What It Takes to Have a Successful Career in Insurance

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Jul 20, 2018

Jul 20, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Seeking a career in insurance means you'll always have job stability. There are many jobs in the insurance industry depending on your interest and your skill set.

Let's take a look at some of the many paths you can take toward a career in insurance and what it takes to get there:

A Career In Insurance As An Actuary

Actuaries assess risks so they can set the appropriate insurance premiums. Actuaries usually specialize in one type of insurance. A property insurance actuary, for example, is an expert on analyzing natural disasters. They determine how much an insurance company would need to pay out to fix the damage.

Actuaries help companies set appropriate premiums so they can stay profitable.

Actuaries don't have to deal with people much, but they do spend a lot of time crunching the numbers which requires a high level of critical thinking.

A career as an actuary requires a bachelor's degree in mathematics, statistics or a related field.

Insurance Sales Agent

Insurance sales agents sell insurance policies to customers in need of all kinds of insurance. There are three main areas where insurance sales agents work including life insurance, health insurance and property and casualty insurance.

The insurance sales agent's goal is to help customers purchase plans that meet their needs. A business might need insurance to cover against theft or product liability while a newly married couple might be looking for a life insurance policy.

Insurance sales agents can choose to work for one insurance company or for brokerages. If they choose a brokerage, they can show clients options from many different companies and help them find the right policy from a number of options.

Insurance sales agents need to be good communicators who interact well with people. For many sales agents, commissions are a huge part of the job so to succeed, being persuasive is a must.

A High School diploma is required for most sales agent positions.

Insurance Underwriter

Actuaries look at risks in a broad sense, but underwriters apply these risks to cases directly. They assess the likelihood that the insurance company can profit by selling insurance to a certain business or person. For example, they determine whether to provide insurance to a driver with a long history of accidents.

Underwriters must always strive to strike a balance between risk and reward. On the one hand, if they don't issue an insurance policy, the company loses out on a potential customer. If they do, the insurance company can possibly lose out on money if a claim has to be made.

Underwriters need to have good problem-solving skills and be able to ask the right questions in order to come to the best conclusions. The best underwriters are excellent decision makers who can back up their choices.

Insurance underwriters typically have a Bachelor's degree in finance, math, business, or economics.

Claims Adjuster

If a person needs to make an insurance claim, whether due to accident or damage, the insurance company has to assess the damage and compensate the insured person accordingly. In order to do this, a claims adjuster will conduct the necessary interviews and inspect the scene of the accident to gather all the needed information.

This information will be reported to a claims examiner. The claims adjuster will make an offer to the policyholder based on how much the company will pay. If this amount is rejected, the adjuster will work with the insurance company lawyers to come to a resolution.

Adjusters can seek different credentials and specializations and should plan to attend seminars and take online courses to keep their skills fresh. They are the detectives of the industry and should have good negotiation skills and the ability to accumulate strong evidence for each case.

A start on a career path as a claims adjuster, a person needs to have a high school diploma.

Claims Examiner

Claims examiners work hand-in-hand with claims adjusters in the insurance world. They review all the submitted claims and determine which ones should be paid and which ones should be denied.

As a claims examiner, their main job is deciding if a claim is reasonable, but then they pass the claim on to claims adjusters to decide what the exact compensation, if any, will be.

If you're interested in a career as a claims examiner, you have to hold a High School diploma.

Insurance Claims And Policy Processing Clerk

Insurance claims clerks and policy processing administrative employees do all of the administrative work involved in insurance claims. They process policies that are brought by customers as well as the claims that are made. They have to make sure that all records are up to date so that the sales agents, underwriters, and adjusters have relevant, accurate information.

A High School diploma is required to seek a job as an insurance claims clerk.

Insurance Investigator

When an insurance investigator has reason to believe that a claim is suspicious or possibly fraudulent, they will refer the case to an insurance investigator to look into it further. An insurance investigator's main role is protecting the company from any suspected insurance fraud.

An investigator will do initial research to find out what caused the need for a claim. An example: was a fire the result of arson instead of an accident? In such a case, the claim is considered fraud and would be voided.

Insurance investigators aren't required to have a college education. A High School diploma and training is required to succeed in this field.

If you're interested in a career in insurance, there's no better time than the present to get started. Get your toes wet by checking out different resources online, research the best life insurance companies, and read up on industry trends.

Move Forward With Your Insurance Career

Hopefully this insight on a career in the insurance industry has given you a good idea of which role you'd be best for as you embark on your career goals.

If you have a good idea where you fit and want to start looking for a job, there's no better place than our national job board list where you can find all the latest insurance jobs across the country. Browse our board and start applying today!