Millennials in the Insurance Industry are Staying Put

As more baby boomers retire from the insurance world, it’s clear that the industry’s future is being left in good hands, according to Vertafore’s 2018 “Millennials in Insurance” survey.

The Denver-based provider of software for independent insurance agencies and brokers polled more than 1,200 insurance professionals, including nearly 400 millennials, and found that more than three quarters (76%) of millennials have been in the insurance industry for more than three years – an impressive statistic considering that the younger generation is known for job-hopping.

Moreover, 72% of millennials responding to the survey say they plan to work in insurance as long as possible. That could be due to the fact that millennials make more money in the insurance world than their peers do in other industries. Vertafore found that the majority of millennials in the insurance industry make between $30,000 and $60,000 a year, compared to the average millennial salary of around $35,500 across industries.

“Then thousand baby boomers will turn 65 today – and every day – for the next 11 years, prompting a two-fold challenge for agencies and carriers to both fill the workforce gap and compete in an increasingly tight recruitment market,” says Kristin Nease, vice president of human resources at Vertafore.

Enthusiastic Millennials

“This year’s survey suggests that millennials continue to be enthusiastic about the direction of the insurance industry, with the overwhelming majority – 87% – stating they would recommend a career in insurance to friends and family – an increase of 5% from 2017,” Nease says.

Most millennials report being recruited to the industry through employee referrals (36%) or through the family business (20%), according to the survey. They are more likely to work at an agency, and 84% of those polled by Vertafore say they work at an insurance agency. In addition, the survey found that one third of millennials (33%) work in customer services/account management positions, followed by 30% who are in production/sales.

By contrast, 36% of Gen Xers (aged 38 to 53) in the insurance industry work in customer services/account management, followed by 20% who are in production sales. As for baby boomers (ages 54 and older), 31% work in customer services/account management, followed by 28% who are owners/principals, with 21% in production sales.

Long List of Benefits of Working in Insurance

Millennials responding to Vertafore’s survey cite a long list of benefits of working in insurance, and at the very top: work-life balance. Sixty-five percent of millennials say a healthy work-life balance is the No. 1 benefit of working in the insurance industry due to the customary 9-5 daily work schedule with built-in flexibility.

After work-life balance, compensation and financial stability (64%) comes in second, followed by career growth opportunities/professional development (61%); ability to be creative (58%); and the ability to work directly with people in the community (53%).

A majority (59%) millennial respondents say that they rely on social media to strengthen customer support and retention. About 55% said they use social media to increase brand awareness; 49% use it to generate new business leads; and 19% use it to hire and recruit new employees.

They’re seeing a return on investment as 61% of millennials say technology made a positive impact on their company in the last 12 months, responding that it increased overall efficiency and enabled them to strengthen relationships with customers (54%).

Here’s a snapshot of how millennials in insurance are using social media every day. In examining social media daily usage across 2017 and 2018, adoption of Facebook, Instagram and Text/SMS have grown at the highest rate.

  • Facebook: 13% in 2017 vs 25% in 2018.
  • LinkedIn: 9% vs 10%.
  • Instagram: 5% vs 13%.
  • Text/SMS: 24% vs 40%.
  • Instant Messaging (Slack, Skype, Google Chat): 30% vs 30%.

Optimistic about Automation and Tech Advances

Close to half of the millennials surveyed (49%) say they’re optimistic that automation and other technological advances will actually help streamline efficient tasks and enable them to focus on the most important aspects of their jobs, which includes building better relationships with their clients.

As for InsurTech startups like Trov, Metromile and Lemonade, almost one quarter (23%) of millennials say they are not concerned because they believe increased competition will benefit the industry. The overwhelming majority of millennials are either unsure or unconcerned (83%) about how InsurTech startups will affect their company.

“Insurance is at the crossroads of innovation, with increasing competition from new industry entrants as the landscape becomes more driven and automated by technology,” Nease says. “At its core, insurance is about relationships, and technology should enable those relationships.”

“Millennials bring with them the ability to adapt and flourish in a technology-first environment, and the drive to establish themselves as intrepid young professionals,” she adds. “The future of the insurance industry is promising, particularly for those that can attract this tenacious generation.”

Article By: Emily Payne

Source: Property Casualty 360