The world has seen tremendous innovation in the new millennium. The need for easy information search and consumption led to the rise of Google, the need for quick social engagement hooked everyone to Instagram, and the need for engaging learning experiences brought us Masterclass. Most of these innovations worked because they were single-mindedly focused on the right customer experience. And also because they catered to customer segments like the Millennials and Gen-Z who have very different attitudes and aspirations, with a huge emphasis on experience.
The younger generation is truly changing the world with their overarching demand for ease of consumption, which in turn triggers the need for simplification, transparency and intensive personalisation.
But somehow, life insurance has been playing catch-up in this disruptive world. It has struggled to simplify the customer experience, struggling to even explain the value proposition clearly and in the right way. It has been accused of being complex, inflexible, opaque, and boring, and while I hate to admit it, I can’t say I disagree.
With the evolving needs and consumption patterns of this audience, the way we communicate with them needs a complete overhaul. We need to pivot our methods – shed as much complexity, jargon, information overload, and of course, our overtly pushy sales identity. If I were to speak in millennial lingo, I would say, “Life Insurance needs a makeover”.
Thankfully, financial awareness is more than a buzzword or a fleeting trend with them. They consciously want to understand personal finance and invest their time, money and effort in upskilling. Although, their ways of upskilling and information consumption are quite different. It is no more about just taking extra electives in college or reading books related to finance. From watching FinToks and Instagram Reels to listening to podcasts, from watching how-to videos to oversimplified memes, every form of trending finance-related content needs to be simple, quick and dare I say, entertaining.
While it feels a little unnatural to see an insurer making a funny reel to explain the very serious benefits of life insurance, it is the need of the hour. The key is to communicate with this audience in a relatable and engaging way. We, as insurers, need to wilfully accept this paradigm shift and redefine insurance education and awareness.
But, and let me emphasize this – the cost of simplicity cannot be sacrificing the integrity of the message. There’s a fine balance that needs to be maintained.
We have a tremendous opportunity here, to simplify insurance in a way that appeals to this audience base, engages with them, and is customized to their evolving needs. Not just that, I would go a step further and say that it is also our responsibility to educate them about life insurance as a crucial part of personal finance.
This makeover is long overdue.
Nithin Johnson, founding member of KlarifyLife, a consumer education and awareness initiative by HDFC Life