The life insurance industry has experienced an ongoing surge in overall sales since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with interest from Millennials and Gen Z showing tremendous growth. In light of this development and COVID-19-driven changes to product distribution, firms are considering how best to sell to young prospects, growing and changing their digital offerings to maintain a cutting edge on competitors. Below, we’ll examine some ways life insurers are trying to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z.

Millennials want life insurance!

A March 2021 study from LIMRA, published in collaboration with Life Happens, revealed a boost in general awareness around life insurance and the value its protection can provide. Due in no small part to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are more worried about their health and life expectancy. According to the study, 31% of Americans overall would be more likely to buy life insurance over the succeeding 12-month period. One of the most interesting findings from the study was that the industry experienced its highest growth in the under-44 segment, with a staggering 45% of Millennials reporting they are more likely to buy life insurance because of COVID-19. While life insurance is a financial product that typically becomes more attractive to people as they age, Millennials are clearly thinking more about their financial legacies and how to support their families in the event of an untimely death.

Young people want things now…even when it’s life insurance

With more millennials entering the life insurance market, no clear strategy has emerged from the industry on how to best serve this market segment. However, one generally accepted notion about younger generations is that they want things quicker, or better yet—now. One can even broaden this analysis to consumers and the life insurance industry writ large; no one wishes to wait for something if they don’t need to—especially when it’s something that can be as painfully mundane and morbid as choosing a life insurance policy. Taking this into consideration, firms should prioritize making their sales processes as quick and efficient as possible by investing in new technology.

Accelerated underwriting is key, but life insurance firms can do more

In a June interview with Yahoo Finance Live, MassMutual CEO Roger Crandall mentioned how the firm was positively positioned going into 2020 with a comprehensive range of digital capabilities saying, “…the uptake on that [digital capabilities] accelerated dramatically during the pandemic in 2020.” Crandall’s comments reflect where the life insurance industry’s focus lies when it comes to technological innovation: mainly on accelerated underwriting. Although accelerated underwriting may stand out as the most significant advancement for the industry, firms should not lose sight of the wider range of technological innovations available to them. Life insurers have other ways to appeal to Millennials and Gen Zers besides accelerated underwriting, including:

  • Fully digital applications for life insurance. Direct to consumer insurtechs, such as Haven Life and Ladder, show how firms can offer 100% digital application processes, particularly in the term life market. Firms can capitalize on the success of accelerated underwriting and go one step further, fully digitizing the underwriting process to create a faster, smoother application from start to finish.
  • Best insurtech UX examples. Insurtechs can provide examples of digital capabilities for life insurers looking to meet the expectations of younger, more tech-savvy applicants. Our recent Insurtech Review report noted standout features from four disruptive life insurtech firms, including some surprising areas, like login and security options, where they’re besting traditional firms. Password-free login and email address as usernames are two simple, but appreciated, features that help insurtechs stand out from traditional life insurance firms.
  • Wellness programs. These programs can also create a symbiotic relationship between insurers and the insured. John Hancock’s Vitality program offers premium discounts and other attractive benefits through its Vitality program, which are determined in part by participants’ behavior and fitness levels tracked through the mobile app. State Farm and Principal offer similar programs. This is another area where life insurers can attract younger prospects interested in fitness. Wellness programs and apps are a clear win-win for insurers hoping to attract Millennials and Gen Z applicants.

Corporate Insight continues to closely monitor life insurance UX across leading insurers and insurtechs. Within our Life Insurance Monitor, we see firms introducing new digital tools and capabilities to attract younger generations. Look to our blog for further insights on the best life insurance UX.

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Jacob Littman
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