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Selling Disability Insurance to Younger Generations

According to a 2022 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median age of the American workforce is under 43-years old, yet most disability insurance sales (and the sale of most elective insurances for that matter) are made to employed persons over the age of 45. From these numbers we can tell that most of the insurance-eligible workers of this country are less than receptive to purchasing disability insurance. Older prospects tend to have more experience, more means to pay premiums and are more cognizant to physical breakdown and illness. It makes sense that those who are familiar with the fragility of the human body and those who can readily afford the coverage are more willing to purchase DI.

But this situation is cause for alarm for the disability insurance industry, and is in need of reform. Most prospects actively seeking disability coverage are past their physical prime. We see clients purchasing DI decades after they should start shopping for it, when they are no longer preferred or even standard medical risks. As insurance professionals, we have the ability to sway this issue, and make income protection insurance more attractive to younger generations and to a broader demographic.

Pitch DI early in a prospect’s career and remember that disability insurance typically needs to be actively sold. The prospective idea of disability insurance doesn’t necessarily sell itself. Millennials and Gen Zers gravitate toward technology and digital and social media marketing, but online sales platforms are only beneficial to those who are familiar with the insurance concept itself, motivated to buy and are relatively accepting of personal accident/health coverage.

Now I am generalizing, but a big obstacle to selling to younger clients is that they commonly feel impervious to long-term incapacitation. They are not easily convinced to purchase disability plans because they have no real sense of self demise. Selling DI to younger clientele can be an uphill, but very necessary battle.

A successful attempt to sell disability insurance to younger generations requires two key ingredients. The first is a bit of education. Does the client truly recognize the financial hazards associated with an unforeseen disability? Does the client understand the value and benefits of a comprehensive DI plan? The second step is self-relation and identifying with the need. Can the client see himself/herself in the horrific state of partial or total disablement? Does the client relate to losing the ability to earn an income, unable to pay bills and support a family?

These are the types of questions that must be asked, answered and explained when trying to introduce disability insurance to new clients. The harrowing statistics usually speak volumes, but it also helps to use a “storyline” pitch. Create a dialogue to relate the story of someone (a client, a relative) that unexpectedly suffered a disability and faced financial upheaval. Steer the story to the needs of the prospect so he/she can personally relate on an emotional level. Once the prospect, no matter their age, identifies with the need for the insurance, he/she will be open to the sale.


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