I was recently asked to advise a group of property and casualty insurance marketers to help them understand how the dynamics of an aging population will affect the way they think about, create, package, price and sell a new generation of insurance products to the Most Valuable Generation – the 80 million-plus Baby Boomers…every one of whom will be at least 50 years of age by the end of 2013.
We live in the Age of Aging, and no other force will do more to impact cultures, communities and corporations. For the Insurance Industry, this means re-framing the way they think about personal risk and property loss in the context of age-related lifestyle shifts. Aging is a complex dynamic, as is risk. To understand each of them – and their inter-relationship – you need to understand the customers’ psychology, which more often than not is irrational.
BoomAgers understands this dynamic and believes that there is significant potential for those insurance companies that build new lines of business by “super-serving” Boomers. We’ve developed five “ways in” to help insurers understand and act on new risk management products for Boomers. Simply put, they are: Complacency, Specialization, Personalization, Simplicity and Home-centricity. Here’s a basic overview of each:
Complacency – Don’t market to risk, market to complacency toward risk.
Boomers have worked hard to get what they have and they don’t want to lose it, but their attitude toward risk is casual at best. This is the optimistic generation that believes disasters only strike others. To break through, insurers have to “get real.” That means having a real conversation with Boomers about the new risks they’re facing and what’s at stake if they don’t take steps to manage them.
Specialization – Identify and address their need to manage specialized risk.
Boomers have a very traditional, highly generalized view of insurance. However as their risks change and proliferate, the means for risk management are becoming ever more specialized. Insurers that can define the new risks – and re-define the old ones – will be able to create new, specialized offerings that both supplement and reinforce their traditional, general policy products.
Personalization – Give them more of what they want.
“Me-centric” Boomers will pay more for products and services that they believe are customized for them. They have deeply rooted personal values and needs, and they prefer products that are aligned with these. Customer-centric insurers will create new product suites that allow a high level of personalization.
Simplicity – Make it easy for them to buy what you’re selling.
Boomers perceive that as they grow older the word is becoming more complicated, and insurance is no exception. Insurers that serve up simple terminology and streamlined lists of policy elements will demonstrate that they both understand and respect Boomers as the valuable costumers they’ve always been.
Home-centricity – There’s no place like home.
Boomers are retiring from the work place to the “home place” at the rate of more than 10,000 per day. More people will spend more time and do more things at home than at any period in history. Moreover, their kids are coming back to the “nest” in unprecedented numbers. Insurers that address this consolidation of the family and the home with products that consolidate risks and costs will deliver the most relevant risk solutions for these Boomers.
In the business of managing risk, the biggest risk is ignoring the potential of the Most Valuable Generation. They are big, and when something big changes, there are usually big opportunities. Insurance needs to get better with age and it will. It’s simply too risky not to.