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Observations on Dealing With Millennials

Millennials rarely “get it” when it comes to insurance until they purchase a first home. Although their initial insurance purchases are modest, the unsolved challenge is to keep millennials as a future revenue source, members of the Personal Lines Practice Group agreed at a recent conference call.

Here are some of the comments:

“Our book of business is starting to mature. We are missing millennials (generally defined as people born between 1982 and 2002), and that can affect the future of our agency. Are the systems in place that millennials will gravitate to?”

“I have two of my own and they are on their phones all day. Instagram is an area where we may be able to reach them. “

“I’m pulling a lot of kids off their parents’ policies and starting them on their own. Premiums are typically really high. I try to educate them about what is important in a policy. But I think it will come down to ‘I can get it cheaper somewhere else’ once they are truly on their own. They’re all about making sure they have their coffee money and their cocktail money.”

“They give insurance serious attention when they buy a home. Until then, it is price-driven. We try to explain that they may need more than minimum insurance so they don’t have their wages garnished for the next 20 years if there is an accident. Parents gravitate to that conversation and they get it. But the millennials talk to a buddy who found cheaper insurance.”

“We’ve lost a lot of millennials, which is good because they were our biggest problems. The  revenue stream down the road is the issue. Millennials don’t feel they own anything, so it’s hard to get them to buy anything extra. We try to keep the parents informed. Every millennial is the child of a client, as we don’t write insurance for people unless we have a relationship.”

Technology is key

“We’ve complained to our carrier partners about the ease of doing business that millennials want. The determining factor may be how smart and quick our systems are going to be.”

“Technology is our weakest link for millennials.”

“They’d rather go online than pick up the phone and talk about the issues.  They’ve grown up where information is everywhere. Their feeling is ‘We can do our own research’ and we mainly want to be sure we like the person we are dealing with. Referrals and ease of doing business mean everything to millennials.”

Monoline auto

“I have no good program for monoline auto. Nothing is competitive.”

“I think the industry is aware of this but the carriers haven’t bellied up to the bar on it. So the millennials will pick up insurance from Geico or somewhere similar. The second they see a premium of over $1,500, they’re gone.”

“We had a client’s son who found auto insurance that was cheaper because he gave incorrect information on mileage driven. He only calculated the mileage that he drove to and from work. Once he calculated it correctly, we could offer a less expensive policy with better coverage. They don’t realize that the carriers with cheaper policies will check their mileage and come back to them.”

Changing Markets in Florida, California

Florida insurance agents have a new offering, StormPeace, that covers claims that typical policies exclude or that have high deductibles. These include hurricane and wind damage or debris removal when a tree falls. Most claims are paid within three days.

The California earthquake market is changing, with some companies offering a 2 percent deductible rather than the traditional 15 percent.

Uninsured motorists

Uninsured drivers continue to be an issue, with estimates of uninsured motorists ranging from 26.7 percent in Florida to 4.5 percent in Maine. “We suggest maxing out coverage on the policies and also putting it under the umbrella policy.”

Pester to retire

Practice Group Chair George Pester, who has been with JKJ for 38 years, announced that he will retire in June after a “lifetime of joy” in insurance.


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