When you think of jobs in the insurance industry, what comes to mind? For most people, the first image is probably that of a licensed insurance agent (or broker, producer, or just “salesperson.”) We often think about insurance agents because most of us have interacted with them in the course of our daily lives. If you’ve ever purchased auto insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, or life insurance, you’ve probably done so through a licensed producer.
It figures then, when we go on and on about the insurance industry’s talent crisis, that we must be talking about a lack of licensed agents. The answer is yes. And also no, as it turns out. Like any large industry, insurance takes a lot more to keep running than just the consumer-facing salespeople.
The insurance industry itself is quite diverse when it comes to the types of companies it encompasses. From one-person independent agencies to the largest international insurance carriers that employ several hundred thousand people worldwide, insurance is one of the largest industries in the world. In the U.S. alone, the insurance industry makes up about 3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and surpassed the banking industry for the first time in 2017.
In a recent study conducted by The Jacobson Group and Aon, survey respondents reported that (for the first time in the study’s 12-year history) all roles and functions across their business were considered difficult or moderately difficult to fill. This means the insurance industry is craving talent. This isn’t new news, but what’s different now is this hunger for talent spans beyond traditional roles like licensed producers, actuaries, and claims adjusters. The result is a need for new blood, even in less insurance-specific functions of the industry. This presents great opportunities for people who never considered a career in insurance before.
The following are five of the most un-insurancy roles you can find within the insurance industry.
Marketing & communications in the insurance industry
Like many industries, insurance relies on sales to drive revenue and growth. While the primary sales channel for insurance products is the licensed producer, many insurance carriers market their products directly to consumers. In recent years, insurance companies like Progressive, GEICO, Allstate, State Farm, and Liberty Mutual have become household names thanks to their clever TV commercials and other forms of advertising.
All this advertising means someone at each of these insurance carriers (more likely, a large team of people) are working on marketing and communication strategies. Even if insurance companies outsource the creative aspects to advertising agencies, there are still professionals in-house who are tasked with overseeing the campaigns and ensuring the messages are on-brand.
Another way to be creative within the insurance industry is with consumer-facing educational materials. Most insurance companies provide their members with a large number of resources, often both online and in printed form. And someone has to create it all. From health insurance booklets that inform plan members of their benefits to websites, blogs, and social media, the opportunities to work in communications within insurance are nearly endless.
Information security in the insurance industry
The insurance industry is known to be a prime target for cyber crime, thanks to the large amount of personal information that each insurance agency and carrier has on file. As the industry modernizes, building a team of in-house information security specialists will become increasingly common – and vital.
So, if you’re a white hat hacker, or want to pursue a career in cybersecurity, don’t discount the insurance industry (including insurance agencies, insurance carriers, and other types of companies) as potential employers. The need for these skills within the world of insurance is growing greater by the day.
Human resources and recruiting in the insurance industry
If you’re experiencing a talent crisis on the scale of the insurance industry, imagine how important human resources and recruiting are! Some of the top challenges in attracting and retaining talent are company culture, diversity, employee experience, and an attractive work/life balance. In other words, it all starts with the HR team and the recruiters tasked with bringing new people into the industry.
Before you can even get there, you need talented HR professionals and recruiters to begin with! This is a vital career path that isn’t specific to insurance at all, but which the industry depends on in order to survive both the mass retirement of baby boomers and the “great resignation” currently in progress.
So, if a career in HR or recruiting is one your want to explore, don’t forget about the great need for people like you in the insurance industry.
Legal counsel in the insurance industry
Becoming an attorney is no small feat. And, once you’ve achieved it, you might find the job is actually a far cry from the dramatic courtroom scenes as seen on TV and in movies. For many lawyers, practicing just means long hours and low pay (at least when starting out). While the pay may improve, the long hours likely won’t. This is why many attorneys go into corporate areas of practice, such as insurance law.
We’re not saying being an insurance lawyer is easy, but it’s a way to specialize in one area of practice and have a very stable career – likely with a nice office, benefits, and predictable hours – rather than the nonstop, hectic life of a trial lawyer.
One reason lawyers in the insurance industry are so vital is because of the number of laws insurance companies, insurance agents, and individual insurance producers have to comply with. As you know, compliance is a huge issue across the entire industry. Oftentimes, the compliance function falls to (or under) the legal department. This makes insurance attorneys in high demand and there’s no sign of that changing in the future.
Software development in the insurance industry
For those with an antiquated view of the insurance industry, the idea of software developer as an insurance career path may sound outlandish. But it’s true! In recent years, insurtech has boomed – and the influx of investment dollars into software for the insurance industry shows no sign of slowing down.
Even outside the typical silicon valley tech firms, large insurance agencies and many of the country’s top insurance carriers are quickly developing their own software. Everything from mobile apps to client portals to quoting systems: the insurance industry, as well as insurance consumers, crave modern technology to assist them in their insurance experience.
These five career paths are just the tip of the iceberg! The insurance industry really is an excellent field to make your career in, even if you don’t have a soft spot for insurance products themselves (yet). For more information on what makes the industry so great, and why you should take the time to build your career in it, check out our other articles.
By the by, we’re hiring, so check that out. Or, if you’re a carrier, agency, or MGA, see how AgentSync can cut down onboarding times for both producers and new employees.