How to talk to millennial business owners about insurance

By  Vero Insurance

Millennials provide an interesting challenge for insurance brokers. Younger owners of medium-sized businesses are less likely to use brokers, with Vero research showing just 60 per cent of 18 to 39-year-olds doing so, compared to 81 per cent aged over 40. With SMEs also feeling increasingly confident to buy their own insurance online, yet only 38 per cent saying they understand policy wording, it’s a tricky scenario.  

This could be seen as a threat, but it also presents an opportunity – an untapped market that requires just a little fine tuning on a broker’s part to attract new business. That’s the way Nikki Heald, director of Corptraining, sees the current situation.

“Success with millennials is not about changing what you do, it’s instead about slightly tweaking or adapting how you communicate your message,” says Heald, an interpersonal skills, relationships, communication and branding consultant.

Heald, who has consulted to ANZIIF, NIBA and Austbrokers says that when dealing with millennials, just as is the case with other generations and groups, it’s vital to speak to their interests and do things the way in which they are most comfortable. 

Just a few years ago, Vero research revealed that the one of the most important factors for brokers offering their services to SMEs is a strong online presence. With the millennial audience, this is especially true and might mean stepping away from your usual communication and presentation conventions.

“They’re very fast-paced and they have high expectations around instantaneous results,” Heald explains. “Giving and receiving information is done very quickly. They don’t want a meeting and they don’t want a phone call, they want a text message or an email. They’re living in a very fast-paced world, or at least they perceive that they are.”

What exactly does this mean for brokers? It means that millennials cannot be approached, marketed to or provided with information in the same way you would an over 40-year-old business owner.

Millennials dislike anything that appears to be a hard-sell, Heald says. But they will likely be interested in being told what is in it for them.

“It’s about quickly getting to the point of how your services can impact on them,” she says. “What benefit are they likely to derive?”

“They desire a certain lifestyle, so explaining that if they don’t adequately cover their business risks then their lifestyle might be impacted links the idea of insurance back to them. If an event occurs and they’re not covered, they might not be able to go on that holiday or drive that prestige vehicle, etc.”

Remind them too that if they have to claim, you’ll do the heavy lifting and save them time and effort.

Most important is the fact that millennials will not want to come to your office for a meeting, and they won’t want you to come to them. The transaction must be quick, frictionless and as digital as possible. 

So if your business has an old-style, non-interactive website and relies on inviting clients in to a meeting room for discussions, it might be time to consider a digital transformation.


The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.