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Focus on Gen Z: Understanding the next generation of insurance buyers

Gen Z will one day move to the core of insurers’ customer base, but how much do we know about these consumers and their relationship with insurance? Verisk set out to expand that knowledge base, and the findings are consistent with a generation raised in a digital world and just stepping into adulthood.

2018 Iso Personal Auto Policy Targets Millennials And More

In approaching the Gen Z market, insurers may want to consider several factors.

In 2021 Verisk engaged Alchemer, a third-party vendor, to survey 370 Gen Z’ers (18-25 years old) and 677 Millennials (26-39 years old) on their insurance needs and current levels of coverage. Verisk supplemented the survey with further outside research to explore generational insurance needs, with a particular focus on Gen Z.

Broadly, some Gen Z fundamentals are as follows, based on the survey results:

  • Slightly more live in the suburbs (42.2%) than in cities (39.5%).
  • Nearly a third (35.1%) live with parents, but 30% live with family other than parents (spouse, children, etc.), and a quarter live alone (24.9%).
  • More Gen Z’ers have their own auto insurance policy (49.5%) than their own homeowners or renters policy (36.5%)—but 20.3% have no auto coverage, and 39.4% have no homeowners or renters insurance.
  • Of those with no property coverage, 23.3% said it was because they don’t own or rent a home, and 16.2% said they rent or own but choose to have no coverage.

A small generation gap

How different are Gen Z’ers and Millennials in the ways that matter to insurers? Not very, in many respects. Their living arrangements skew toward renting or owning in the suburbs, they tend to own or lease their vehicles, and they favor “standard” insurance coverage. Millennials are more likely to have their own auto and property insurance. The two generations show similar levels of interest in optional coverages.

Predictably, the younger Gen Z’ers are more likely to live with their parents or rent rather than own their residences. But a 2021 survey by Rocket Mortgage found 86% of Gen Z’ers want to be homeowners, and 45% plan to own a home in the next five years.1

For now, many of them participate in the gig economy. Ride-share and food delivery services might be the expected top gig occupations, but they rank third behind music and personal care. Of the Gen Z’ers engaged in gig work, 20% say it’s somewhat likely those sources of income will translate to full-time jobs.

Limited knowledge, broad interests

Gen Z’ers believe “standard coverage” is the best choice in insurance because they expect it to cover everything. Still, 15% are interested in customizing their insurance, but they don’t know how to go about it. Their top 5 interests in optional coverage are:

  1. Personal electronics (67%)
  2. Pet insurance (63%)
  3. Large electronics/jewelry (both 60%)
  4. Small business income (57%)
  5. Vacation/collectibles (both 54%)

Gen Z’ers prefer “face-to-face” interaction with insurance agents, but with a twist on this old-school model: Their “face-to-face” is more likely to involve virtual platforms such as Facetime or Zoom.

What should insurers know?

In approaching the Gen Z market, insurers may want to consider several factors:

  • While Gen Z’ers are more likely than not to have insurance, substantial percentages have it under someone else’s policy—30% for auto and 24.3% for property. These represent an untapped potential market.
  • Gen Z’ers understand and are more satisfied with auto coverage offerings than property coverage, which they consider too expensive. It could be an opportunity for insurance professionals to educate these customers on the product’s value and practicality.
  • Only about a third of Gen Z’ers said they understand umbrella insurance—another educational opportunity.
  • Home-monitoring technologies such as phone-based apps appeal to Gen Z’ers. They may be willing to let insurers use data from this technology to potentially lower premiums.
  • Comparing the 2021 results with a 2016 survey conducted by Verisk, we found that interest in optional insurance coverage offerings almost doubled. For Gen Z, that includes coverage not typically found in standard personal lines policies:
    • Bed bugs (40%)
    • Libel/slander (44%)
    • Vacation (54%)
    • Pool sharing—a new trend (28%)
    • Moving and storage (50%)

Meeting them where they are

Verisk has proactively responded to generational changes in insurance consumers’ expectations. For example, in 2018, Verisk’s ISO targeted Millennials with personal auto policy changes and new endorsements to address a range of coverage needs, including personal property that travels with the policyholder; replacement for lost or stolen key fobs; pet injuries sustained in auto accidents; and replacement of child restraint systems damaged in a crash.

Verisk already makes available several of the optional coverages Gen Z’ers expressed interest in via the survey. For example, Verisk’s Personal Auto Program offers coverage options for ride-share and food delivery drivers. And our ISO Homeowners Program recently added optional bed bug remediation coverage with the introduction of our Homeowners 14-Comprehensive Contents form. Finally, we offer optional endorsements to help insurers address exposures of home-sharing hosts (such as pool sharing), including liability, theft, vandalism, and damage to guests’ property, as part of our overall mission to meet our customers where they’re at.

Sandee Perfetto

Sandee Perfetto is senior director, personal lines coverage products at Verisk. Sandee can be reached at

Sara Remynse

Sara Remynse is senior specialist, personal lines coverage products at Verisk. Sara can be reached at

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  1. Rachel Burris, “86% Of Gen Zers Want To Buy A Home, But When Will They Be Ready?,” Rocket Mortgage, January 27, 2023,                                                        < >, accessed on July 13, 2023.

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