4 Millennial Buying Behaviors Every Insurance Agent Should Know

4 Millennial Buying Behaviors Every Insurance Agent Should Know

Who are Millennials?

According to Nielsen, Millennials are people who were born between the years 1977 and 1995, making them ages 21-38 today, though some sources vary on when the Millennial generation actually began. Millennials currently make up 24% of the U.S. population with 77 million members, surpassing the Baby Boomer population in 2015.

Millennials are a complex bunch, and there is a lot of curiosity surrounding them in the insurance world. They’re the most underinsured group of adult consumers yet, and agents are hoping to get some insight into how to successfully sell to them.

Let’s take a look at some quick facts first to get to know Millennials a little bit.

Millennials are the most educated generation yet (based on completion of bachelor’s degree). 30% of Millennials have graduated college and 11% have completed post-grad work.

Millennials often describe themselves as going through financial instability or experiencing hardships, but they tend to be optimistic about their future earnings. The median household income for Millennials is $48,797.

Millennials by Income

Source: Nielsen Pop-Facts, 2015

47% of Millennials are homeowners. Many Millennials still rent, and only 40% of them say that purchasing a home is extremely important to them. Millennials are also slower, in general, to get married than previous generations. The average age of a Millennial man who gets married is 29 and woman is 27. Nielsen reports that 57% of Millennials currently have children, and the average age of a Millennial who has their first child is 26. While Millennials may be delaying marriage, they aren't necessarily delaying having children.

Now that we’ve covered some basics, let’s talk about a few of the unique buying behaviors of Millennials. After all, Ryan Hanley said it best when he said:

“They’re just people, who grew up markedly different economic, political, and technological times than previous generations. To pretend that that Millennial generation is not different and thus inclined to it’s own unique buying philosophy would be naive. Two major economic declines and an almost exponential growth in widespread adoption of technology have had a drastic impact on Millennials.”

Millennial Buying Behaviors

Review culture: Millennials rely heavily on peer or online reviews. They almost always (81% of 18-34 year olds) do online research before buying a product or contacting a company, so an online presence is incredibly important for any business trying to sell to them.

Tip: Claim your business on Google if you haven’t already. That way, Millennials will see important information (website, office hours, contact information) about you right away when they search for you.

Sams/Hockaday & Associates

Source: “Sams/Hockaday Insurance” Google Search Result

Financially cautious: Because of the debt many Millennials are in (the average student loan debt is $25,000), they’re picky about what they spend their money on, especially when it comes to larger purchases. They don’t want to drive themselves further into debt, and they’re cautious about any added monthly expenses.

Tip: Check out “Upscale Millennials” if you're looking for Millennials more likely to be interested in insurance now. These Millennials make about $25,000 more than an average Millennial, and they’re more likely to own a home and have a family. Thus, they’re more interested in obtaining insurance earlier than general Millennials.

Brand loyalty: There’s a myth that Millennials aren’t loyal to brands, and that’s not necessarily true. What you should understand here is that Millennials place importance on the value of a product or service and the experience they have with them. When it comes to insurance, many Millennials actually turn to the same agency or company their family has used. However, 67% of insured Millennials have shopped around for insurance from another company compared to 55% of older generations. So, if they aren’t satisfied, they won’t hesitate to look elsewhere.

Tip: Always ask your current clients if they have children and what their ages are (you can easily find this information out in casual conversation). This way, you’ll have that information recorded and will know when to reach out as they reach the right age for certain insurance, like 26 for health insurance. You can store this kind of information and find it easily within an agency management system like AgencyBloc.

Price sensitivity: You’ve likely heard someone say “Millennials are cheap.” After all, we talked about their student loan debt they’re currently under. However, they aren’t cheap. Millennials are spending more as they earn more, and they crave learning about and trying new products. Like we’ve mentioned, value is what’s important here.

“Millennials aren't cheap—they're strategic. They respond very well to value, and like products that have long-term staying power."
 —Mindy Pankoke, AdvertisingAge

Tip: Good news for you as an agent: 54% of Millennials are willing to pay more for better insurance coverage. So, it’s your job to show them the value of coverage. An example of this would be talking to them about what kinds of student loans they have. If they have private ones, educate them about why those may not be forgiven in the event of their death, and explain that life insurance could save their loved ones from having to pay.

Learn More About Millennials & Insurance

This information we just went over is just a snippet of what there is to learn about Millennials and insurance. In our eBook, “Millennials & Insurance: How to sell to the most underinsured generation yet,” we go into more detail about who Millennials are and their buying behaviors. But most importantly, in this eBook, we talk about how to sell health and life insurance to them with some immediately actionable tips to take and run with. Download the free eBook now to learn more.

[Free eBook] Millennials & Insurance: How to sell to the most underinsured generation yet

In this eBook, you'll get an inside look into Millennials' buying behaviors, the reasons they're less likely to have insurance, and the strategies to use to sell to them.

Download Now

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Kelsey Rosauer

By Kelsey Rosauer on October 21, 2016 in Selling

Kelsey is the Marketing Brand Specialist at AgencyBloc. She plans and creates educational resources to help our customers organize, automate & grow their insurance agency. Favorite quote: "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." —Charles R. Swindoll  More articles


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