Next Generation Insurance Blog

Twenty-Somethings: Figuring Out the Insurance Needs of the Next Generation

By: nextgenins

NGI Group was organized about serving the next generation of insurance consumers while also applying the next generation of insurance marketing tools.

So this weekend’s article in the New York Times Magazine What Is It About 20-Somethings is particularly interesting.   The discussion for insurance marketing is profound.   How will this generation manage and view risk?   How will this generation evaluate ways to mitigate risk – be it changes in behavior or the purchase of insurance.   And – importantly – who will influence the decisions they make.  Will it be friends, family, media or a combination of all three?

The article reports, “the 20s are a black box, and there is a lot of churning in there.

  • One-third of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year.
  • Forty percent move back home with their parents at least once.
  • They go through an average of seven jobs in their 20s, more job changes than in any other stretch.
  • Two-thirds spend at least some time living with a romantic partner without being married.
  • And marriage occurs later than ever. The median age at first marriage in the early 1970s, when the baby boomers were young, was 21 for women and 23 for men; by 2009 it had climbed to 26 for women and 28 for men, five years in a little more than a generation.

We’re in the thick of what one sociologist calls “the changing timetable for adulthood.” Sociologists traditionally define the “transition to adulthood” as marked by five milestones: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child. In 1960, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had, by the time they reached 30, passed all five milestones. Among 30-year-olds in 2000, according to data from the United States Census Bureau, fewer than half of the women and one-third of the men had done so. A Canadian study reported that a typical 30-year-old in 2001 had completed the same number of milestones as a 25-year-old in the early ’70s.”

The New York Times says it better with thousands of words than this summary, but this paragraph also helps summarize the main point.

“Our uncertainty about this question is reflected in our scattershot approach to markers of adulthood. People can vote at 18, but in some states they don’t age out of foster care until 21. They can join the military at 18, but they can’t drink until 21. They can drive at 16, but they can’t rent a car until 25 without some hefty surcharges. If they are full-time students, the Internal Revenue Service considers them dependents until 24; those without health insurance will soon be able to stay on their parents’ plans even if they’re not in school until age 26, or up to 30 in some states. Parents have no access to their child’s college records if the child is over 18, but parents’ income is taken into account when the child applies for financial aid up to age 24. We seem unable to agree when someone is old enough to take on adult responsibilities. But we’re pretty sure it’s not simply a matter of age.”

So NGI’s conclusion is to participate in the market. Test and try everything. Adapt quickly with relevant product designs and branding approaches. Be convenient and offer flexible alternatives.

You can see this in NGI’s approach to GradGuard – where we have built a solution featuring both P&C and Health and Life products appropriate for the collegiate life-stage. GradGuard includes tuition insurance, student health insurance, college renters insurance, travel insurance, and more. You also see the approach in MassDrive where the business provides choice to consumers looking for auto insurance while also providing online quoting tools and convenient 24/7 access.

Stay tuned for more insights regarding opportunities to serve the next generation.

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