Disability Insurance Observer: Z

Opinion

The income umbrella (AP photo/Charles Dharapak) The income umbrella (AP photo/Charles Dharapak)

My 10-year-old daughter was getting ready for bed one night, when began singing, "State Farm is there ... with clean underwear!"

I thought I might have missed some hot new insurance ad campaign, so I had my daughter tell me about this.

She reported that kids in the fourth grade at her school -- the members of Generation Z -- had actually made up that parody slogan, but that State Farm had the very best insurance company commercials, because some funny character "was always there." She went on to act out several State Farm Commercials for me.

Fourth graders at her school also like the GEICO commercials, but not all that much. They don't get the Allstate Mayhem commercials. They love Flo -- the start of the Progressive car insurance commercials.

"She's hilarious," my daughter said. My daughter said she and her friends like Flo almost as much as the characters in the State Farm commercials.

I then asked my daughter if she knew what products the big insurance advertisers sell, and if any of those advertisers sell life insurance or health insurance.

"State Farm sells everything," my daughter said. "Life insurance, home insurance, all kinds of insurance."

Even though she doesn't understand the Allstate Mayhem commercials, she knows that Allstate also sells all kinds of insurance. She knows that Progressive and GEICO sell car insurance.

Then I asked my daughter, "What kind of insurance would protect a worker who got sick and wasn't able to work?"

She screwed up her face and asked, "Life insurance? Or health insurance?"

Suggestion: Observe Disability Insurance Awareness Month (translation: May) by doing a similar interview with any 10-year-old that you happen to know. End the interview with the same question that I asked: What kind of insurance would protect a worker who got sick and wasn't able to work?" If you get the same kind of answer, maybe that's sign disability insurers need to get Flo, or Flo's sister, to help with outreach.

Or, maybe there's room to reach members of Generation Z (the dream disability customers of the 2020s) with a little strategic product placement.

Maybe Clark Kent could deal with the challenges involved with filing a kryptonite-related group short-term disability claim, or Bruce Wayne could tap a high-limit individual disability policy from Lloyd's that he got through Petersen International. Or Stark Industries could draw on a key executive disability policy if Pepper Potts, the CEO of Stark Industries, gets hurt while Iron Man and a bad guy are fighting over her.

However disability insurers go about doing this: If life insurers and car insurers can get through to 10-year-olds, disability insurers should be able to get through to them, too.

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