Date posted: October 10, 2017
Millennials who work at independent insurance agencies are so enthusiastic about their industry, that the vast majority – 82 percent — are encouraging their friends and family to also get into the line of work, according to Vertafore’s “Millennials in Insurance” survey.
“Millennials are saying that insurance is a great industry – not necessarily the story that many folks are telling, that insurance is stodgy and not an opportunity,” says Ben Deda, Vertafore’s vice president of marketing. “But those who have leaped into it are saying that it’s a great place to build a career.”
The Denver-based firm surveyed 3,500 professionals working at independent insurance agencies, including 1,556 millennials, defined by the survey as those between 19 and 35 years of age. Most of the responses came from customer service or account managers, producers or sales personnel, underwriters, and agency owners, but a few responses came from support staff, including those working in human resources, marketing and information technology.
A majority (67 percent) of millennials responding to the survey have been in the industry for three years or longer, and plan to stay in the industry for as long as possible. They cite many benefits to a career in insurance, with career growth opportunities (63 percent), rate of compensation (55 percent), and work-life balance (50 percent) topping the list.
“Millennials in the industry know there’s going to be a large exiting, as more people reach retirement age and step out – an opportunity that may not be happening in other industries,” Deda says. “An independent insurance agency is also a place they can make a healthy wage. Other industries may have jobs available, but not at the salary level that millennials can make at an agency.”
Moreover, agency professionals working with customers can set more flexible schedules, which adds to work-life balance, he says. The most popular roles for millennials responding to the survey are account management or customer services (39 percent), with producer or sales roles following (23 percent). Millennials are also 2.5 times more likely to be an underwriter or adjuster when compared to baby boomers.
When asked about how they view external threats to the insurance industry, only 13 percent of millennials are concerned that InsurTech startups such as Trov, Metromile, and Lemonade, will impact their business.
“A big reason why they say this is that a lot of InsuredTech has been focused on personal lines and that distribution chain,” Deda says. “But within commercial lines, including employee benefits, there’s so much going on, that there’s not anything really out there that’s going to completely disrupt the commercial distribution model.”
The survey also asked respondents about their agency’s use of social media and communications technologies to support and retain customer relationships. Video messaging was used by agents 75 percent more often in 2017 than in 2016, while Instagram (+50 percent), instant messaging/chatting (+41 percent), and texting (+14 percent) have also grown in usage since last year.
Overall, the majority of millennials (59 percent) are satisfied with their company’s use of technology and believe that technology is increasing efficiency by arming them with the tools they need to compete and succeed (78 percent).