Canadian Underwriter

U.S. Millennial small business owners more prepared for natural disasters and cyberattacks than previous generations: study

August 18, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Millennial small business owners in the United States are more likely than Gen X or Baby Boomers to have plans for natural disasters, cyberattacks, retirement benefits and even business succession, a new study has found.

Me in my storeThe second annual Small Business Indicator, a national study conducted online by Harris Poll, surveyed 502 U.S. small business owners with fewer than 300 employees, was released on Thursday. The poll was from Colombus, Ohio-based Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, a company that provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance.

The study comprised 190 Millennials (defined by Nationwide as those between the ages of 18 and 35), 152 Gen Xers (ages 36-50) and 106 Baby Boomers (aged 51-65). Differences in the sums of combined categories/answers are due to rounding.

For the second year in a row, the Small Business Indicator focused on key topics impacting business operations: disaster recovery, retirement planning, cybersecurity and also business succession (new to the 2016 survey). The generational data had some of the most significant differences in percentages among small business owners:

  • Millennials are most likely to have a disaster recovery plan in place (51%), versus Gen X (30%) or Baby Boomers (29%);
  • Millennials are most likely to offer retirement benefits (59%); they are also most likely to offer their employees any of the following benefits (84%), versus Gen X (60%) or Baby Boomers (46%): medical insurance, paid time off, retirement benefits, workers’ compensation, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability and domestic partner benefits;
  • More Millennials have a written cyberattack response plan in place (42%), versus Gen X (17%) or Baby Boomers (12%); and
  • Millennials are most likely to currently have a business succession plan in place (61%), versus Gen X or Baby Boomers (both 32%).

“Our survey challenges some common perceptions of Millennials,” said Mark Berven, president of Nationwide Property & Casualty, a total small business insurer, in a press release. “By far, these individuals are the most prepared – and concerned – generation of business owners in recent history.”

Berven acknowledged that some of the survey data may seem surprising. “But if you think about the risks many Millennials have experienced and grown up with – everything from cyberattacks to an economic meltdown – it makes sense that they would be some of the most concerned individuals out there. They want to protect what matters most to them – their business.”

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