the most underinsured generation alive today.

This statistic isn’t too surprising, considering millions of young adults move home after college and stay on their parents’ insurance plans for as long as possible. Additionally, just try reading through a renter’s or homeowner’s insurance contract – it’s difficult to comprehend all of the information, even for people who work in the industry, let alone a young adult who may not be in the consideration phase of purchasing insurance. To help ease the process for first-time buyers, it’s important to address some of the best ways the industry can better serve Millennials.

Be Where They Are: Online

As Woody Allen said, 80 percent of success in life is just showing up. When it comes to the life insurance industry, showing up means offering prospective buyers a platform that is easily accessible at any time and at their leisure. Recent studies reveal that more than 35 percent of Millennials would buy everything online if they could, so it’s especially important to free them from the typically time consuming and confusing process that currently exists. At the end of the day Millennials value convenience. Having insurance options available online gives them an immediate sense of gratification knowing they are able to research and purchase needed protection at the click of a button.

Give the Customer Full Control

Growing up with access to high-speed Internet and a widespread use of smartphones has made Millennials accustomed to an on-demand lifestyle, relying on Google to provide the answers to most of their problems. Being in control of life situations is very important to this age group, but this can become a challenge if they face a problem that they cannot figure out on their own – yes, this includes everyone who has ever made a self-diagnosis using WebMD.

Significant research and consideration typically precedes the application and purchase of a life insurance policy. People should have control over their major life purchases, and sometimes the best way to do that is to let them do the legwork themselves. Letting people go through the application and selection process on their own, with customer service available when needed, helps provide assurance that they have selected exactly what it is they want in an insurance plan.

Be Transparent

For many Millennials, and consumers overall, a clear approach to purchasing insurance, especially term life, can be difficult to identify. We recently attended a LearnVest Live event and spoke with people of all ages and backgrounds about their current life insurance policies, with most people revealing a lack of confidence about the amount of coverage they ended up with or need.

The first step should be helping prospective buyers answer the core question in their minds: ‘how much coverage do I really need?’ From there, providing a straightforward application is key. Allowing Millennials to compare and select different quotes, term lengths and plans gives buyers the confidence that they’ve purchased the best plan for their life stage. Additionally, implementing a ‘plain language’ policy allows for prospective buyers to read through the full terms and policy offerings in clearer, consumer friendly wording – compared to the legal language of most policies.

Looking at industry trends overall, it’s common for Millennials to research and purchase products and services online. This shouldn’t be any different for their insurance policies. Complex products and sales processes that don’t resonate with this demographic mean they could potentially forego an important coverage in their lives. Instead, the focus should be on providing this age group with an easily accessible and understandable solution that puts them in the driver’s seat.

 

John Latona is the head of marketing at Haven Life. When he’s not writing about millennials and life insurance, he can be most often found listening to an eclectic music collection, which includes everything from Rahsaan Roland Kirk to Dr. Feelgood.

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