millennial insurance story

My Millennial Insurance Story: How I was Saved from a Direct Writer

Here I am, the Millennial insurance consumer!

That 23-year old that you’re trying so hard to convince to buy insurance from you.

But how much do you actually know about me?

You know that I adore technology, can’t live without my phone, and I take selfies a couple of times a day and post them on social media.

You also know (or rather assume) that I am very hard to approach, base my buying decisions solely on price, and am far from being your most profitable customer.

But, there is much more to me you don’t know.

You may be surprised to find out I am not another insurance agent that will tell you stories about insurance agents.

I don’t come from a family with a strong insurance background. As a matter of fact, until a couple of months ago, I didn’t even know that someone like an independent agent exists.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never learned about you in school or heard about you on TV, or maybe because I haven’t had a need to look for somebody like you yet.

Until now…

How I entered the independent agent world.

I attended Campbell University in North Carolina for 4 years.

I was a captain of the tennis team, practicing three hours a day and traveling for tournaments almost every week.

I studied marketing and after my sophomore year decided to combine undergrad with grad school and completed my MBA degree.

I barely had time for a personal life.

Oh, I forgot to mention I was also working on campus at the security department around 10 hours a week.

You can imagine how fun my college days were! But, the truth is time management was everything.

I saved some money and bought my first car right before graduation.

The very next step was to get insurance which (to be completely honest) was just a necessity for me.

I remember it was the end of the week after my afternoon practice when I began my research.

I simply went on Google and typed “auto insurance.”

The first few results that popped up on the screen were the most popular insurance companies.

I clicked on the first page, which I believe was GEICO, and on the main page I could either type in my car information and request a quote or call a number given in the upper corner.

I decided to call and have somebody explain a little bit about car insurance to me. After a few seconds, a live person picked up the phone and once I gave him the details of my car, I received a quote.

Even though the process of getting a quote was very convenient and easy, I still wanted to do some research.

Fortunately, at the very beginning of the next week, I was interviewing for a position within Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina.

After the interview, I asked my future (now current) boss what makes independent agents different from direct writers. When he explained the difference, I (without hesitation) asked for an independent agent number that I could talk to about my policy.

I immediately called and was transferred to a voice mail. I hung up the phone and called another agent.

This time someone answered and gave me all the information I needed.

The agent was really nice, and I truly liked that personal aspect in our conversation. It made me feel more secure that I have that one person I can always reach out to if I have any questions. And she became my agent.

But not every story has a happy ending like that.

If I haven’t had an interview at IIANC, I would most likely have ended up placing my insurance with GEICO or another direct writer.

And it’s not because GEICO has the best rates or that I’ve seen their commercials a thousand times; it’s because they are very convenient for me to reach. The process was very smooth, and it didn’t take much time or effort.

Now, take a moment to answer a few questions:

  • How visible is your agency to your customers and future ones?
  • How convenient is the service you provide?
  • Do you have a modern website that is easy for someone like me to navigate?
  • Do you have a person in your office that will answer my call after hours? Remember, I work the same hours like you.
  • Do you have any mobile strategy?

Those are the little aspects that have an impact on my buying decision.

If I cannot reach you, I will call someone else.

If I go to your website and cannot find information easily, I will look for another agent.

And it’s not because I’m lazy or impatient.

It’s because I know there is somebody out there that cares enough about me as a customer to offer these services and will be able to help me at the moment I want that help, whether that’s 9 am on Tuesday or 2 pm on Saturday.

Even if you think that you don’t want to attract people like me who just want to buy car insurance or it is too much work for your agency to be available at any time, you may be surprised at how profitable I can be in five years, when I buy my first home, or open a business.

And don’t forget how many friends I have who need insurance, and you could be the one I refer them to for help.

If you want to be relevant, you HAVE TO be convenient for me today, not tomorrow!

The IIANC recently launched a new program that I am proud to work on, 24/7 Agency Solutions.

24-7 agency solutionsWe want to raise awareness of the need for agencies to provide a complete 24/7 customer experience.

Through this program, our members can access resources to help build the agency that will be relevant today and 10 years from now.

We’ve partnered with the best vendors in the industry that create websites for independent agencies, build mobile apps, and provide 24/7 call center service via licensed agents. Because 24/7 around the clock services are the future of your agency.

To learn more about what you should do to attract current and future customers like me, visit

Millennials are not a necessary evil, but the future of our industry.

The question is, what will you do to make that future bright and profitable for your agency?

Thank you,

Ewa Telenga

P.S. For more on selling to Millennials read: