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Kids: Your new clients, are you prepared?

20 April 2017Jonathan Faurie

Over the past two years, a lot of money – and time – has been spent on the study of Millennials and what makes them tick. It is clear that this generation is unlike any other. Many extraordinary social influencers, such as technology, have changed the way they interact with the world around them and how they ultimately relate to it.

If we were pressed to define Millennials in one sentence, it would be: Millennials are not happy with simply existing in the world; they want to make a difference to it.

This changes the game for anybody who engages or interacts with them. In a release to the media, Soul Abraham – Head of Personal Lines at Mutual & Federal – says that Millennials could shape the future of the insurance industry in a significant way.

Insurer adaptation

To tap into this generation, insurers need to stay abreast of technology trends and to demonstrate a capacity for innovation.

“Over the next 10 years, our industry both locally and abroad is set to change as companies deal with disruption. Ideally, more established insurers need to be able to anticipate disruption and innovate within their own company to meet the demands of this up-and-coming generation,” he said.

This could translate into training and hiring more graduates who fall within the Millennial generation and who can identify with their peers to more effectively anticipate and meet the ever-changing needs of these customers.

Quick advice

While Millennials want to hear all the options available to them, they also want quick service. This means that the current broker model is likely to change as intermediaries will have to embrace technology to compete with a speedy direct insurance market.

Millennials are quite comfortable to deal with someone over the phone or internet as opposed to the baby boomer generation which is more likely to require a personal meeting and relationship building experience.

“In South Africa in particular, with the growing black middle class, there is an entire first and second generation of individuals entering the insurance market with limited or no experience of these products. Consumer education is therefore required on various platforms including social media. Furthermore, as insurance penetration increases, brokers will be needed in more remote areas,” said Abraham.

Changing asset priorities

The types of assets insured are also changing. Cyber liability is a product which is growing in popularity. More recently, social media liability insurance, where consumers take out insurance on the off chance that they might be sued for something they post or comment on publicly.

“While the typical insurance for assets, such as a home and car will never fall away, the type of asset that needs to be insured is BREAK slowly moving away from the traditional physical asset to assets that live in the cyber world,” concluded Abraham.

The double edged sword

Millennials are very picky when it comes to their careers; loyalty means little to them as they are always open to better opportunities.

Not only is this applicable to those who are looking to advance their careers, it is also applicable to their interactions with brokers, advisers and intermediaries. Advancement speaks to security, Millennials want to know that the product that is being promoted to them will not only benefit them now, but will benefit their interests in the future.

There is also a cost issue. Millennials want the above solution (the best product to protect them for the greatest period of time) at the best price. Gone are the days where Millennials would be expected to pay a premium for products and services they don’t want. They want tailored products with tailored prices.

Lastly, Millennials want to be informed. Benjamin Franklin once said tell me something and I will forget, teach me something and I may remember, involve me and I will learn; Millennials no longer want a sales person who talks to them or at them, they want to be engaged in the decision making process of purchasing a product.

Editor’s Thoughts:
People are inherently afraid of change. But if the world changes around you, you may be stuck trying to play catch-up while competitors reap hard fought for rewards. Can you afford to let this happen? Please comment below, interact with us on Twitter at @fanews_online or email me your thoughts jonathan@fanews.co.za.

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