As the number of American workers younger than 40 grows, agents and brokers are facing the challenge of how to sell to Generation Y. Born beginning around 1980, this group is projected to comprise 40 percent of the workforce by 2020, representing the fastest growing segment of the population.1 It’s also perhaps the most tech savvy, with 59 percent using smartphones.2
With unprecedented access to information and potential for income growth, Gen Y represents the fastest-growing demographic for life insurance — and a lucrative target group for agents and brokers. Knowing this, sellers can harness the power of technology to speak to Gen Yers in a language they understand and explain why life insurance matters — not just in the future, but now.
Admittedly, many among Gen Y are likely not thinking about life insurance. However, if they die, they may leave behind a financial burden for family members who have co-signed a college, car or home loan. Those family members would be responsible for the debts as well as burial expenses. Buying life insurance early is also a great way to establish financial security, which becomes increasingly important as Gen Yers grow older and begin to raise families. Agents and brokers should advise Gen Yers about the financial value of having life insurance as well as the long-term security and peace of mind it affords.
Gen Y and technology
Gen Yers use technology in almost every facet of their lives. They’re staying connected to their networks 24/7 on their smartphones, tablets and computers via social media channels, and they’re using e-commerce apps and researching products before buying. A recent study found Gen Y is more likely to use brands and services that have a Facebook page or a mobile website (33 percent versus 17 percent).2 Technology and social media are increasingly coming into play and are a crucial part of decision making.
Because technology plays a major role in their lives, Gen Yers will naturally turn to it when the time comes to purchase life insurance. As with any important service they’re considering, they’ll research their options and read customer reviews — and they’ll use technology to do it.
Connecting with Gen Y
Most members of Gen Y who buy life insurance will do so through an employer. However, agents need to make sure the information presented is tailored to their audience. The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report revealed that only 69 percent of eligible Gen Y workers were offered major medical insurance. And 72 percent of those employees said they would be more likely to take advantage of benefits offered, like voluntary life insurance, if those products were tailored to their personal situations.3
To better connect with Gen Yers, agents and brokers can advise HR managers on how to engage with young employees by using technology that features information in a visually appealing way and is easily accessible and user friendly. Also, the information should be available on multiple platforms, such as tablets and mobile websites, to ensure Gen Yers receive it via their preferred method of communication. Technology like this is more than just window dressing. It provides an interactive learning experience that makes understanding the value of voluntary life insurance more digestible.
Because Gen Yers are still in the early years of their working lives, they are likely budget-conscious. Agents and brokers can use this to their advantage by pointing out the tax savings of voluntary life insurance, since some employers deduct benefit premiums before calculating tax deductions, resulting in lower taxable income. Life insurance can also be an ideal gateway insurance product for this young group because it’s affordable and easy to purchase. In fact, 67 percent of Gen Yers surveyed in the Aflac study said they would purchase voluntary life insurance to better protect themselves and their families, citing the low cost of coverage as a factor.3