In 2004, Vertis, a provider of targeted advertising, media and marketing services, announced the results of a survey they had completed. It concluded that today’s young people (Gen X: born 1970s and early 80s; and Gen Y, born 1980s to 2000s) would prefer not to use agents or intermediaries when purchasing various forms of insurance. (see summary of report in the Insurance Journal).
This confirms a warning we wrote a few years ago about agents in most industries – see Death of an Agent.
See a summary of key findings below.
Insurance interests of Generation X adults
â€“ 20 percent of this group would consider purchasing high face life insurance, five percent more than the average adult.
â€“ 10 percent more Generation X adults than average adults consider purchasing mortgage insurance.
â€“ Five percent more Generation X adults would consider purchasing identity theft insurance than average adults.
â€“ Juvenile whole life insurance is also a priority as 15 percent of Generation X adults, compared to nine percent of average adults would consider its purchase.
â€“ Of the Generation X adults that would consider purchasing insurance products direct, more than 50 percent expressed that they would consider purchasing life or dental insurance from the Internet, phone or direct mail instead of their agent.
â€“ In the next 12 months four percent more Generation X adults than the average adult plan to get a price quote for life insurance on the Internet.
Potential insurance purchases by Generation Y adults
â€“ 44 percent of Generation Y adults would consider purchasing long term insurance, 13 percent more than the average adult.
â€“ Hospital insurance, which provides for emergency cash when hospitalized for out-patient surgery, is considered by 46 percent of this group, 16 percent more than average adults.
â€“ 14 percent of these individuals are inclined to purchase insurance for their pets, seven percent more than the average adult.
â€“ Of the Generation Y adults that would consider purchasing insurance products direct, more than 50 percent expressed that they would consider purchasing health or dental from the Internet, phone or direct mail instead of their agent.
â€“ 32 percent of Generation Y adults and 28 percent of adults with annual household incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 indicated that they would also consider using financial products or services from an insurance company.
Impact of insurance direct mail
â€“ 26 percent of adults with household incomes of $50,000 to $75,000 reported that they read insurance direct mail in 2003, reflecting an 11 percent increase from adults surveyed in 2002.
â€“ 70 percent of adults surveyed indicated that they are more likely to open insurance direct mail if their name is on the front.
â€“ Timing, an interesting looking package, one that conveys a sense of importance, and special offers or discounts prompt more than 50 percent of adults to open insurance direct mail.
â€“ Weekly direct mail readership has increased six percent from 2002 to 2003 among adults with household incomes of $75,000 or higher.
Services important to insurance consumers
â€“ 35 percent of adults with household incomes of $75,000 or higher felt that a knowledgeable agent was the most important service provided by an insurance company.
â€“ 20 percent of adults felt that 24-hour accessibility is most important.
â€“ 19 percent of adults indicated that prompt claim payments were the most important service while 16 percent felt that courteous customer service was the highest priority.
â€“ Only three percent of adults felt that online accessibility was the most important service.