This post is part of a series sponsored by InsurBanc.
Born between 1980 and 1994, millennials are now ages 29 to 43, making them prime candidates for agency ownership. And their younger peers, Gen Z (born 1995–2010), aren’t far behind.
Millennials are comfortable with technology, seek to do meaningful work and have a passion for learning. Gen Z, a pragmatic group, may be the most entrepreneurial generation yet, with many already pursuing side gigs — often using social media to create their own personal brand and engage consumers.
But will millennials and Gen Z turn their considerable talent and creativity to building independent agencies?
To ensure there is a next generation willing to take the reins, agencies must first attract young people to insurance as a career. Then let them experience what makes agency life unique. Once they discover the opportunities for earning a significant income, establishing a book of business, helping clients and getting involved in their community, they’re usually hooked.
And once young agents understand the magic of renewals, they see that owning a stream of income is preferable to simply producing it. Creating equity in a business that can generate a consistent, dependable cash flow beats being subject to the whims of corporate bosses or the constraints of a regular job.
It’s no wonder the Insurance Journal’s Profile of Young Agents survey found that of those agents under 40 who currently don’t own an agency, 54% would like to own one someday. Nearly all young agents surveyed (86%) view insurance as their permanent career, and 81% would recommend their career choice to another young person.
It should come as no surprise that agencies have what young people want in a job: work-life balance, financial independence, collaboration and teamwork, recognition and feedback, and social responsibility.
This good news story needs to be widely told so that more young people are aware of what our industry has to offer. And now is the time to do it. The 2022 Big “I”/Future One Agency Universe Study shows that the number of independent agencies has increased since 2020 and business conditions continue to be favorable. In addition, technology has become a crucial part of operations and customer service — a perfect match for the digital skills of millennials and Gen Z.
What’s your agency doing to ensure a smooth transition from one generation to the next? Mentoring, management training and succession planning are a few basic steps you can take. Providing an opportunity for top producers to buy into your agency is another.
Embracing new ideas from younger agents is good advice, too. Fully 40% of the Agency Universe respondents anticipate a change in ownership in the next five years. Chances are the new owner will be a millennial or a Gen Z. Make sure you’re ready to usher in this new generation of owners.
Insurance Journal, “Profile of Young Agents,” April 19, 2021,
Big “I,” “Big ‘I’ and Future One Release 2022 Agency Universe Findings,” Oct. 13, 2022,
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