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Consumer life insurance preferences vary by age

Life Insurance and Annuities
by Naomi Kloeppersmith
Consumer life insurance preferences vary by age
Consumer life insurance preferences vary by age

Over the last few years, a lot of commentary in the life insurance industry has been focused on the ways in which companies or agents can better connect with the youngest set of adults to buoy their bottom lines. And while millennials certainly represent a huge, mostly untapped market overall, other age groups also warrant thoughtful approaches to sales.

The reasons why people of any age may want to buy life insurance can vary greatly, and for companies trying to boost their client rolls these days, finding the best way to connect with not just millennials but all age groups can go a long way toward meeting those goals, according to a report from Life Health Pro. While those in Generation Y may have their own ideas about what they want out of life insurance, and those ideas may be different than what has typically been seen in the market over the years, it's important to keep in mind that older generations may have more traditional tastes.

Striking a balance
This means that companies and agents will have to be flexible in their approach to any age group, rather than trying to take on any sort of one-size-fits-all approach to highlighting the benefits of their policies, the report said. Certainly, what a 70-year-old wants from his or her life insurance is going to differ greatly from what a 30-year-old wants, and their reactions to different products and sales techniques will vary.

For this reason, a little research and discussion with existing clients might help to inform future plans in this regard, the report said. Getting a general consensus of what any given age group wants - pre-boomers, baby boomers, Gen-Xers, and millennials - will be key to future success.

Young adults likely won't have the same life insurance preferences as their parents or grandparents.

Sketching it out
Of course, many in the industry may already have a good idea of what each age group likes to see, the report said. For instance, the oldest generation of adults may feel as though any high-pressure sales tactics are distasteful, so it may be important to give them ample time to weigh their various options. Baby boomers may want their agents to be more direct in dealing with them; they've faced a lot in their adult lives and may prefer to deal with straight-shooting honesty about their situations.

Meanwhile, those in Generation X may be a little skeptical of life insurance in general, at least to start out, but once their doubts are satisfied, they tend to buy in heavily, the report said. Finally, millennials may want everything about their policies to be "just so," reflecting their view of their own uniqueness, and as a consequence communication and flexibility might be key.

While these rules obviously aren't going to be hard and fast for every would-be or even current client, they should provide a decent roadmap for how life insurers can continue to find success going forward as the economy improves and people once again feel they have more to protect.

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