1.) A Stable Industry
Insurance has been around since the middle of the 18th century in the United States, initially offering simple coverages like fire insurance or life insurance. Today, insurance is a $421 billion dollar industry in the U.S. (2.5% of GDP) that employs more than 2.5 million people nationwide, offering a multitude of insurance options to a diverse customer base and covering a wide array of risks. Many types of insurance, particularly for larger businesses, must be purchased in order for a business to effectively run their operation. A couple of examples are workers’ compensation insurance and motor vehicle liability insurance. For a more comprehensive insurance industry overview, visit the Insurance Information Institute. Long story short, insurance is here to stay, and that is a good thing. #2 explains why.
2.) Supporting Your Community & Economy
You may not think of providing or selling insurance as a way to support your community and your economy, but it is, and here is why. Without insurance, there would be fewer businesses and less jobs. This is because businesses would be less willing to start up, grow, or expand—essentially take risk without a way to spread or reduce the associated risk. Would you buy a new car if you didn’t have insurance to protect it? Also consider, who would want to work in a higher hazard industry without the coverage of worker’s compensation insurance? You would have to look back to the Industrial Era of the 19th century to glimpse a world before workers’ compensation benefits were put into place to help protect employees. In short, insurance helps individuals, employees, and employers have the security they need to re-invest in their communities and keep our economy growing.
Given the nature of insurance, many companies also engage in philanthropic activities to support their local communities. For example, Acadia Insurance has a strong philanthropic culture that supports the communities in which it operates. Local charities are selected by Acadia employees to receive monetary and / or donations of employee time. Each year, Acadia donates a percentage of its net operating income and offers paid time off to its employees to volunteer at local non-profits and charities, which helps strengthen our communities.
3.) Multitude of Career Paths
The truth is, however, there are many interesting career paths within the insurance
industry, and each serve important functions and cater to different interests and skill sets. While many insurance careers do involve desk work, they also provide plenty of opportunity for interaction with colleagues within the company as well as opportunities to work with independent agents and brokers and insurance customers.
Here is a list of the many different career tracks you can take within insurance. (I will save a more in-depth review of these for a later blog.)
- Claims Handling
- Loss Control/Loss Prevention
- Information Technology
- Agency Producer (Sales)
- Agency Customer Service Representative
4.) Aging Workforce = Opportunity
The insurance industry is not immune to the effect of the aging baby boomer population and its impact on its workforce. In fact, the insurance industry may be in an even direr situation to replace retiring workers than many other industries. According to a 2013 survey conducted by Accenture, the number of employees age 55 and over is 30% higher in the property & casualty insurance industry than in any other industry, and current projections are that one fourth of the insurance industry’s work force will retire by 2018. If you jump back to #1, that math equates to an approximate turnover of 625,000 jobs nationwide.
Jobs aren’t the only issue; it’s also a matter of expertise. Talk to any long-time insurance professional, and they’ll speak of their love for the learning journey that exists in the insurance business. With so many seasoned employees about to retire, that’s a lot of expertise that is about to leave the industry. Now is the time to get in, learn from those seasoned veterans, and accelerate your career.
5.) Strong Compensation & Benefits Available
Given the technical nature of insurance and the need for highly skilled and educated employees, it is no surprise that the insurance industry offers competitive compensation and benefits options to attract and retain good talent. According to the Bureau of Labor’s statistics, the average hourly wage or salary for an employee in the industry is just over $30. It is important to note that this is an average, so starting salaries may be a bit lower if you are just starting your career.
In addition, the industry has a strong network to support continuing education to help you further develop your expertise and career. Many companies will fund or reimburse employees for furthering their industry education.
As you evaluate whether or not to pursue insurance as a career, think about the advantages detailed in the five sections above. At the very least, I hope you are convinced that insurance is not a boring desk job! I have been in the industry for over a decade now, and I still love it. If you think there is something that I missed or if you have additional insights to share, please comment below.
Acadia Insurance is pleased to share this material with its customers. Please note, however, that nothing in this document should be construed as legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services. This material is for general informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness.