"I want to work in insurance when I grow up!" – No one ever
There are not many people who work for insurance companies or agents who grew up thinking that this is where their career would take them. If insurance was not a family business, most people have other dreams. Even if you go to college to study business or finance, it is usually not a job in insurance what you are thinking about. . Still, many employees take their first insurance job convinced that it is only temporary. Again – insurance was never the plan.
It may be true that many outside the industry think that jobs in insurance are boring … consists mainly of numbers and spreadsheets and paperwork. I've even heard someone say that they think insurers are looking to take advantage of those who need their products and services.
Nothing can be further from the real truth.
First, there are many of us. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 2.8 million people worked in the insurance industry in 2019; 1.6 million for insurance companies, 1.2 million for agencies, brokers and "other insurance-related companies." There are a lot of people – the odds are that they are not all boring!
With these numbers comes diversity. Insurance organizations consist of employees from all possible backgrounds, experiences, education and interests. It provides a variety of calls around the water cooler (or Skype or Zoom calls).
If you work for an insurance organization, chances are you have many employees and / or a lot of interaction with your peers within other organizations. If you are a human being, nothing can be better than getting paid to talk to others. Insurance is often referred to as "a relationship company."
But what if you are not a big seller? Insurance you have covered! Graduates, processing officials, actuarial, legal staff, support staff, marketing and design, IT, product development … the industry offers a large number of jobs.
Employment also tends to be consistent and reliable. Since 2015, employment in industry has increased steadily from 2.5 million to 2.6 million. In 2020, the US employment rate increased from 4.4% to 14.7% between March and April and is 11.1% in June. In comparison, insurance unemployment was 1% in March and the highest rate was during the same period was 4.6%.
Income and benefits are also consistent. Between February and May 2020, the average hourly income for insurance employees increased by 1.8%.
Let's set aside spreadsheets and bar charts for just a moment. People who work in the insurance industry are generally really good people who like the service aspect of their work. We come to work and want to offer coverage or pay that requirement. We enjoy helping people get back on their feet after a loss and support our communities in difficult times. We want to help people solve problems. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that by June 2020, insurance organizations had donated $ 280 million to charities in response to COVID-19. Insurance companies and their employees want to help – whether it comes in the form of answering the phone when we need it, paying a claim or making a donation.
Most, if not all, insurance companies have a contract notice. They are, of course, a little different, but many of the statements contain words like integrity, security, protection, excellence. These statements not only express what they do, but why they do it, and this is where people discover the value of a career in insurance. The best companies want to hire people who share their values and embrace their culture. Those who work in the industry are the ones who show up every day to make a difference in the lives of others.
I never planned to work in insurance, but I'm glad I do. Whether you are a beginner in college or looking for a career change, the insurance industry is a great place to start.
Read more about insurance careers and where I work at Central Insurance Companies in Van Wert, OH.
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