In my last blog post, Age isn’t just a number for insurers, we looked at the differences and similarities between different generations and their views about consumerism in the digital age.

Breaking down the generational differences is far from a science, but there are certainly solid trends and commonalities that we understand. Generation Z is the newest generation, after millennials. They were born from 1995-2015 (5-25 years old).

Members of Generation Z want to buy what they want, when they want and how they want. This group is totally online, mostly mobile. Immediacy is much more important than the price-point for Z. Car ownership is less important to them than to past generations, and many are renters. Life without a mobile phone is virtually impossible for them!

Also, Generation Z has a fluid view of gender and can be particular about the pronouns used to address them. Assuming that a person with a traditionally male name wants to be addressed as “Mr.” or “he” could be perceived as an insult and cost an insurer business.

Understanding and accepting these new behavioural traits, as well as understanding all of the demographic cohorts, is a critical ingredient to being successful in terms of customer retention, customer attraction and becoming an organization that each cohort trusts and feels valued by.

The Seven Stages of Life

Again, not everybody fits into the same mold, but many people display commonalities. The “seven stages of life” represents a life path that used to be quite typical, and which influenced consumers’ trajectories and habits:

Stage 1 – Single, in school and then post-college

Stage 2 – Young saver, married/coupled, looking for a permanent residence

Stage 3 – Growing families

Stage 4 – Helping/supporting older children with rent/cost of university

Stage 5/6 – Empty nesters, deposit for children’s home purchase, early retirees/ accelerating retirement savings

Stage 7 – Elderly care

It’s obvious that the different demographic cohorts probably view the above quite differently. While this was a relatively normal path for “Boomers” (please resist the “OK, Boomer!” jokes and memes), Generation Z is less interested in home and car ownership, given the ease with which they can access these experiences via companies such as Uber and Airbnb. It’s harder for them to launch their careers quickly and get to the “young saver” stage, etc.

Things that are important to one cohort can be trivial to another. Each cohort has differing behaviours, values and priorities. And each possesses differing degrees of technology acceptance.

Watch for the last part in my series “Generation Z’s impact on Insurers” coming soon!

Learn more about how Sapiens DigitalSuite can help you meet customer expectations no matter their stage in life.

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