Notes from … the 2014 Fraternal Alliance Annual Meeting

This fall’s Fraternal Alliance Annual Meeting – the keystone event of the American Fraternal Alliance’s calendar – was dominated by talk of “growing younger.”

Most life insurance firms are actively seeking ways to court Millennials – those born in the early 1980s through the early 2000s. But reaching Millennials is especially critical for fraternals, whose member bases are being eroded by mortality and a rapidly aging traditional core demographic.

How can fraternals (and their life insurance products) become more relevant to a new generation? Inevitably, the answer involves technology – a theme raised often at the Austin, Texas, event. To wit:

  • Traditional methods of raising awareness are not necessarily effective at reaching Millennials. According to one AFA presentation, 65 percent of young people prefer to learn about nonprofits via websites, 55 percent via social media and 47 percent via email newsletters – compared with just 18 percent in print and 17 percent face-to-face.
  • Millennials tend to “overlook their philosophical principles in favor of more sophisticated technology when selecting a financial institution,” and represent a generation where “digital convenience and pragmatism prevails over loyalty or belief-based decisions.”

To us at Andesa Services, these facts open the door for fraternals to deploy disruptive technologies in order to more effectively grow their young membership ranks. These might include:

  • Modern, cloud-based policy administration systems, which carry the benefits of increased efficiency, improved speed-to-market and minimization of non-value-add staff time
  • Automated new business submission and application fulfillment solutions, which do away with the stacks of paper that turn off Millennials
  • Instant (or near-instant) illustrations, accessible via web portals or agents utilizing tablets or laptops
  • Self-service portals, allowing young people to perform routine policy/certificate maintenance and access data much like their credit cards, student loans and P&C insurance policies

There is, unfortunately, no magic wand fraternals can wave in order to instantly swell their membership base with young people. But by embracing technology, “growing younger” is certainly possible. By partnering with Andesa, fraternals can focus on growing membership while Andesa focuses on the technology to support their strategic initiatives.

 
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