Interested in the Insurance Field? Here’s What the Jobs Look Like
The Insurance field holds plenty of allure for people who are interested in detailed work and who enjoy being part of a career that is literally “part of everything we do”.
Too, the insurance field is undeniably stable. Despite recent economic woes, those who either were safely ensconced in, or just starting their careers in, the insurance business had no worries about losing their jobs.
Interested in making insurance your career? As is the case with any field, you have to start somewhere and, if you’d like a bit more responsibility, work your way up from there!
What Sort of “Starter” Jobs Are There for Newbies?
A little further down, we’ll list a few jobs which are specifically entry-level. These jobs are refreshingly varied and offer much in the way of responsibility and prestige.
Insurance positions are always in style; thousands of jobs are continuously being added to the workforce, both in the U.S. and in Canada.
Since so many of the young professionals who make insurance their vocational choice opt to move into management, there are also all THOSE new openings to be filled.
Generally, for entry-level jobs, you won’t need a university diploma—although post-high school classes and training will expand your possibilities.
As long as you are savvy, professional, learn quickly and have good communication skills, you will find an opening for you in the insurance business.
Which work history lends itself to a job in insurance? Any clerical, customer service, sales, record-keeping or phone work (as in call centers) will be especially beneficial.
Have you worked as a government social worker or clerical assistant? Changes are you’d be able to apply that experience to entry or middle-level jobs in the mainstream insurance industry.
Here are a few insurance fields you can look into:
Property and Casualty – This sort of insurance covers items you own or have a potential liability in.
Life, Health and Financial – Have you heard of mortgage insurance? Renter’s insurance? Creditor’s insurance? Each separate arena advertises job openings under their own insurance umbrella.
You have, of course, heard of life insurance and health insurance. In a nutshell, these sorts of insurance are akin to “piggy banks” (but much, much larger) wherein customers contribute monies to ensure that funds are there for you and for your family and/or loved ones in the event of injury, illness or death. (Yes, there is burial or funeral insurance, too.)
Social (Disability) Insurance – This is the sort of insurance which governments provide for their citizens, to help protect against job loss (unemployment insurance) and extreme poverty (food stamps and public assistance). Disability insurance will help if the person no longer has the ability to work. Too, Welfare, Medicare and Medicaid (for those at retirement age, or who are deemed disabled) is a form of social insurance.
These jobs have openings which are akin to Social Work, or Counseling.
In all but the Social insurance category, workers are hired to perform the following jobs:
Agents – Personnel employed as Insurance Agents will primarily engage in the sale of new policies. Policies are the types of coverage which each customer purchases.
This job entails lots of meeting and greeting of your customers-to-be and of current customers. Most Agent positions require, at the very minimum, a high school diploma or equivalency.
Note: there are sometimes agent openings where the companies are gung-ho on hiring college-educated applicants.
Do you think that this automatically disqualifies you? Not necessarily.
If you’re interested in this position, but haven’t graduated college, focus on courses and credits which you did complete.
In the main, insurance companies are interested in contracting gracious, intelligent and well-spoken men and women…those who are up on world events, and highly motivated.
If you did not complete college, it’ll be up to you to convince the hiring manager of your suitability in these and in related fields, so bone up on current events!
FYI, Insurance Agents are sometimes referred to as Insurance Brokers.
Appraiser – This employee steeps himself or herself in the knowledge of the sort of property damage which may occur, in order to properly assess and investigate liability, and recommend to an Adjuster whether a claim falls under the rubric of the damages which the insurance company covers.
Adjuster – These positions entail the assessment of after-damage coverage. After examining an Appraiser’s report (which, in many cases, is quite detailed and includes photos), the Adjuster will determine if the claim is “good”, and also makes the call on how much money the insurance company which she or he works for is going to pay to cover the damage.
There’s not as much customer contact, but analytical and problem-solving skills are required.
Claims Representative – This position involves a great deal of customer contact. It differs from a Customer Service Representative in that the main thrust of a Claims Representative’s job is to see to it that a customer gets the money they are entitled to after damage has occurred. They are able to settle undisputed claims.
Liability Claims Representatives – This spot is similar to the Claims Representative spot, but the claims that may be settled include more complex cases, perhaps where there is a dispute involved. There is interaction with medical insurers and with body shops (for automobile insurance Liability Claims Representatives).
Both types of representatives are generally the very first point of contact for customers, immediately after damage has occurred.
Claims Coach and Claims Trainers – Coaches and Trainers offer valuable training to newbies who have been hired as Claims Representatives, Liability Claims Representatives and other advanced claims positions (like Examiners and Senior Examiner spots).
Underwriter – This insurance employee makes an informed determination as to which items, products or property should be insured, and for what amount (meaning, how much the insurance company should charge).
In cases involving life or health insurance, an underwriter decides which people should be insured, and how much the customer should pay for their coverage/policy.
Actuary – This is the “brains” behind the actual amount which insurance companies charge for their many different policies. The job requires numbers-crunching and an analytical approach to the issue of prices, as well as to the myriad rate changes which insurance companies regularly implement and pass on to their customers.
The spot requires a bit of mathematical know-how and an intensive training period or internship.
Thinking Strictly Entry-Level?
Here are a few jobs for those who want to break into insurance:
Customer service representative; underwriting assistant; junior underwriter (or underwriter-in-training); junior broker (or broker-in-training); actuarial intern and appraisal representative.