Insurance Academy

7 Different Insurance Career Options

By Patrick Wraight | February 13, 2019

This is Insurance Careers Month. I really enjoy when this comes around every year. It’s a chance for me to remind some (and educate others) that the insurance industry is a great career to work in. It has been good to me and my family.

A career in insurance is not (supposed to be) about sitting behind a desk, telling people that they need to pay more for their insurance or telling people that their insurance doesn’t cover what they think it covers.

Do some of us do that? Yes.

Are those the right answers sometimes? Sometimes.

However, a career in insurance is so much more than that. Let me make some suggestions.

If you like talking to people every day, let me suggest…

  • Working in an agency. This is low hanging fruit, I know, but I had to mention it. If you work in an agency, you get to meet people in your town. You get to help them protect their assets. You get to help them when life gets hard.
  • Working as a claims adjuster. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? The claims adjuster gets to deal with people who need help. Whether you become an auto liability or collision adjuster, or a homeowners’ property adjuster, you get the chance to deal with people are on likely having the worst day that they’ve had in a while. You get to solve some problems for them.
  • Working in insurance education. This is shameless promotion of what I do and a plea for people to help me do it. I get to talk to insurance people and help them to understand what they do. I get to help make the insurance world better. More on this later.

If you like affecting change in the world, let me suggest…

  • Working in state regulatory agencies. Before you start shutting me down, just give me a few minutes. State regulatory agencies help to make sure that all of us play the game fairly. They watch out for bad actors in insurance companies, who file rates, rules or forms that are unfair to the consumer. They watch out for bad actors in insurance agencies who don’t look out for customers or companies. They watch out for bad acting consumers who try and cheat the system.
  • Working in product development at an insurance company. Here’s where you get to make a difference by providing policies that customers want and need while making sure to protect the company, too. You would create products that meet the risk financing needs of your customers while balancing how much risk to assume and how much risk to give back to the customer. You get to make insurance coverage better.
  • Working in insurance education. I told you that I’m being a little shameless today. As an insurance educator, you get to help other insurance professionals do their jobs better. You get to take your technical knowledge of policies and help others to know policies better. You get to take your professional attitude an communicate it to others, increasing the overall professionalism of our industry.

If you like really technical analysis, let me suggest…

  • Working as an underwriter. Underwriters get to look at risks to determine their general insurability and their acceptability according to the insurance company’s guidelines and requirements. The underwriter works with the agents and brokers to come up with solutions for difficult risks. This is a great place for a creative technician who understands coverage and who understands the balance between coverage, exclusions, and price.
  • Working in insurance advisory organizations. These are places where technicians can thrive. Here, you would be able to analyze patterns, including loss patterns, pricing patterns, and coverage patterns so that you can help create and edit the next generation of policies. You would be part of gathering and using data in a real way.
  • Working in insurance education. Did I mention that we love technicians in education? To be fair, some technicians can’t really speak to a crowd of people (and they don’t want to). On the other hand, some technicians get so excited about the details of policy language that they can talk about a placement of an “and” or a comma for hours.

The point is that there is more to do in this industry than just sit behind a desk and tell people that their loss isn’t covered. We only mentioned a few here (did I mention that there are great careers in insurance education?). We could have mentioned opportunities to be field adjusters or field underwriters who get to meet people and climb up on and in different buildings. There are a lot of different options available depending on what you’re interested in.

About Patrick Wraight

Patrick Wraight, CIC, CRM, AU, is director of Insurance Journal's Academy of Insurance. He can be reached at pwraight@ijacademy.com.

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