Youth Month Special: Are the insurance behaviours of young people different to their parents?
7 Jul, 2022

It’s Youth Month and with our collective attention shifting to all things young-people, we look at Millennials and Gen Zers’ preferences and buying behaviours when it comes to insurance products – and how these differ from that of their parents.

Berniece Hieckmann, Head of Metropolitan GetUp, with a degree in law, finance and anthropology, has an extensive history in financial services, formerly occupying the roles of ‘Business Architect’ at FNB Life, CFO of New Markets at Momentum, and Executive at Metropolitan Retail, where her focus lay in product solutions aimed at the emerging market. She now heads up GetUp, Metropolitan’s fintech arm aimed at a younger and digitally-savvy consumer.

Berniece notes that when it comes to this age category, there are several distinct trends:

They’re not into phone calls – unless it’s an emergency

While a sweeping generalisation, it has earned its place in our societal consciousness as evidenced by the hundreds of memes that show millennials eschewing phone calls in favour of texts. They’re comfortable with navigating the online world and are happy to engage with providers via chatbots, direct messaging platforms or even email. However, providers should not shut down their call centres yet – when something goes wrong or there is an emergency, young people want to speak to a human being – and fast.

By this same token, they’re less likely to engage a middle man…

…such as a broker or a financial adviser. Millennials and Gen Zers shy away from the hard sell and as digital natives, they conduct their research online to find product information, process it at rapid speed, and discard that which they deem to be unnecessary or irrelevant. And if buying insurance products can happen online too – all the better.

They’re less concerned with dying, than they are with living

When it comes to financial product choice, these are generations less risk-driven – life insurance, for example, is not a product commonly purchased by this age group – particularly those in their 20s or early 30s. Seemingly conversely, funeral products are still in high demand.

They want ownership and simplicity

More so than any other generation, young people want agency, take ownership of their portfolios, and are refreshingly informed when it comes to their financial decisions. Subscription-based and on-demand insurance models – especially those that come part and parcel with tools that will help the user get into the driving seat of their finances – are rapidly growing in demand among this age group.



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