Our Director of Development Engineering, Eric Saul, recently had the opportunity to speak at the 2019 Association of Home Office Underwriters Conference (AHOU) in New Orleans. As a technology professional for more than 20 years, he has seen how consumer behaviors drive innovation and improvements in technology. Now, with more millennials than baby boomers as primary consumers, Eric delved into some of the behaviors of this large generation and how their expectations and experiences can be leveraged to take the life insurance purchasing process to the next level.
Specifically, Eric explored four key traits of millennials and how they may affect their engagement and commitment to the life insurance journey:
- Millennial misconceptions about life insurance
- Millennials like to be informed
- Millennials are connected
- Millennials expect instant gratification
Minimizing the misconceptions
Millennials are the largest generation in history, yet half of these individuals do not own life insurance. The 2018 LIMRA and Life Happens Barometer study reported that 51% of millennials do not have life insurance. Furthermore, millennials are overestimating the cost of life insurance, sometimes by nearly five times the actual cost.
Misconceptions may also be why individuals drop out in the life insurance process once they have started. An ExamOne client recently shared their internal study of drop-off activity as applicants moved through the process and discovered the majority dropped off at the paramedical exam. By making the process easier with scheduling enhancements and convenient exam options and locations, drop offs may be alleviated. Our data shows an 89% completion rate for millennials who complete their paramedical exam at an in-center location.
Millennials like to be informed
Many millennials are 57% of the way through the buying process before they actually involve the seller. When it comes to the life insurance process, many still do their research before engaging with a life insurance agent or advisor. Because of their desire to be informed, millennials may better understand how preferred statuses are determined and may be more inclined to not disclose some of their medical conditions and/or smoking status.
In a 20-year comparison study conducted on ExamOne life insurance applicants, tobacco use by millennials declined by 9%. On the flip side, tobacco non-disclosure has gone up 6% and continues to be slightly higher than the 35+ age group.
Diabetes raises another concern for this generation. For ages 18-38, non-disclosure fluctuates between 60% and 85%. Members of this generation may not have been tested and/or diagnosed with diabetes – ultimately causing a high non-disclosure. They may simply be unaware they have this condition.
Millennials are connected
In a not-so-surprising statistic, 5 billion people around the world have the ability to text. Looking at just the millennial generation, this group is considered texters, not talkers. Text messaging is their #1 preferred business communication channel. Additionally, 75% of millennials think text is a helpful way to receive appointment reminders, as well as surveys and promotions.
In 2019, ExamOne will launch our texting initiative. This service will provide a scheduling outreach program that includes exam reminders and confirmations, designed to help increase completion rates. Another added convenience will be providing an online option for applicants to complete their personal history interview. The online interview platform will leverage existing medical history scripts and will allow the applicant to complete their interview at a time that is convenient for their busy, on-the-go lifestyle.
Millennials expect instant gratification
Consumer behaviors have changed the way businesses work today. From Amazon Prime to grocery store delivery and saying, “Alexa®, order me paper towels,” instant gratification has become a quintessential part of how businesses structure their platforms.
By working together, we can provide millennial consumers the modern technology they desire to help keep them engaged, informed, connected and ultimately protected with life insurance.