Over the past few years, millennials have made headlines for their perceived sense of entitlement, lack of loyalty, and eagerness to challenge the status quo, while invariably changing the landscape of the world around them. Millennials have revolutionized the way we communicate with one another and, in particular, the way businesses communicate with them.
So who are they? What do they want? And more importantly, how can insurers reach them?
It is important to look at the position millennials hold in today’s economy, as well as the role they play as consumers in shaping insurance industry marketing.
Crucial market for insurers
You’re probably aware of who millennials are. Born between 1980 and 1996, millennials are today’s 20- and 30-somethings. But you may be surprised to learn that according to Pew Research, they’re now the largest generation in human history — larger even than boomers.
Read on to see how what is unique about this generation…
The extremely diverse millennial generation means a wide variety of opinions and experiences must be considered. (Photo: iStock)
Diversity is a major characteristic for this generation. Last June, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that over 44 percent of millennials are not white. In fact, they’re the most diverse generation America has seen to date. Ethnic diversity is not the only kind of diversity to be sensitive to either. With 80 million millennials worldwide, there is significant diversity of opinions, values and experiences within any particular demographic.
Takeaway No. 1: This is a high-priority market for insurers who are seeing millennials start to comprise a large portion of their customer mix.
See also: Diversity Marketing
Highly educated millennials are frequently under-employed and many are delaying major life purchases like homes and cars. (Photo: iStock)
Highly-educated and saddled with unprecedented student debt
Millennials are over-educated and under-employed, a combination which goes a long way in determining what their buying behavior looks like. According to The New York Time, in 1990, the median annual income for people between 18 and 34 years old was roughly $36,700, and about 15.7 percent were college-educated. Between 2009 and 2013, median earnings dropped to roughly $33,900. Meanwhile, the rate of education rose to 22 percent.
Because their income is relatively low and many are saddled with college debt, millennials are waiting far longer to tick off the milestones we’ve traditionally associated with adulthood like getting married, having kids and buying a home. In fact, Pew reports that only 28 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 33 are married — compared to 49 percent of boomers when they were the same age.
Takeaway No. 2: Not all younger renters’ or homeowners’ insurance customers look, think or feel alike.
See also: Millenials are unprepared for retirement
While millennials may not have a lot of buying power today, expect that to change significantly in the next few years. (Photo: iStock)