Not the Same Old Boring Insurance Job

February 16, 2022



By Bill Teed, CPCU, ARM, Senior Vice President, Talent & Leadership Development

Chances are, thinking of an insurance professional instantly brings up one of two powerful clichés: a painfully bored office employee, or a slick salesperson out for his or her own gain.

These clichés could not be further from the truth. The insurance industry includes all types of roles that most organizations require – such as IT, HR, finance, operations, marketing and project work – as well as dynamic, industry-specific roles.

And since everyone needs insurance, all the time, the industry is basically recession proof. In fact, at the height of the pandemic, the insurance industry employed nearly 3 million Americans and brought in net premiums of $1.28 trillion.[1]

This means there is tremendous opportunity for early career employees joining on the ground floor today, as well as folks considering career changes. And attracting, developing and retaining new talent is an insurance industry imperative as the baby boomer generation eyes retirement. 

Insurance Job Blog

A Day in the Life 

With a variety of career opportunities in the insurance industry, look for an avenue that will benefit from your skill set, or will keep you learning around every bend. Here’s a quick overview of common property and casualty insurance industry jobs and the skill sets that support them.

Underwriter. This is a person that evaluates a business or person’s risk and determines the price of coverage, based on a number of factors. The underwriter works with the insurance agent and/or the insured throughout the life of their policy. People who are business-oriented and enjoy problem solving often do well in underwriting.

     Skill set: 

  •       Curious. If you’re interested in everything and want to understand different types of businesses, the underwriter insures all types of businesses – from ocean liners and the cargo on it to injured workers to auto accidents. 
  •       Personable. This role requires a certain amount of client and agent contact. The larger the account, the more interaction with the customer. 
  •       Varied. If you’re looking for a job that’s the same every day, this is not for you. 

Claims. Claims professionals help insureds recover when they have a claim. There are many varied roles within claims, from customer service representatives who need to be empathetic listeners to field adjusters who often need technical expertise to evaluate claims.  

     Skill set: 

  •     Supportive. Customers need help navigating the claims process. Compassion and empathy are vital traits so customers have the support they need. 
  •     Juggler. If you like to balance a number of competing demands and have a variety of tasks to keep you busy, this is the role for you. No day will be the same as any other.
  •     Fast-paced. When there’s a catastrophic (CAT) event, the questions and claims come fast and furious. Someone may work only with routine homeowner claims, another may deal with more complex claims like a $25M umbrella loss.

Actuary. The insurance industry is data driven and actuaries are in the driver’s seat. They help the insurance company identify the real risks and exposures, working with analytics to support the underwriters.

     Skill set:

  •     Analytical. If your problem-solving brain is always searching for the ‘why?’, this is a good fit.
  •     Data-oriented. This is a role that requires looking closely at data, identifying issues and looking for solutions. If you’re good at thinking outside the box to provide unique solutions, you may be a good candidate.
  •     Consultative. Actuarial roles have evolved over the last few decades. While the role used to be behind the scenes, today’s actuaries advise the underwriters, brokers and clients so they can make better decisions.

Loss Control. Loss control specialists are the eyes and the ears of the whole operation. These are the professionals who actually go out and help the insured reduce their risk and the underwriter assess the risk. They perform assessments to recommend changes that can improve claim performance and the bottom line.

     Skill set: 

  •     Technical expertise. Often engineers with a background in engineering and science, loss control experts are the “subject matter experts” and may also have experience in a vertical market, such as transportation . 
  •     Curious. They are the investigative reporters on the team who need to understand how different companies work and what they do.
  •     Intuitive. They understand how to go deeper with each client.
  •     Personable. A major component of the role is meeting with clients and underwriters to provide feedback. 

Developing Your Insurance Career

It can be daunting to figure out the right way to begin a new career or join a new industry. Keep these 2 tips in mind:

  •     Get your feet wet. Reach out to your university or college career services department. They may know of local opportunities for you to get your feet wet in the insurance world. Insurance-related businesses have all the same types of jobs as any other business. Trying the industry out early on as an intern is a great way to get in the door and see if you like the work and the environment!
  •     Build your network. When you’re looking to advance in your career, it’s always a good idea to find mentors and coaches to help you along the way. Join LinkedIn industry groups, reach out to family and friends in the insurance industry to get their advice and ask them to make introductions for you. 

Reach out to work for IAT Insurance. Tell them I sent you! 


[1] Insurance Information Institute, “Facts + Statistics: Industry overview,” accessed February 1, 2022.