Advising Generations

The Unsuspecting Life Insurance Customer: Generation Z

Don’t look now, but change to the status-quo is being pulled in multiple directions

by Jennifer Torneden

Ms. Torneden is SVP Distribution, Marketing & Strategic Growth with Legal & General America. Visit https://www.lgamerica.com.

When you’re young, it is easy to feel like you don’t have to start planning for the future. But as GenZ graduates and steps into the real world, many don’t know that the best guidepost is the sooner the better when buying life insurance. This allows them to lock in a low rate early, when they’re at their healthiest and youngest. It is crucial for this generation to understand why they should be looking into life insurance and why advisors should be actively approaching this demographic. Locking in a life insurance policy at a younger age helps protect their future families, businesses and loved ones.

Numbers aside, GenZ is recognized as a generation who cares and is changing the stereotypical young adult dynamic. This demographic is brimming with social activists advocating for change, single moms and dads, stay-at-home dads, the list goes on. With all this activism, change to the status quo and being pulled in multiple directions, they like having access to things that are quick, easy and digitized. If it is on paper, long and drawn out, forget about it.

Young adults get a lot thrown at them when they graduate college. They think about paying off their student debt, getting a job, finding a life partner, as well as a myriad of other stressors in learning how to pay bills, save money and fund savings accounts. So, why should advisors approach this overwhelmed demographic and encourage them to apply for policies?

1.) Financial Literacy

When someone purchases a life insurance policy earlier in life, they’re able to lock in a cheaper premium that they’ll pay for 15, 20 or 30 years. It becomes part of an investment for one’s future and enables them to learn about financial literacy at a younger age. The same policy for a 46-year-old is nearly four times the premium of a 24-year-old when the age merely doubles. When a young adult enters the workforce and starts earning more money, they quickly realize that as income grows, the possibility of debt grows alongside it. 

Advisors can help the younger generation see that they need a policy that is set to last while they continue to grow through all of life’s changes. We see many advisors suggest a 30-year $500,000 policy to account for those adulthood debts and a term that sees the individual into their 50s when they can reassess at their new life stage.

In the United States, the divorce rate is almost 50%. This means shifting to two households with separate expenses and coverage needs for the future – exacerbating the need for life insurance...

2.) Gender Gap

In the United States, the divorce rate is almost 50%. This means shifting to two households with separate expenses and coverage needs for the future – exacerbating the need for life insurance. We have seen that historically, women are less likely to purchase life insurance than men, but women typically have lower premiums due to higher life expectancies.

 In fact, according to the Life Insurance and Market Research Association, only 47% of women have life insurance coverage compared to 58% of men. With gender pay disparity, high divorce rates and competitive life insurance policies, women, especially divorced women, should be encouraged to lock in a life insurance policy at a younger age to help close this gap in coverage.

3.) Evergreen Policies

Rates only increase with age. If you’re met with individuals who don’t feel like they need life insurance because they don’t have children or a spouse, remind them that if someone passes away without a life insurance policy, any debts are often transferred to their remaining family members. This includes business fees, animal bills and outstanding health care charges. The leading cause of death in this age group is accidents due to the riskier lifestyle younger folks tend to live. 

And just because someone isn’t married or doesn’t have children doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be thinking about protecting their assets. The need for life insurance is evergreen, the coverage and term amounts can be adjusted but that need will always be prevalent no matter the circumstances.

Life insurance can be scary to think about. As humans we don’t like acknowledging or accepting, our own mortality. It makes sense why a 20-something wouldn’t be thinking about a life insurance policy when they assume they are decades away from death, or in many cases, invincible. That makes it even more critical to help this demographic understand life insurance, not only for themselves but for their future families, businesses and loved ones.