There are many changes over the last few decades that have greatly impacted big business, including the insurance industry. The most successful companies, however, aren’t just the ones that acknowledge the changes, but are the ones that use these trends to their advantage. As an insurance agent, one of the best things you can do is make sure you know about shifts that affect your industry. Here are a few recent homeownership trends all agents should know.
Change in Homeowner Demographics
With all the talk about the millennial generation, it’s no surprise that these young individuals are shaping modern industries in countless ways. This group, ranging in age from 18 to 34, now makes up a quarter of the population. More so than their elder counterparts, millennials often spend more time searching for the best price when shopping for nearly everything. Agents will need to keep this in mind when providing policy quotes to millennials, since the most competitive rates will likely win them over.
However, millennials aren’t the only ones growing in numbers. The population of immigrants in the U.S. is continuing to climb each year. Many of these families and individuals often have limited knowledge when it comes to insurance, such as why it’s necessary and what they need it for. While this may take time to accomplish, agents will benefit by opening up more to this new market with education and sales strategy.
High Unemployment, Low Homeownership
Another factor that is likely affecting homeownership rates is unemployment of millennials, many of whom cannot afford to buy their first house as early as their parents might have and are likely more cost-conscious with insurance. Within the last five years, only about half of all young adults are currently employed–a number so low it hasn’t existed since the U.S. started researching this data back in 1948. To top it off, thousands of them also have hefty college loans to pay.
Some experts suggest this is a temporary concern, since millennials may begin to buy more houses as the economy rises as they get older. What we should be worried about, they argue, is the number of middle-aged individuals owning homes. The number of people between the ages of 35 and 54 who own a home has fallen to levels not seen in more than 20 years. The number of Americans who are renting instead of buying has also increased dramatically, while the number of homeowners has continually decreased.
But how does this all affect insurance agencies? While homeowners insurance rates still may need to be competitive, a push for renters insurance across all ages might also be a smart idea.
Gender’s Role in Homeownership
Recent studies show that single women are more likely to buy a house than single men. Part of this may stem from the numbers of men who likely buy a house when they begin to settle down and get married. Yet there has also been a rise in women being the primary earners in their households now more than ever. This trend brings about a new market for both the real estate and insurance industries, who can tailor their marketing and sales strategies to focus more on female buyers.
Knowing Your Clients
Although this should always be a priority, it’s important for you to know about homeownership trends such as these that can help you fine tune your approach to selling insurance. Knowing your clients through education and research, rather than through broad assumptions, can exponentially improve your marketing tactics and sales pitches. These trends may change over time, but your knowledge of shifts in the industry should always stay up to date.
Learn More About ASI
ASI is one of the largest homeowners insurance carriers in the United States. Through a network of independent agents, the company offers home, condo, renters, dwelling, fire and flood insurance in over half the country, with plans to cover the rest by 2017. Find out more at americanstrategic.com.