Have you been thinking much about Gen Z? You should be. Gen Z refers to people born between 1996 and 2010. The youngest are eight years old, getting ready to enter middle school. The oldest are 20, about to graduate from college. And while millennials are still the most powerful generation around, that's going to change before you know it. Gen Z is just getting started.
In fact, they've already overtaken millennials in numbers. Last year, the youngest demographic attained the mantle of largest generation. Many of Gen Z are still too young to work, of course, but even those who haven't hit the double digits hold significant buying power: teens and children spend $44 billion a year.
So buckle up. It's high time to get ready for Gen Z.
What are they like?
Gen Z are shaped by three historical events: 9/11, the Great Recession, and the rise of the smartphone. Each of these forces exerts significant influence on the shaping of a generation.
For starters, note that the people of Gen Z don't remember the prosperity and stability of the nineties. They were no older than five when the Twin Towers fell. They were all of twelve years old at the Great Recession. The anxiety of terror, war, and financial insecurity are part of the landscape for them.
Take a moment to compare them to those born between the 1920s and 1940s. "The parallels with the Silent Generation are obvious,” said generational researcher Neil Howe. “There has been a recession, jobs are hard to get, you can’t take risks.” Like their great-grandparents, Gen Z see themselves as “responsible, determined and motivated to succeed.”
For the differences between these groups, look to the smartphone.
Within the last four decades, digital technology has transformed almost every aspect of our society. And Gen Z doesn't remember a world without it. There's no pre-Internet world for this generation: they're the first true digital natives. A few results follow.
Perhaps surprisingly, Gen Z are less cost-conscious than one might expect. "Sixty-seven percent of millennials surveyed said that they would go to the website to get a coupon, whereas only 46 [percent] of Gen Z polled said they would do the same," reported Huff Post.
Also, unlike millennials, Gen Z value products over experiences. This is generally good news for F&I, because it means they're less averse to spending—if they feel it's worth it.
That's an important “if,” however, and it comes with a few caveats. With a background of political and economic instability, Gen Z are DIYers. They don't have faith in conventional solutions, and they plan to pursue alternatives. As a result, you can expect them to take an active role in product research and purchase, shop for better options from third-party disrupters, and demand transparency.
Really, though, all this boils down to one question. Can you help Gen Z hack their lives? If the answer is yes, you're onto a major market opportunity. Need inspiration? Take a look at these financial brands that are winning with younger users.
The FedNat Insured Web is a great tool for our insureds!
They like having a centralized location to view policy info, make payments, upload policy documents, and elect to become paperless to receive a discount.
The insureds also can file a First Notice of Loss for a claim and access exiting claim info. Silvervine recently enhanced the site which allows insureds to upload policy documents directly to their policy. The uploaded docs go directly into our workflows and save a lot of manual effort on our part.
From my visits with agents, the agents appreciate the app for the amount of time saved on having to download and attach photos directly to the policy.
The app can also reduce the amount of staff required for a busy office to fulfill underwriting requests for photos.
When training agents they are amazed at how quickly the photos attach directly to the policy. After taking photos using the app and before they make it back to their desk, the photo is already attached to the policy. They also like the ability to attach additional photos for pre-existing damage.
Customer Service is seeing an improvement with retention as the text message definitely triggers phone calls from insureds to make payments.
The insureds love the fact that we notify them on their phones because they state that sometimes they don’t receive their mail for various reasons.
The insureds are paying more attention to the texts then to their actual mail. We try to set all of our customers up on that option if we notice that they are not currently enrolled, as it builds great customer relations as well as retention.
As a company we have adopted the use of Policy Scan for all our policies, and our agents have adopted the use of the app as well.
Not only is it easy to use, there is also no more worrying about losing photos, having to store photos or photos being attached to the wrong policy.
With Policy Scan we have increased efficiency in our workflow and reduced our exposure on the risk.
Silvervine’s core administration solutions easily handles multiple carriers within multiple states, including accounting, payment processing, immediate policy issuance and endorsements.
What started out writing one product, one line in one state has now grown into mulitple products, multiple lines and writing in multiple states. We have over $95 million in annualized premium in-force and we expect to grow by 20% during the next year all serviced by Silvervine.
Silvervine was our insurance software system of choice when we started the company in 2006. Silvervine enabled us to begin business within a few months of licensing the company. Today, we are one of the top 20 homeowner’s writers in Texas and SIlvervine’s solutions have been an integral part of our success.