How Different Generations of Business Owners Feel About Insurance Agents

December 13, 2018

The insurer sees the trend driven, in part, by caution in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

“Millennial business owners came of age during the 2008 recession – a time of economic crisis marked by uncertainty in financial markets, significant job reductions across the country and a sudden downturn in the real estate market,” Amy Shore, president of Nationwide’s P&C Sales and Distribution, said in prepared remarks. “For that reason, it’s not hard to understand why this generation is more motivated than generations that came before them to proactively take steps that satisfy their need for stability.”

With that in mind, Shore said that “seeking professional advice intended to position a business for success over the long-term is exactly what business owners stand to gain by working with an agent.”

Nationwide found that 69 percent of millennial business owners work with an insurance agent, versus 66 percent for baby boomers and 59 percent of Gen Xers. All generations most often said that they work with an agent because they trust in the guidance and expertise that one can bring.

About 37 percent of millennials also use agents for guidance on retirement, versus 26 percent of boomers. Twenty-five percent of millennials rely on agents for expertise on banking, compared to 4 percent of boomers. The survey found that 21 percent of millennials rely on agents for succession planning, compared to 9 percent of boomers.

Further survey results:

  • 80 percent of business owners with between 100 to 299 employees are more likely to work with an insurance agent.
  • 57 percent of companies with fewer than 50 employees are least likely to partner with an agent.
  • For those who work with an insurance agent, 41 percent said they seek guidance and expertise, but only 25 percent talk to agents about practical issues such as level of coverage.
  • Nearly half of business owners said they have never filed a claim for their business, but 70 percent of millennials have.
  • 62 percent of boomers said they have never filed a claim.
  • Half of business owners said they review their insurance policy annually, due to a variety of reasons.
  • Business owners choose an insurance agent most often due to price, followed by coverage/offerings and then customer service. Trust and guidance are reasons cited for choosing an agent, but reputation is also an important factor.
  • The Nationwide findings, via Edelman Intelligence, involved a 20-minute online survey between April 9-27 3028, among 1,000 U.S. business owners.

Source: Nationwide

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