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5 Ways to Help Millennials Decide for Supplemental Insurance

It’s becoming more and more important for insurance agents to understand how to connect with—and sell to—Millennial consumers. By most accounts, Millennials are emerging as the most powerful and influential consumer group, and they have the numbers to back them up: 

  • Millennials (born between 1982 and 2000) number 83.1 million, outnumbering baby boomers (at 75.4 million) to represent more than one quarter of the nation’s population.1
  • Millennials make up the largest share of the American workforce, having surpassed Gen Xers in 2015.2
  • Millennials are the most educated generation—23% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.3

So what can supplemental insurance agents do to make the most of their growing opportunities with this consumer market? While many agents are part of the Millennial generation—with a built-in, personal understanding of what makes customers in this age range “tick”—it’s helpful to consider these tips before your next Millennial sales call:

1. Sell to their present (and future) life stage

While assessing a customer’s needs (before the real sales conversation starts!) keep in mind that people ages 18-36 span different life stages. The youngest people you talk to may be just starting out in their adult lives, while the “older” Millennial customers are entrenched in family life. Clearly, they have very different insurance coverage needs.

A study by industry marketer Greyhealth Group reveals two insights that could greatly impact a customer’s need for supplemental insurance4:

  • Nearly 30% of Millennials are parents, shaping the healthcare habits and outlooks of their children
  • More than half (52%) control healthcare decisions on behalf of others, whether that be a spouse, parent, sibling or friend

As your Millennial customers’ lives evolve and their family dynamics change, they may be more (or less) interested in supplemental coverage for accidents, critical illness, income replacement and more. Be sure you’re asking the right questions at every stage and anticipate their needs changing as they get married, have children and take on the responsibilities of elder care.

2. Stress the benefits of supplemental coverage

Millennials are particularly price-sensitive and cost-conscious. Consider these stats from a Money Under 30 survey5:

  • 47% of respondents reported having student loan debt
  • 51% have a mortgage
  • 63% report saving between 1 and 15% of their income, with 14% not saving anything at all
  • 75% of 20-somethings earn less than $50,000

Millennials spent their formative years in the slow economy and weak job market of the post-9/11 world. This means they’ve faced unique financial challenges that continue to influence their spending habits, including those for insurance products. There’s a lot competing for their already-stretched budgets. They’re likely to appreciate lower premiums as well as the protection  supplemental insurance benefits can provide. Make sure you’re communicating this value—and demonstrating the power  a benefit payment could have if the unthinkable were to happen.

Don’t miss Medical Emergencies and Major Illnesses Hit Your Employees’ Pocketbooks—Hard.

3. Understand how they make decisions

Most Millennials won’t respond well to a hard sell. They tend to prefer a more collaborative approach to making highly informed decisions. They want to be part of the process of identifying their needs and finding the right solutions. In other words, they don’t necessarily take an expert’s advice and simply “run with it” without doing their own research first.

Take a look at what the Greyhealth Group study found out about Millennials’ (vs. non-Millennials’) levels of satisfaction with various sources of healthcare information:

  • Online resources such as WebMD and Mayo Clinic: 39% vs. 29%
  • Blogs and message boards: 30% vs. 13%
  • Friends, family, and public health figures like Dr. Oz: 29% vs. 16%4

The takeaways? Compared with their older counterparts, Millennials are more comfortable and apt to engage with resources outside of their professional advisers. As their insurance agent, you can educate your Millennial customers on their options, providing guidance and ideas that empower them to draw their own conclusions. Earn their trust, and you can begin a meaningful professional relationship.

4. Supplement their employee benefits package.

In the workplace setting, offering supplemental benefits is a great way to “sell” an employee benefits package—to all employees, especially Millennials. They help round out the offerings—as a supplement to major medical insurance, of course—and contribute to an increasingly competitive employer benefits proposition. Millennials are relatively early in their careers and have a long future ahead of them, potentially with different companies. But employers want to attract and retain the “best of the best.” They can keep their workforce of tomorrow satisfied by offering benefits that help them protect their savings and provide financial peace of mind. 

Learn more in A Competitive Benefits Package Includes Voluntary Supplemental Benefit Plans.

5. Provide multi-channel support.

Millennials are digital natives—the world’s first digital-first generation. They’ve grown up with mobile technology and have come to expect multi-channel access to the information they need, not to mention quick responses and personalized experiences. They’re inherently more open to using different types of content and media platforms, from videos to email to text messaging to Facebook.

Technology simply enables a high level of service, so take advantage of it! You have the opportunity to communicate with your Millennial customers in a variety of ways—according to their personal preferences, of course—so give them access to digital resources like online education and application materials. Chances are, it’ll make your job easier along the way.

Tap into more advice from two of Combined’s top agents in Baby Boomers and Millennial Sales Agents at Combined Insurance-More Alike than Different.

And don’t miss PSA for Millennials Still Searching - Consider Combined Insurance!


1 Bureau, U. C. (2015, June 25). Millennials Outnumber Baby Boomers and Are Far More Diverse. Retrieved January 22, 2018, from opens in a new window
2 Fry, R. (2015, May 11). Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest generation in U.S. labor force. Retrieved January 22, 2018, from opens in a new window
3 “Millennials, Breaking the Myth”, Nielsen 2/2014 file opens in a new window.
4 The New World of Healthcare:What Millennials Want” Lynn O’Connor Vos, greyhealth group file opens in a new window.
5 Weliver, David. “The 2015 Millennial Money Survey: How Much Do 20-Somethings Earn And Save?” Money Under 30, Money Under 30, 29 Sept. 2016, opens in a new window