Firm urges millennials to get insurance plans

WITH less than 50 percent of the population having no insurance policy, a major life-insurance firm is quite confident the millennials market can be a very good driver for them.

“They are an interesting group. I think it is fair to say they are considerably more financially aware compared to me when I was their age,” FWD Life Insurance Corp. CEO Peter Karl Grimes said in a news briefing recently. “I think they understand responsibility and they recognize that they need to provide for their long-term financial security.”

In a report, the Insurance Commission (IC) said around 32 million Filipinos have insurance policies with approximately 28 million Filipinos owning microinsurance products.

Grimes said they see this data as an opportunity for FWD Life because of the country’s huge millennial population approximately comprising 60 percent of the approximately 100 million population. “The Philippines has a pretty tech savvy young population and educated in a very different environment compared to the previous generations,” Grimes said on December 11.

“If you want to get life-insurance penetration significantly up, you are going to start selling a lot of products to millennials because of the demographics of the country.”

Because Filipino have generally developed perceptions toward insurance, Grimes said FWD is determined to change the mind-set, particularly among millennials, by implementing ways to develop their awareness toward financial stability.

One way is to engage Filipino millennials in social media. The company has Facebook and Twitter accounts promoting the passions and interests of the millennials, according to him.

“We put a lot of efforts in the Internet and social media compared other insurance companies. Technology now is a fundamental part of life. Everybody now has a phone. Most of them are recording and checking data and issues.”

Grimes noted that FWD Life does considerable research on millennials because is a market no t being addressed by traditional insurance companies.

It is important to validate the findings of some studies and researches to get a better picture of the market, he said. Grimes, however, acknowledged that they have to work hard to connect with millennials because “they are an intelligent group, socially aware and have access to technology.”

“One of the biggest challenges that our industry faces is relevance. However, it is also one of the biggest opportunities,” Grimes said.

“As an industry, we must reach out to Filipinos, talk to them in a tone and manner that resonates, and deliver insurance products and services that genuinely meet their needs and are appropriate to them and their family’s lifestyles,” he added.

If FWD can implement it right, Grimes pointed out that the company can overcome the perception of lack of relevance and witness the takeoff of insurance penetration.

“If we don’t, then the protection gap in the Philippines will simply continue to balloon.”

Image credits: Rizal Raoul Reyes

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