LTC Bullet: Is it Time to Prospect Millennials?
Friday, August 17, 2018
LTC Comment: Maybe at 22 to 37 years old they’re too young to buy LTCI, but boy are they going to disrupt the insurance market. Details after the ***news.***
*** SCHRIFTMAN to receive Dementia Society of America’s Diplomat Award for raising awareness about dementia through his book and film “My Million Dollar Mom” at September 14 gala We congratulate longtime Center friend, member and supporter Ross Schriftman for his work and this well-deserved honor. ***
LTC BULLET: IS IT TIME TO PROSPECT MILLENNIALS?
LTC Comment: Have you noticed all the news stories about millennials recently? We’ve highlighted several for LTC Clippings subscribers:
7/10/2018, “With little saved, employers and aging employees share same fear: Can retirement happen?,” by Yasemin Sim Esmen, Employee Benefit Adviser
6/7/2018, “Millennials and retirement: How bad is it?,” by Alicia H. Munnell, Politico
1/5/2018, “Millennials flock to nursing at twice the rate of baby boomers, staving off shortage,” by Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star
Note especially these stories about millennials and long-term care financing/insurance:
2/14/2018, “How To Sell LTCi To Millennials For Their Parents,” by Susan Rupbe, InsuranceNewsNet
6/20/2018, “Despite not using long-term care, millennials have strong opinions on how it should be paid for,” by Marty Stempniak, McKnight's LTC News
6/27/2018, “Millennials May Care Deeply About Long-Term Care Benefits,” by Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor
Finally, stories about millennials caring for parents and grandparents abound:
8/15/18, “From Sunday Brunch To Caregiver Crunch: Millennials Confront Caring For Aging Baby Boomers,” by Joseph Coughlin, Forbes
5/21/18, “This is What the Challenging Life of a Millennial Caregiver Looks Like,” Abigail Abrams, Time
8/9/18, “It looks like it's not just crushing student loans holding millennials back anymore — it's also their aging parents,” by Hillary Hofflower, Business Insider
So, what’s going on?
Here’s a LTC Clipping we sent this week that points to the answer:
8/14/2018, “Dimensions, Demographics And The March Of Generations,” Advisor Magazine
Quote: “By 2019, Millennials will number 73 million, and will have taken over Baby Boomers as America’s largest living generation. Meanwhile, in 2016 Millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. Labor Force and will soon surpass Baby Boomers as comprising the majority of the U.S. electorate (Fry, 2018). In short, Millennials are about to take over the world. Yet, even as Millennials surpass Boomers in their sheer numbers (not to mention contributions to the economy), they continue to be treated by many industries and institutions as a niche market, whose values, beliefs and behaviors are at best inscrutable and at worst despicable. And like any other generation, they have been vulnerable to stereotyping and even derision. … Read the entire report: Insurance And Millennials- A Coming Of Age here.”
LTC Comment: Get to know the new boomers who’ll have to fund the entitlements for the old boomers . . . and themselves.
Read that article from Advisor Magazine and consider especially these observations from it about the likely impact of millennials on the insurance industry:
“Like its infrastructure, both technological and human, the composition of insurance products remains rigid and structured along hard lines that are ceasing to exist for Millennials: business vs. personal, digital vs. physical, online vs. offline etc. The way that products are sold and marketed often does not align with how Millennials shop and research and is instead driven by assumptions, like the idea that Millennials want to do everything online or that Millennials are lazy and won't do their research.
“Attitudes in insurance toward Millennials and toward change in general are slowly shifting, but still pervasive within the industry is the perception that it's not the industry that needs to change, but Millennials themselves. A study conducted by the website insurancequotes.com in 2015 revealed that Millennials are severely misinformed about insurance, finding that while the majority of Millennials rent, most do not have renters insurance, and are the group most likely to lack knowledge about renters insurance, with 29 percent believing renters insurance costs more than $1,000 a year (Johnson, 2015). The common industry response to such findings (and indeed the general tone of this particular study) has been to blame Millennials for their ignorance, relying on the old adages-that Millennials are naive, selfish, and irresponsible-rather than the industry's own failures.
“As an industry that will increasingly rely on Millennials to buy its products, it is on the industry to understand, empathize and find innovative ways connect with Millennials, not the other way around. If what the research shows is true, Millennials are not lazy, and they definitely aren't stupid. It's the insurance industry that has become opaque, complicated and disconnected from the people it exists to serve. The purpose of our research is neither to confirm nor negate common stereotypes of Millennials, but to provide a layer of complexity, nuance and humanity to how Millennials are perceived within the insurance industry. As a customer experience agency, all of our work is driven by real human insights-by what people tell us about how they feel, what they want and what they are worried about-and by what we can observe in their behavior. Millennials are people, too. And like any people, they can only be understood through a complex and interwoven set of values, priorities, and general characteristics that exist within particular economic, historical, and cultural circumstances.”
LTC Comment: Millennials have had a rough go compared to their Baby Boomer parents/grandparents. They’re handicapped by debt yet must carry the economic weight of funding entitlements for their elders and themselves. The long-term care insurance industry hasn’t exactly had an easy ride either. LTCI carriers, distributors and producers have had to adapt to hard realities such as underwriting errors, artificially low interest rates, and consumers asleep about LTC risk and cost.
Millennials and the LTCI industry have this in common: they’ve gotten a bum rap because of poor public policy. Maybe they can find ways to work together toward mutual benefit.