Millennials are a generation that came of age at a peculiar time in history. Born between 1981 and 1996, this tech-first generation witnessed a global sea change from analog processes to digital lifestyles. As the world’s designated middle child, millennials are the only generation to have grown up somewhere between the internet’s infancy and ubiquity.
And the insurance industry should take notice. Comprising over 27% of the global population, millennials are now taking into account their evolving ideals for success and stability as they plan their way into middle age. Millennials have the in-the-now sensibility of the younger Gen Z, and at the same time, they are familiar with the paper-heavy processes of their predecessors. The challenge for insurers today is to move past the smoke-and-mirror promises of digitalization and offer something new that will entice an entire generation predisposed to navigate a rapidly changing, tech-driven world.
Millennials Want Flexibility
Millennials are always on-the-go and therefore seek solutions that are modular enough for unpredictable life events. According to a recent Oracle report, over 85% of millennials own smartphones, which they prefer to use in order to interact with other people—insurance agents included. The sense of agency that a smartphone provides contributes to millennials' desire to have greater financial control, especially when it comes to their transactions.
To attract millennial consumers, insurance companies must ensure that the digital tools they’re offering have simple, user-friendly interfaces with enough flexibility on the backend. Millennials prefer an insurance management system that goes beyond impressive UI and offers coherence at the core of its processing system.
Millennials are also partial to platforms that have self-service features and allow them to weigh their options. InsurTech companies that have fully digitalized the insurance process from quoting to claims processing may enjoy an eager millennial market that prefers digital over paper documentation.
Millennials Desire Ease of Use
In the age of mindless scrolling and one-tap decisions, the millennial consumer prioritizes minimalistic digital processes that are simplified down to the essentials. They must be able to instantly find useful information about an insurance product and settle claims without having to go to a brick-and-mortar office. With this, ease of use remains a requirement for millennials seeking seamless navigation through an insurance platform.
Capabilities like artificial intelligence that can process digital documents in seconds can vastly improve the customer experience of a generation that craves instant results. Heavily relying on human-driven processes only opens the door to more delays and errors. However, a good digitization strategy goes beyond automating paper-based tasks and putting on a sleek digital exterior. Companies that reinvent their business processes from end to end may see a 90% reduction in turnaround times, as well as up to 65% in cost reductions and conversion rates of more than 20%, according to Oracle’s report.
Millennials Seek Price Transparency
Despite their propensity toward quick-action solutions, millennials highly value efforts put into transparency, integrity, and corporate ethics. People that grew up filtering an ocean of data on the internet are generally accustomed to looking at things with a critical eye, and insurance firms must keep up by providing well-documented details on their products that customers can easily view. Insurers can also promote increased visibility by enabling customers to check their claims status and registrations online.
Financial instability is something that most millennials face, so they need to make sure that they're not wasting money on dubious rates and extra charges amid a volatile global economy. In addition to incorporating a pay-as-you-need business model, insurers should also consider providing greater access to insurance information before and after purchase.
Millennials Crave Value and Variety
Being a digital native means being exposed to almost every offer out there. To stand out, insurers must value-add to their services and go beyond plain messaging and marketing strategy. They must also take into account the millennial’s desire for a valuable experience with a company that practices its own ethics.
One way to ensure the loyalty of millennial consumers is through customer experience. By automating back-office procedures, insurance firms can realign focus away from manual tasks and into helping customers that seek valuable human assistance.
On a related note, having a wide product portfolio that moves away from conventional offerings and addresses the needs of the moment should also lure millennial policyholders. One timely concern is cybersecurity, with younger generations putting more weight on the loss of irreplaceable files than the hardware itself. Insurance policies should consider providing a safety net on data loss, especially with the rise of cloud platforms and virtual currency.
Adapting to the Tides of Change
Many millennials take pleasure in having the freedom to choose. With this, they tend to patronize businesses that align with their values and perspectives. For insurers to be successful at enticing millennials, they must utilize tools that work smoothly with the latter's digital environment. These tools should be useful in getting instant answers, comparing products, and customizing solutions to fit the millennial's unique and ever-changing needs. By adopting the millennial mindset, insurance firms will be able to tap into a unique market that has, in essence, seen it all.