Boomers range in age from 45 to 65, so attracting them and selling to them presents a broad range of challenges. At the risk of stating the blinding obvious: they are not a homogeneous group, and they have had their lives shaped by very different life experiences. Therefore, we can’t make the assumption that one method, one message and one product will be attractive to all boomers.
When we read about generational marketing, most demographers look at the traditionals (67-plus), the boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y (or the Millenials). But, in reality, the boomers are not one segment; they’re at least three. For insurance purposes, we like to think of the boomer generation as three distinct segments that break down roughly into ages 45-54, 55-64, and 65-plus. The insurance needs of each of these segments are very different as are the products that will satisfy each of these segment’s needs. The methods to attract them and communicate with them vary as well.
Trailing boomers (Ages 45-54)
The younger group is still very focused on insuring the future of an unpaid mortgage, providing for college tuition or a wedding, and safeguarding the lifestyle of a family or spouse in case of death. They are in relatively good health, are in their peak earning years and are looking for maximum coverage at the most affordable cost. Term insurance is often the best door opener, but it may not be the best buy for the long term, with retirement just beginning to come on their radar.
This is a group that needs to be exposed to the various forms of permanent life and life insurance with a long-term care (LTC) option. Trailing boomers may not buy this product out of the box, but if you are maintaining a customer relationship strategy with them, these products can be introduced as you learn more about their needs and build trust over time. Make no mistake, someone will sell them an annuity or a variable life product — so it might as well be you.
Middle boomers (Ages 55-64)
The middle group currently ranks as the largest boomer segment, with some very specific needs emerging. This group has many of the same needs as the trailing boomers but now has retirement clearly on their radar. They’re thinking about how life will be at 70 and beyond. Despite this, the R-word is not really in their vocabulary, and speaking about it directly can be a major turn off. Think “long-term security.”
Middle boomers may have more difficulty getting insurance at favorable rates due to the inevitable heath issues that crop up with age, which may hinder the sales process. These health issues are usually not life or death — just the stuff that happens as we age, like blood pressure, sleep disorders, bladder problems, etc. — but they’ll often move this boomer segment out of the preferred rating tiers.