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2016 Millennial Insights Survey Debunks Myth That Insurance is Boring

Posted on September 15, 2016 by Jessica Gaylord in Digital Insurer

vertafore millennial insights survey results technology insurance

Millennials officially outnumber baby boomers as America’s largest generation. That means they have the most purchasing power, the most at risk, and the most influence on the future of the insurance industry - take a second to let that sink in.

You need to know more about the ways millennials are impacting the workplace. Even if you’re a millennial! Which means you should spend the next 5-10 minutes familiarizing yourself with the results of Vertafore’s 3rd annual (and largest!) millennial insights survey.

Whether you are part of the millennial generation in insurance or just want to know how to tap into a hireable market, the results from over 3,800 respondents will provide you with insights into the millennial mindset on topics such as: social media (personally and professionally), the role technology plays in attracting and retaining this group to your company, what aspects of the insurance industry they love, and what will keep them in the industry.

If you’re more of a visual learner, feel free to skip to the end of the post to view the infographic displaying the most interesting results.

What is the definition of a millennial?

It’s tough to get consensus on how millennials are exactly defined. The U.S Census and top researchers can’t even agree but they are all within a few years of each other. For purposes of our survey, we defined the age group as being born between 1980 and 1997.

2016 Millennial Insights Survey Results

Vertafore Millennial Insights Survey 2016 from Daniel Taibleson

Millennial social media insights – Personal usage

You can’t do a millennial survey without asking about social media. 

Currently, there are 1.6 billion active Facebook users, 500 million on Instagram, 320 million Twitter, and 100 million on LinkedIn.

Facebook still attracts the most millennials – who make up 66% of their total user base and spend nearly 33 minutes every day on the social network.

And the use of social media is on the rise with the millennial generation.

Our survey found that Facebook is still the most used social network among millennials when it comes to personal use. Linkedin is up nearly 10%… and Snapchat use exploded. It was the fastest growing social media channel over the past year and wasn’t even in our survey last year.

Millennial social media insights – Professional usage

More than 30% of our millennial respondents use Facebook or LinkedIn at least once a day for professional use. They also use instant messaging systems, such as Google Chat or Slack, twice as much as baby boomers. 50% of them said they most use social to promote brand awareness, and professional development comes in a close second.

Marc McNulty from The Uhl Agency in Dayton, OH weighed in on the popularity of LinkedIn amongst millennials on Vertafore’s millennial webcast saying, “Most baby boomers use LinkedIn as simply an online resume tool when it can indeed be much more than that. Boomers should use LinkedIn to attract new employees by posting job opportunities on it. In addition, agency owners can publish articles on LinkedIn that help demonstrate any particular areas of expertise that the agency may have, which could come in handy from a recruiting standpoint.”

The importance of technology to millennials at work

We know that technology is important to millennials, who are also called “digital natives,” as they’re the first generation to have tech-savvy parents and access to the internet during their formative years.

I know my smartphone is the first thing I check when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I look at before going to bed.

But, there are many other ways we use technology to make our lives and jobs easier.

We wanted to learn what other technology was integral to the work of young insurance professionals.

vertafore millennial insights survey results technology insurance agency

While smart phones are popular, the desktop computer actually outranked it as the most used piece of technology for both millennials and baby boomers.

Ashley Rosborough from J.T. Rosbororough, also a webcast participant, reminded us that “the desktop is still our home base” and “big screen are best” for doing her kind of work that requires multiple screens and inputting lots of data. Did I mention she’s part agency owner and a 3rd generation employee at her family business? So she knows what she's talking about.

Millennials also utilize smartwatches twice as much as older generations, which I don’t think is surprising for digital natives who love to be constantly connected. But they also use laptops, smartphones, and CRM systems more than others generations. In fact, the use of these technologies were all up from last year's survey.

Adam Stolly, a 5th generation Producer at the Stolly Insurance Group headquartered in Lima, Ohio, informed webcast attendees that as a producer on the road a lot, “this just makes sense” – and it’s important to equip your producers with the tools they need to get the job done on the go like mobile apps and smartphone.

Lauren Crosby, the Chapter Coordinator at NetVU, also pointed out that millennials are generally more comfortable sharing data in response to this survey result: millennials are twice as willing to share their data to receive benefits, such as sharing their FitBit data for a healthcare discount.

Here were two other interesting stats:

vertafore insurance agency producer millennial results

85% millennials ranked technology usage as very important or important to staying in the industry.

86% of millennials said technology increases their efficiency at work, up 4% from last year.

We asked Marc how technology increased his efficiency at work:

“For us at The Uhl Agency, the use of technology is embraced because it allows us to work smarter and provide a higher level of customer service. For example, when it comes to personal lines' new business and remarketing, the use of PL Rating drastically cuts down on the amount of time needed to obtain quotes. This allows us to get back with the client or prospect quicker and complete the sale. As far as commercial lines is concerned, our use of the Client Portal is a win-win: our account managers are spending less time creating auto ID cards and certificates of insurance while our clients like the ease of doing business with us because they can generate those items any time they need them. In addition, Client Portal allows us to securely upload policies and endorsements to our clients, which eliminates the need to mail or email those types of documents.”

Millennials and their outlook on the insurance industry

The millennials who are working in insurance have a bright and optimistic outlook. When asked what the best part about working in the industry was, they said they love being able to help people and the ability to build a long-term and profitable career for themselves. 

85% of millennials in our survey say they’re optimistic or very optimistic the industry will evolve to attract the next generation. That’s up 3% from last year. We also asked a new question this year, and found that 70% of millennials said they would recommend a career in insurance to their friends. We think this really shows that millennials who are in the industry find it to be fulfilling and exciting, which really helps debunk this myth that insurance is “boring.”

veratfore millennial survey results insurance industry agency producer

That also fits with how we saw millennials being recruited into the industry: the majority join the industry through personal relationships, either through a family business or employee referral.

81% of millennials plan on staying in the industry as long as possible, up about 5% from 2015. Which is great because almost all of them not only feel optimistic but also want stay in the industry as long as possible.

When asked to rate what is most important to them for staying in the industry, 81% said financial stability was very important, a healthy work/life balance in a very close second at 78% and career growth third at 74%.

This surprised Marc who said, “I’m honestly surprised that career growth isn’t ranked as high as compensation and work/life balance. Let’s face it - millennials have the reputation of jumping from job to job, so I would have thought that career growth and the availability of new opportunities would be a tad more important to the survey respondents.”

vertafore millennial insights results technology career growth insurance agency

What does this mean for the insurance industry?

Nearly a quarter of the insurance industry is expected to retire by 2018. Now is the time to attract the next generation workforce. If you’re thinking about hiring older producers from inside the industry, try reading these first:

Why Hiring Millennial Producers is Key to the Future of your Agency

Learn to Love Millennials – And How to Hire Them at Your Agency

What is Your NUPP? Net Unvalidated Producer Payroll Explained

I’d also suggest taking a look at our e-book on Managing Your Agency Workforce.

Finally, for those interested in watching the webcast where we really dive into more detail, simply click the button that says “Learn More” at the end of the infographic and you’ll be taken to an external site where you can watch it anytime you like (but we will ask for an email address!).

vertafore millennial insights webinar infographic survey results

jessica gaylord vertafore technology software agency

Jessica Gaylord, PR & Analyst Relations Manager
Jessica is the public relations manager at Vertafore, working to share the company's news and messages to the media and to the public. She has over nine years of experience in public relations and communications, starting her career in television before joining a local PR agency, She's a Pacific Northwest native and a millennial who uses her smartphone for everything. Connect with her on LinkedIn here:


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