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Special Report: Liberty Mutual, Safeco & the Millennial Myth

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Liberty Mutual and Safeco millennials are getting a bad rap. A lot of us say they’re lazy, lack loyalty and has zip for an attention span. And they don’t work as hard as generations past.

When it comes to insurance that attention span comes into play. The myth — says Liberty Mutual and Safeco — is that they don’t do much research and simply buy the cheapest insurance as easily as possible.

Liberty Mutual Business Lines and Safeco Insurance decided to see if any of this is true and checked with a group of millennials. What they found contradicts the myth that millennials are lazy, disloyal and can’t pay attention. But the insurer focus — says Tyler Asher who heads up independent agent distribution for both companies — is insurance.

Here are the survey’s conclusions:

  There are 73 million millennials in the U.S.

  45% of millennials own a house

  80% own a car



1. Millennials are more likely than older generations to buy insurance online. But half say they purchase exclusively through an agent.


2. Millennials are not more price-focused than baby boomers and Generation X. They have similar priorities and look for the most comprehensive coverage.


3. Millennials want agents to be seasoned insurance professionals who will help them understand insurance. The goal is to become a more informed consumer.


4. Millennials are more likely to do research and connect with agents via digital channels like online reviews and social media. Even though the contact is different, they still value the input of an expert advisor.


Purchasing factors:

  52% want the most comprehensive coverage for a good price

  49% want an agent with a reputation for good service

  36% like an easy purchase process

  50% want to understand their coverage completely

  40% price compare and want quotes from different, competing companies

  31% want the lowest price even if it is just a basic policy


And most importantly for the independent insurance agents of the PIA Western Alliance:

  80% want an agent to help them understand insurance


Here's what they want to know about insurance:

  58% want to know how the coverage they purchase works

  50% want to know what to expect if they have a claim

  40% want to know the unique features of their policy

  33% want to manage their policy online

  31% want additional products and services that are relevant to them

  29% want safety and loss prevention tips and tricks


Here's how millennials and other generations choose one agent over another:

Positive online reviews:

  Millennials — 43%

  Generation X — 35%

  Baby boomers — 25%


Represent a well-known company

  Millennials — 41%

  Generation X — 44%

  Baby boomers — 59%


Convenient location

  Millennials — 34%

  Generation X — 47%

  Baby boomers — 50%


Social media engagement

  Millennials — 28%

  Generation X — 10%

  Baby boomers — 3%


Modern website

  Millennials — 24%

  Generation X — 17%

  Baby boomers — 11%


Availability of an online chat

  Millennials — 19%

  Generation X — 12%

  Baby boomers — 5%


Nice-looking storefront

  Millennials — 15%

  Generation X — 7%

  Baby boomers — 3%


The ideal characteristics of an agent


Inspire trust

  Millennials — 50%

  Generation X — 47%

  Baby boomers — 62%


Be a seasoned insurance professional

  Millennials — 49%

  Generation X — 55%

  Baby boomers — 73%


Make a point to get to know me

  Millennials — 29%

  Generation X — 33%

  Baby boomers — 40%


Be a go-getter

  Millennials — 21%

  Generation X — 19%

  Baby boomers — 10%


Be tech-savvy

  Millennials — 19%

  Generation X — 18%

  Baby boomers — 10%


Be involved in the community

  Millennials — 15%

  Generation X — 11%

  Baby boomers — 9%


Be close to my age

  Millennials — 9%

  Generation X — 4%

  Baby boomers — 1%

Looking more deeply at the survey, Asher said it’s obvious millennials have the same insurance buying habits as older generations. And they are also not as price-focused as we tend to think. Millennials seem to like independent insurance agents and the choice and advice offered them. They also like how easy it is to work with an independent agent.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions about millennials in the market. Our research showed us that price is a key purchasing factor for consumers of all ages, not just millennials,” Asher said. “In fact, 52% of millennials said they want the most comprehensive coverage for a good price. That’s a pretty common misconception that we dispelled through the survey.”

In other words, Asher says millennials not only want to be properly covered but they want the advice that only an independent agent can give. That took Asher to the survey’s second conclusion: millennials want to be better-informed insurance consumers.

“The survey found overall that millennials want to be well-informed and they want to understand all the coverages they have and how to use them. This desire stems from millennials tending to get married later, having deferred home ownership, and so having generally less experience with insurance,” he said. “To highlight that, 52% of baby boomers described themselves as insurance savvy compared to only 34% of millennials, which means there’s a great opportunity for agents to really drive consumer education through this demographic.”

Asher noted that millennials — at least the ones responding to the survey — are a little more worried about risks in the future and all life’s little what-ifs than their baby boomer grandparents. This — Asher says — is a positive for the independent agent.

He said millennials tend to see the world much differently than other generations. They have concerns, want to talk through them and look at those disconcerting what-ifs. To do that they need an independent agent to explain how things work.

“When it comes to the ‘what if’ scenarios, we think that’s a great opportunity for agents to communicate with real-life claim examples,” Asher pointed out. “Using a major hailstorm as an example, an agent can walk a client through their coverage, explain how the claims process would work, and talk them through some really tangible examples of things that could happen. Obviously, agents don’t want the conversation to be too negative, but if a client is concerned about those ‘what if’ worst-case scenarios, it’s a great opportunity for agents to step through specific examples.”

The last myth busted by Liberty Mutual and Safeco is that millennials only want to work with others their age. As you saw in the statistics, just 9% of those responding said they want their agent to be their age. What they want is a “season professional” and “someone they can trust.”

Those are two terms used most by the millennials that took the survey. 

“Millennials are really looking for that expert advice given their relative insurance inexperience,” he concluded. “From my standpoint, to attract younger consumers, an agent’s ability to really listen, educate, and talk through some of those ‘what if’ stressful scenarios is a great opportunity.”


Source links: Liberty Mutual / Safeco Survey, Insurance Business America

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