Closing the gap: Selling life insurance to Gen Xers and millennials

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As you start to strategize different selling approaches for open enrollment, take September’s Life Insurance Awareness Month as an opportunity to focus on the importance and value of life insurance with your clients’ Gen X and millennial employees.

Statistics from a recent LIMRA survey revealed that almost 45% of people under the age of 45 plan to buy life insurance in the next 12 months. With Gen X and millennial employees falling into this demographic, now’s the time to reach out to these generations and help them understand the need for coverage.

As you prepare for your enrollment meetings, consider highlighting these five points, which can often be barriers to purchase:

1) It’s important to prepare for the unexpected. We’ve all been through the invincible stage — that time in your 20s when you thought a serious accident couldn’t possibly happen to you or a loved one. For millennials (and even some Gen Xers) who are still living in this idyllic mindset, life insurance may be a tough sell. When discussing life insurance, remind employees that if they or their spouse were to pass away unexpectedly, life insurance can help supplement the loss of income. Help make the need for coverage more digestible by posing the question: How would common expenses, such as a mortgage, student loans, car payments and daycare get paid if a primary source of income is lost?

2) An employer’s base policy may not be enough. Many employees believe an employer’s base life insurance policy — usually a $25,000 to $50,000 benefit — will provide them with sufficient coverage. However, LIMRA research shows that 48% of households have an average life insurance need gap of $200,000. Typically, an employer’s base policy is not enough to cover such substantial expenses, which makes the need for additional life insurance even more crucial.

3) Life insurance is not as expensive as you think. A primary reason why many Americans have not purchased life insurance is because they claim it’s too expensive, according to LIMRA. However, of those who said cost was a main factor, 80% of them misjudged the price of life insurance, with millennials overestimating the price by 213% and Gen Xers over-calculating the cost by 119%. Help relate the monthly cost of life insurance to common expenses that Gen X and millennials buy often: a gallon of milk, a cup of coffee or weekday lunch.

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4) You can have fun and have life insurance, too. LIMRA recently found that 29% of millennials cited saving for vacation as a priority over purchasing some or more life insurance. And 23% of Gen Xers said paying for recreational activities such as going out to eat, to the movies or shopping took priority over purchasing some or additional life insurance. It’s important to explain that purchasing life insurance doesn’t mean all fun extracurricular activities must stop.

5) Life insurance is not just for married clients with families. Protecting one’s family will catch the attention of some Gen Xers and millennials, but it’s important to remember, life insurance doesn’t just help employees with a spouse or children. As many Gen Xers and millennials have student loan or private debt, should an unexpected life event occur, their families could be left with their financial burden. Life insurance can help ensure this lump sum wouldn’t fall on the shoulders of loved ones.

In the spirit of Life Insurance Awareness Month, there’s no time like the present to start leveraging these key selling points to speak with the Gen X and millennial generations. Make the case for life insurance apparent and help close the generational gap.

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