Embrace the new millennials- insurance sector urged

Embrace the new millennials- insurance sector urged

 Noah Kupeta

HARARE, Experts say the insurance and pension industry should embrace the elusive millennial market to increase their clientele base.

Renowned Harare economist from the University of Zimbabwe, Professor Albert Makochekanwa said insurance companies should revisit their clientele base focusing on young demographics.

“The income that most of us are getting is not enough to put food on the table, there is therefore need to cultivate these youngsters who are in the informal sector.

“It is a question of rethinking their marketing strategies, one that embraces these demographics.

“The old generation is already part of their market base, let them cultivate the new emerging market base.

“In other words, it is about market segmentation,’’ he said.

ZimSelector.Com Business Development Director Zelina Francis recently revealed that most insurance companies are failing to realize the urgency to adapt traditional models of their products and distribution channels.

Speaking at a media workshop organized by the Insurance and Pension Commission (IPEC) and National Social Security Authority (NSSA), Zelina said insurance companies often lack competition (difficult for new entrants) and are thus complacent to customers thereby failing to cultivate “new entrants”.

“They focus on the elite or high net worth individuals who can be easily reached through traditional channels.

“They seem to lack information about consumers particularly the uninsured and lack of expertise to design the profitable products and digital distribution channels for the under-insured,” she said.

It is high time the insurance and pension industry redirect their advertising and marketing strategies to cultivate young people if they are to expand their clientele base 

Most young people are reluctant to consume insurance products as a result of ignorance among a host of factors. There is need for insurance companies to cultivate this never often visited clientele base.

“Insurance is a technical subject, I don’t even understand it, but my father and mother have something going on for us that we can use when they die, chirped one 21 year old young man.

“I don’t own anything, I have no house, I am a lodger, I don’t have a car, so what should I insure, If I die, they will bury me at church because I was retrenched, and the insurance ended, said 35 year old Baba Simeon ,from Budiriro.

“I am a working class having graduated from a local University, but as to how and who to approach I do not even know.

“Sometimes I think insurance is for those old elite working people,” said a 28 year old lady who declined to be named on condition of anonymity.

A survey further conducted by this publication also revealed that most college and university students and graduates do not have any insurance policies.

“I think insurance companies should come up with products that are tailor made for college and university students. If there are there we don’t know anything.

“At this stage, much as I don’t have material tangible things, there must be some mechanisms to also rope us in this very important sector,” equipped another college student who declined to be named on ethical reasons.

Zimbabwe’s young age groups of 21 to 35 form the bulk of the potential market base for insurance companies which need to be exploited.

There is need for insurance companies to thus assess their current advertising and marketing strategies in the current diverse and dynamic competitive business world.