According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy and Homeownership (CPS/HVS) survey, the U.S. home ownership rate in 2017 was 64.2%. However, this rate varies drastically when looking at home ownership rates by ethnicity.
The chart below shows that almost one quarter of non-Hispanic white consumers are homeowners. This rate drops among multicultural segments, especially Hispanics and African Americans.
We recently unveiled our latest findings to explore multicultural consumers’ attitudes and preferences towards insurance, including life insurance, home insurance, and auto insurance.
When it comes to home insurance, we found that a home is an important goal when saving money among multicultural consumers, particularly Hispanics (H: 35%, Af: 29%, A28%).
Although multicultural consumers are purchasing home insurance at faster rates than non-Hispanic white consumers, fewer multicultural consumers, particularly Hispanics (27%) and African Americans (31%), have insured their homes.
Additionally, among those with insurance, multicultural consumers under index in feeling that they have all the coverage that they need. Not surprisingly, Hispanics and African Americans own the lowest valued home insurance policies.
So how can brands capitalize on this market opportunity?
This research examines multicultural consumers’ attitudes and preferences towards homeowners insurance throughout their purchase journey.
When asked why they purchase homeowners insurance, multicultural consumers mention that they do it because it’s required. In contrast, non-Hispanic white consumers mention the need to protect their assets. This shows an opportunity for marketers to reach and engage multicultural consumers by educating them on the importance of protecting their assets in case of emergency.
Across the board, consumers go to agents for information and advice on home insurance. However, Hispanics are the only group to turn to family, and Asians to friends, as a top source when deciding what home insurance to purchase. Make sure your multicultural clients are satisfied with your services to encourage positive word of mouth. Consider offering rewards to existing clients who recommend your services to family or friends.
Transparency, good customer service, and good value of the product/service are the top three factors all segments report as absolutely essential in their home insurance buying decision. Consider offering free price comparisons as one way of demonstrating that your company is transparent and potentially the best value for specific needs.
An online presence is also particularly important for Hispanics and African Americans when choosing a home insurance company. Make sure to invest in a good website that is easy to navigate and provides clear information about your product offerings.
Even if beginning their consumer journey online, home insurance is purchased primarily in-person, through an insurance company. Given the high importance placed on purchasing home insurance policies in-person, brands must ensure highly-trained agents are available to close the deal.
In-language advertising sets high expectations among Hispanics, less so for Chinese. If you are advertising in Spanish (check out our guide), provide in-language support for Hispanics. This is especially important for unacculturated consumers when they most want it (i.e. in-person and over the phone). This will help you avoid a “bait-and-switch” perception among these consumers.
The importance of in-person when purchasing a policy carries over into the post-purchase stage of the journey. Ahead of self-service channels (e.g. website, mobile app), consumers want customer service from their home insurance provider delivered verbally, person-to-person. Companies must prioritize having trained representatives at physical locations and available over the phone to deepen customer relationship.
What does this mean for marketers?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all multicultural strategy when it comes to home insurance. It’s crucial for marketers to understand multicultural consumers’ perceptions of home insurance and showcase them in their marketing executions. Additionally, remember that even in 2018, multicultural consumers want live interactions with their home insurance agent. This can happen either in-person or via phone, just make sure to invest in hiring and training top talent.
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