Applied Systems and InVEST Release First-of-Its-Kind Report on Generation Z’s Expectations of the Insurance Industry
Report findings deliver insights on insurance purchasing behavior, customer service; cross-compares Generation Z with millennials
University Park, Ill. – Jan. 6, 2016 – Applied Systems and InVEST today released a first-of-its-kind report that provides insight into Generation Z’s (Gen Z) view of the insurance industry, from insurance firm service expectations to how this post-millennial generation views the insurance industry for future career prospecting.
Released at the Independent Insurance Agent & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) Board Meeting , the report, “The Future of Insurance: Bye-Bye Boomers, Hello Digital Natives,” includes analysis and encompasses responses from a sample of 1,744 Gen Z consumers 16-19 years of age. A portion of the Gen Z survey responses were also compared to millennial responses taken from an Applied Systems-sponsored survey of 1,000 individuals between the ages of 18-34.
"The Big ‘I’ and InVEST continue striving to keep our agents informed of the latest developments in the industry and on the forefront of trends that may impact their hiring and marketing decisions," says Cindy Hower, InVEST board chair and president of Kellerman Insurance, an independent agency in Holton, Kansas. "This survey really highlights the opportunities for independent agents to thrive with Gen Z as consumers and potential hires. We are excited to be part of this survey and efforts to better serve Gen Z and millennials."
The findings illustrate how both generations prefer to shop for insurance coverage and interact with insurance firms. Even though significant differences exist between Gen Z and millennials, when it comes to insurance purchasing and servicing preferences, these generations are quite similar.
When purchasing insurance, Gen Z and millennials both highly value an in-person meeting with an agent.
- 55 percent of Gen Z prefer to purchase auto insurance in-person compared to 37 percent of millennials who prefer in-person. Notably, 35 percent of millennials purchase auto insurance online compared to 29 percent for Gen Z.
For both Gen Z and millennials, family and/or friend referrals have the greatest influence on how they find an insurance provider. Both generations rely heavily on their social networks for referrals.
- 51 percent and 54 percent of Gen Z and millennials respectively found their current insurance provider based on referrals. Search engines and online reviews were the second and third most ranking sources of information on their current insurance provider.
Customer service expectations
As “social natives,” once they have insurance, Gen Z prefers to meet in person (which could simply mean face-to-face meetings via technology such as Skype, FaceTime, etc.) or talk on the phone with their agent. Most millennials are happy to communicate with their agent over the phone or online.
- 55 percent of Gen Z prefer in-person meetings compared to 34 percent of millennials who prefer this customer service channel.
- 37 percent of millennials prefer communicating with their insurance provider via their website; only 18 percent of Gen Z prefers this.
For both Gen Z and millennials, 24/7 access to information and customer service, particularly via a mobile app, is important in choosing an insurance provider. As a result of having grown up connected to an “always on, always available” information source via the Internet, members of both generations expect 24/7 customer service via multiple channels.
- 96.5 percent average of Gen Z and millennials noted 24/7 customer service as an important part of their decision when purchasing insurance.
- 88 percent of Gen Z noted access to information and service via a mobile app as important.
Insurance professionals of the future
Gen Z looks to its closest peers, the millennials, when defining their highest priority values when considering career opportunities. Similar to millennials, Gen Z identifies income potential and a job that aligns with their interests as being the most valued priorities, closely followed by flexible work environment and an innovative company.
- 94 percent of Gen Z respondents consider having flexibility to work remotely to be important in their choice of an employer; 93 percent also consider working for an innovative company to be important.
Gen Z, along with millennials, need to be convinced that insurance is an innovative and rewarding career option.
- More than 60 percent of Gen Z and millennials are not too familiar with the insurance industry as providing future career opportunities.
"This report further underscores the fact that millennials and Gen Z consumers are attracted to insurance firms that provide the customer-centric, 24/7 experiences they have become accustomed to in other industries," said Reid French, chief executive officer, Applied Systems. "Independent agencies need to invest in technology to provide multichannel customer service experiences and to establish an innovative workplace to attract the next waves of insurance consumers and professionals."
Download the complete report.
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About Applied Systems
Applied Systems is the leading global provider of cloud-based software that powers the business of insurance. Recognized as a pioneer in insurance automation and data exchange between brokerages, insurers and their clients, Applied is the world’s largest provider of agency and brokerage management systems, serving customers throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. By automating the insurance lifecycle, Applied enables millions of people around the world to safeguard and protect what matters most.
As a 501(c)(3) educational trust, InVEST benefits from the support of numerous insurance organizations, hundreds of agencies, brokers and volunteers. The program provides the insurance industry with motivated, talented and intelligent professionals through a support structure of state associations, board members, national staff, teachers and the many industry professionals who work in the field as classroom liaisons. Founded in 1970 and based in Alexandria, Virginia, InVEST promotes insurance education in order to attract individuals to pursue a career in the insurance industry. Each year, the program prepares thousands of students for insurance-related careers with a hands-on curriculum taught in high schools, adult education centers and colleges. The high school curriculum is a business-education program that utilizes a hands-on approach which simulates an insurance agency and company operations to prepare students for various business careers and create more knowledgeable insurance consumers. At the college level, InVEST is an information-intensive curriculum of risk management and financial services. These courses provide students with a working knowledge of the basics needed to pursue careers in the insurance industry. For more information, go to www.investprogram.org.
Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.