Insurance Companies Have a Challenge and Its Name is Gen Z

Sawyer Business School students help Liberty Mutual better understand the Zoomer market
Funky photo illustration of smiling Gen Z woman with sunglasses and hat

Ah, Gen Z. Anyone born between roughly 1997 and 2012 belongs to this easy-to-love, hard-to-pin-down generational demographic.

There’s lots of information on what Gen Z thinks and likes, how they behave, and what their interests are. But it’s clear one thing not on the mind of most of the “Zoomers” is insurance.

That’s why Boston-based insurer Liberty Mutual asked students at Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School to help them better understand this untapped market.

“There’s this trend of direct-to-consumer insurance from companies trying to be more hip,” says Professor Andrew Smith. “So our students helped Liberty Mutual dig into the assumptions, behaviors, and attitudes that Gen Z has when it comes to insurance and financial services.”

Using the traditional marketing tools of research, interviews, surveys, and data analysis, 38 groups of students took a deeper dive into the Gen Z mindset, working to understand the group’s financial behavior and what might motivate them to purchase insurance products. From there, students presented recommendations to the client.

Some of their findings included:

  • Liberty Mutual is less popular among Gen Z than other insurance providers
  • Companies with a strong social responsibility influenced Gen Z’s purchase behavior by 3% more than other generations
  • 68.7% of Gen Z respondents think it’s important to manage their account using a mobile app (19% higher than other generations)

New Thinking for The Newest Adults

Finance major Anastasia Kornienko, Class of 2023, enjoyed presenting to Liberty Mutual.

“Our team really got into it,” she says. “Everyone wanted to contribute so much.” Kornienko’s team was eventually selected as the winner by the clients, who appreciated the insights all the students had given them and will actually be implementing some of the ideas.

“There are a lot of hypotheses and myths out there about Gen Z,” says Minnie Kim, director of global customer & agent research at Liberty Mutual. “So we wanted to have the data to support—or get rid of—some of those myths.”

One idea the students presented was to sponsor information sessions for high school or college students to meet with an agent and their parents at the same time.

“I loved that idea because we partner heavily with agents, who are always asking ‘What do we do about Gen Z?’” says Kim. “The data show that Gen Z go to their parents for advice. So having them meet together with an agent was an interesting idea.”

Both Smith and Kim hope that this is just the first of many collaborations between the Business School and Liberty Mutual.

“I loved the ability to interact so closely with the students,” Kim says. “The level of engagement was great.”


Greg Gatlin
Office of Public Affairs

Ben Hall
Office of Public Affairs