The study highlights the important role specialists play among different generations by examining consumer views on working with intermediaries across different industries.
Consumers of all ages are looking for more information, better service and a better understanding from intermediaries—and insurance agents are checking those boxes. In fact, more than three-quarters of consumers who have worked with an insurance agent would do so again, according to Agentero, a digital insurance network. And 65% of all consumers would use an agent in the future.
The study highlights the important role specialists play among different generations—Generation Zers, millennials, Generation Xers, and baby boomers—by examining consumer views on working with intermediaries across different industries including realtors, insurance agents and financial advisors.
Of those surveyed, 64% of consumers between the ages of 18 to 75 have worked with an insurance agent, but even more people, including Gen Z clients, plan to use an agents' services in the future.
Gen Z is the least likely (43%) to have worked with an insurance agent, while 84% of boomers have used an agent. However, importantly, once younger consumers work with an agent, they are likely to do so again. As many as 84% of millennials and 69% of Gen Zers are looking to work with an insurance agent—compared to 81% of boomers and 79% of Gen Xers.
When it comes to trust, Gen Z consumers are the group most suspicious of agents. Only 1 in 2 say they always or usually trust their insurance agent. In contrast, 74% of millennials say they always or usually trust their agent while 79% of boomers and 67% of Gen Xers trust their agents.
“Real estate, insurance and investments are all hands-on services, with a lot at stake," said Luis Pino, CEO of Agentero. “The advice of the intermediaries is really critical to consumers making the right decisions. But it's also something you need to experience to appreciate."
“It's clear that consumers—especially Millennials and Gen Zs—want a test drive when it comes to real estate, insurance and financial specialists," Pino continued. “The challenge for the intermediaries: how do you get more consumers to try your services?"
The answer: Insurance agents have to continue to work to gain the trust of consumers. One way to do that is to ensure consumers are confident that insurance agents understand their needs. Overall, most boomers (85%), Gen Xers (75%) and millennials (74%) say their agents understand their needs and can translate this into the right products and services, but only 57% of Gen Z respondents believe insurance agents usually or always understand their needs.
“Agents need to understand how to communicate with all customers and demonstrate value in every interaction," Pino said. “This is especially true when it comes to Gen Zs. The survey highlights that more than half of the next generation of consumers say they plan to use agents in the future. Think about how much that number can grow once agents expand their ability to build trust and increase understanding. There's so much value in delivering a great experience from end-to-end."
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.