Millennials recently surpassed baby boomers as the largest living generation,1 and their influence can be felt throughout society — including in the insurance industry. Here are three ways they’re having an impact, how Nationwide® is responding, plus tips for marketing and communications success.
They’re looking at homes and autos differently
Millennials — generally seen as those born between the early 1980s and late 1990s — tend to approach homes and autos differently from other generations. Home-ownership is down, and ridesharing options have changed the auto landscape.2 Plus, many millennials are getting married later, which affects how and when they buy insurance products.3
Nationwide stays current with industry insights and conduct our own research on how insurance is consumed and distributed. Millennials are not only a large portion of our new customers, they help us see the future through what they share about buying experiences and the coverage they need.
Living through the Great Recession created a heightened sense of loss aversion for many millennials.2 Even if their life stages and approach to insurance are different from other generations, their experiences could mean they’re especially receptive to learning about ways that insurance can help protect against loss.
Millennials are generally comfortable sharing personal data — in exchange for products that are customized for them. This means that insurance may need to be re-envisioned to appeal to this generation. It’s also important to them that insurance is simple and easy to understand.1
We’ve focused on creating robust and easy-to-use digital solutions that deliver personalization, ease of use and value. Two great examples are the Nationwide Express® app and our telematics program. Nationwide Express allows consumers to upload their driver’s license to get a quote. It’s easy and simple for both the consumer and the agent. Our telematics program is industry-leading from a digital perspective as well as for its ability to personalize an insurance premium.
In addition to sharing personal data, millennials are also comfortable sharing personal experiences with products and services, and actively rely on others’ online reviews and comments to help make decisions.3 Maintaining a digital presence for your agency, including social media accounts where you actively respond to comments and questions, will help build interest and trust in your expertise.
Agents are still important
As it turns out, it’s a myth that millennials don’t want to work with an agent. Research tells us that the insurance-buying experience needs to be easy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want a trusted partner.
We appoint many new agencies each year, and we specifically look for those that know how to market to millennials and complete the sales and service experience in the way they expect. We’re also seeing many new distribution models that are targeting this segment, and Nationwide is a leader in advancing these models.
Millennials are receptive to expert information — in fact, they expect it. This is the time to share your expertise and insights, whether it’s in person, on social media or on your website (ideally, all three). The information is out there, so if you don’t provide it and establish yourself as a trusted partner, they’ll get it from another source.4