Article Synopsis :
It was WebMD that discovered in 2016 that millennials are more likely than generation X or baby boomers to favour speed and convenience from healthcare professionals over comprehensive interactions.
They have contributed to the growth of online shopping preferring it to big box retailers.
Labels can be crude stereotypical or pejorative categorisations. And while not all millennials are the same, it is fair to say that as a generation, they prefer convenience.
Whether it is cab services, food delivery or entertainment, millennials want convenience and they want it now.
On demand is the model insurers need to consider and remember to focus on convenience. But the jargon thrown around the industry like confetti including“digital transformation”, “personalisation”, and “on-demand” are not panaceas.
A new approach
This research paper shows there are some problems with identifying millennials as digital natives and expecting them to consume everything if it is provided digitally.
The research shows that millennials:
– are well educated, but are struggling to make ends meet
– careers are important, but won’t flog themselves to death for a better future;
– are differentiated from each other by their age, career stage and educational attainment;
– have traditional views, but can’t afford the things their parents did at a younger age, such as marry, buy a house or raise a family;
– see themselves as different from their parents.
What all that boils down to is that millennials can see a value in insurance, but not strongly enough to want to buy it.
A love/hate relationship with digital
The role of digital in the lives of millennials is paradoxical. It has enabled unprecedented levels of connectivity, but millennials have been left overwhelmed, overworked and disconnected from “authentic communities and tangible support networks”. As a result, their relationships, mental health and general wellbeing are suffering.
Insurers must therefore help millennials think of insurance in a new way so that the products meet their needs but also their values. Whether or not there is a crisis.
Focusing on the community aspect of insurance and how premiums support others within their network will get their attention.
Coverage needs to be flexible and cover the things they consider important and create value by aligning with their values.
This requires turning millennial customers into users and this might be achieved through apps that support their lifestyle.
Innovation isn’t enough
Two concepts the authors hit upon was a healthcare app that focused on alternative approaches not normally covered by insurance, such as mental health, nutrition and naturopathic medicine.
The other is an app helping them gain access to emergency funds for those expenses that haven’t – or can’t – be planned for.
Technological innovation alone will not convert millennials into customers. Their view on life is different from their parents’ and they won’t be won over by common sense or competitive prices.
Insurers must therefore meet the basic needs of millennial if they are to win them over. This includes thinking about products beyond insurance, securing customer loyalty through aligning their corporate values with those of millennials and focusing on personalisation.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsThe war involved with convincing millennials to buy insurance isn’t going to be won simply delivering digital products.
This research shows what we have probably known all along. That this generation, much like the one that followed the Second World War, has different expectations from its parents’ generation.
It won’t be satisfied by more of the same and the alignment of cultural values may be the only way to win them over.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how the industry makes a success of combining culture and outlook into their business models.
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