Let’s Create Some #FOMO
By John Novaria
You know FOMO — the fear of missing out. It’s right up there with LOL, SMH and other popular social hashtags. FOMO is unique, though, because it’s more than a reaction or emotion; it speaks to a deeper human craving. Think of the last time you saw a group of people having a good time or doing something meaningful and you weren’t a part of it. How did you feel? Did you feel a hitch in your breath or a quickening heartbeat? That’s FOMO — a sense of longing to be participating in something exciting.
The insurance industry will need to fill 400,000 positions by 2020. Not only is that a lot of jobs to fill, but the way they’re filled has to change. We can succeed with the under-34 generation by creating a feeling of FOMO. Let’s show them they’re missing out on something special and persuade them to take a closer look.
We’ll attract young talent by promoting the social good insurance does, rather than talking about underwriting and paying claims. So consider explaining insurance in these terms:
- Insurance helps people get back on their feet after a damaging Midwest storm.
- Insurance helps Guatemalan small business owners maintain their standard of living following an earthquake or hurricane.
- Insurance helps farmers in Kenya recover lost income when their crops are wiped out by drought.
The insurance community shouldn’t be ashamed of being a positive force in society, because if we fail to position it that way we risk losing the best young minds to shiny tech startups. But hey! We’ve got tech startups right here, springing up in the world of insurance.
We wouldn’t be having this discussion 20 years ago because back then insurance was low tech and insular. But the game has changed. Insurance is tech-enabled and poised to meet consumer preferences. New products and services are coming online that address the ethos of this generation. Think of Lemonade, where subscribers pay into a risk pool, and money that’s left over is given to charity. It’s insurance by millennials, for millennials, powered by technology. A recent headline caught my eye, “4 VCs were asked what the hottest area of fintech is right now — all they could talk about was insurance.” That’s proof right there. And who better than the digital natives to transform this industry?
The stars are aligned. The world is changing faster than ever and insurance is racing to keep up. The opportunity to do good for society has never been greater. The talent pool is passionate, creative and energetic. Let’s seize the moment and convince our millennial friends to take a fresh look at insurance. Show them what they’re missing