Game ON: Young Agents Take On COVID Crisis

By | April 20, 2020

The death toll from the coronavirus keeps rising. So too does the economic toll. The crisis has decimated huge sectors of the economy, leading to unprecedented unemployment and business closures. It has been a time of foreboding and tragedy for millions in this country and billions around the globe.

Relatively speaking, those who work in the property/casualty insurance industry are fortunate. This is one of the least negatively affected sectors. All in all, insurance professionals can’t complain.

That’s not to say they are not worried. Even those typically brimming with optimism — young agents — are feeling the effects, according to Insurance Journal’s 2020 Young Agents Survey. They are still optimistic but the light is a bit dimmer than usual.

Young agents see what has happened to the economy and are concerned about what it all means for their agencies, and for their own well-being and careers.

But it has dampened neither their enthusiasm for their career choice nor their recommending it to others.

The annual Insurance Journal survey polls the opinions and views of independent agents 40 years old and younger.

The effects of the current crisis are naturally most evident in their opinions on the economy.

A mere 8.0% of young agents surveyed reported their outlook on the U.S. economy in 2020 as “very optimistic,” while 19.3% viewed it as “optimistic.”

A year ago in 2019, 23.3% were “very optimistic” and 39.8%, were “optimistic.”

On a personal level, young agents, and agents in general, understand that the economic climate will likely lead to drops in their 2020 total income, as well. Less than half (48.3%) feel “very optimistic” that their 2020 income will be greater than 2019’s income. That compares to 58.9% who reported feeling “very optimistic” that their income would exceed that of the previous year’s.

“The overall climate is difficult to predict,” wrote a young agent in this year’s survey. “2020’s economic situation is grim depending on how long it takes us to rebound after the COVID-19.”

Another young agent noted: “In 2020, I am not sure anyone should expect more income than in 2019.”

Young agents realize their answers would have been different prior to COVID-19. “In this industry, always think positive,” a young agent noted. “Good things will happen.”

While young agents might be down over the economy and personal income, they remain high on their career choice.

Despite the challenging conditions, a vast majority of young agents responding the survey revealed their commitment to the insurance industry. Some 84.5% of survey respondents told Insurance Journal that insurance, and being an agent, is a permanent career choice and four-fifths (81.8%) of respondents say they would recommend insurance as a career to other young people entering the workforce.

“The future is bright for the independent agency side,” young agents claim. “The next decade will be key to modernizing and diversifying the system — we have a great opportunity to implement technological features to increase efficiency and identifying and developing young talent will be of utmost importance.”

About Andrea Wells

Andrea Wells is a veteran insurance editor and Editor-in-Chef of Insurance Journal Magazine. More from Andrea Wells

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Insurance Journal West April 20, 2020
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