Insurance Careers Month kicks off on February 1, joining a movement to encourage conversations among employees that highlight several positives in the industry including how they:
· bring their authentic selves to work
· help their teammates excel
· forge their own career paths
and how companies are emphasizing wellness and mental health. Combined recently partnered with mental health expert Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo (Dr. E) to publish blogs focused on helping our customers and followers deal with the added stress of the pandemic.
Business leaders can sign up for our upcoming webinar featuring Dr. E here.
The insurance industry is a great one to work in, and here at Combined, we are using February as a time to reflect on the limitless possibilities and the value of the insurance industry and the careers it fosters.
It is especially important in 2021, because of the coronavirus, to demonstrate how vital insurance is to businesses and people alike. The global pandemic has shown how important it is to be prepared and have coverage during difficult times. At Combined, we have a vibrant history that dates back nearly 100 years, when our founder, W. Clement Stone paved the way for a career with opportunities to offer insurance coverage to help people in times of need.
Why insurance industry?
Let's face it, no one actually wants an insurance policy. Many people don’t consider a job in insurance because selling something no one actually wants is not all that exciting. However, people and businesses need insurance, and they know it. Modern economies rely on the industry for growth, allowing them to take and mitigate risk, and individuals protect their property, health, incomes, earning power and more with insurance. So, while people may not want to buy the policy, they are thrilled to have it when they need it. It feels good to be part of an industry that people and economies need to thrive.
Additionally, insurance companies are typically heavily involved in giving back. The philanthropic voice of the insurance industry, The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), reports that it has awarded $31M in community grants and has contributed over 300,000 volunteer hours of community service.
And the great news? The insurance industry is relatively stable, so these careers should be around for a long time. Stability means you'll be able to focus on your career and long-term goals and not worry about whether or not your company will even exist years from now.
The importance of supplemental insurance
At Combined Insurance, we sell supplemental insurance and offer a wide range of policies designed to help our customer prepare for the unexpected.
We offer supplemental insurance for healthcare, accident, disability, and life. By having a supplemental policy, customers buy an extra layer of protection to help pay for what other insurance does not. It is a niche area of insurance, but one that is interesting and important.
Here are a few reasons why this niche, in particular, can be a solid career choice:
We’re all human and we all have accidents and get sick. While supplemental insurance is more of a “nice to have” than a “need to have”, it’s relatively inexpensive (average cost is $40/month) and there is no deductible. Many, if not most, people appreciate having that added security of knowing if they get sick or hurt, they have a back-up plan to protect their savings.
Deductibles and out of pocket costs are rising, making supplemental insurance more in demand. According to a 2020 benchmark KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey, 31% of workers are enrolled in a high-deductible plan. In fact, the average single coverage annual deductible among covered workers with a deductible has increased 25% over the last five years and 79% over the last ten years. Supplemental insurance can help decrease the impact being sick or getting hurt can have on out-of-pocket costs including deductibles.
There are numerous potential customers. Practically anyone can benefit from having supplemental insurance. The supplemental insurance agent will never run out of potential business owners and personal consumers to sell to, and in turn the agents' support systems at the corporate offices will never run out of work.
Customers tend to keep their policies. Customers really appreciate the peace-of-mind their supplemental policies bring, and they typically hold onto them for years. Even during difficult economic times, people tend to hold onto their supplemental insurance policies because of the added peace-of-mind. A good agent can keep their customers for the span of their careers, helping them make good decisions about maintaining, changing or enhancing their portfolios.
Insurance companies are healthy. Insurance companies-supplemental or otherwise- are well-capitalized, and most of them have long, stable histories (like Combined Insurance which was started in 1922). They have systems in place to help protect them from the ups and downs of the economy, making it less probable that they will be greatly impacted by a recession.
Finding your fit
One of the best parts about working in insurance is there is a job for all skill types and interests. Careers in insurance offer huge potential but also variety, stability, and opportunity. Whether you are a numbers person or a marketing person, there is room for your unique skill set in insurance.
Statistically minded? Check out the actuarial department.
Actuaries predict statistical probabilities—in other words, the likelihood of certain events, such as accidents or health diagnoses, occurring. This helps an insurance company manage their financial investments, including the granting of insurance policies to protect policyholders from losses. They help design policies and develop product pricing that minimizes the costs of these risks. Employment of actuaries is projected to grow 22% from 2016 to 2026, resulting in about 5,300 new jobs over that period.
Risky business? Assess the underwriting department.
Using math and analytical skills, technical-minded underwriters calculate what their insurance companies should charge policyholders. Their job is to assess a risk and determine what coverage and terms should be offered. An underwriter is the person who decides if an application is approved and how much coverage is granted, often digging into medical records and conducting interviews with applicants and their providers.
File it under “paid” in the claims department.
Claims professionals manage the settling of claims for an insurance company. They determine whether or not a policyholder’s losses are covered and how much money the company will pay out for the losses. There are a number of job titles in this category, representing the range of activities performed in the average health insurer’s claims department. These include claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators.
Follow the rules of the compliance department.
Insurance companies have to make sure that both employees and insurance policies comply with the various laws, rules and regulations of regulatory agencies—on state and federal bases. Compliance officers write and review the “fine print” associated with policy language, marketing and sales materials and almost any and all correspondence going out of the company.
Get them covered in the sales department.
Employment of insurance sales agents is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations—and even faster growth is projected for health insurance agents. Sales agents and brokers are on the frontlines with customers and policyholders, helping people assess their needs, understand their insurance product options, and assisting through the process of applying for coverage. They often work closely with underwriters and claims or customer service personnel, making sure everyone has the information they need to issue coverage and payments.
In addition to these areas, every insurance company has busy professionals working in IT, legal, finance and accounting, marketing and customer service. Your skills and experience might be just what’s needed.
Want to learn more about working in this industry? Follow the lively conversations on social media with the hashtag: #InsuranceCareersMonth.
Find out about the current career opportunities at Combined Insurance!
Read some of our employees testimonials here.
 (Weisbart, S. (2018, June). How Insurance Drives Economic Growth. Retrieved January 29, 2020, from www.iii.org › docs › pdf › insurance-driver-econ-growth-053018)
 About IICF. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.iicf.org/about-iicf.htmllink opens in a new window
 Actuaries: Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2019, September 4). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htmlink opens in a new window
 Insurance Sales Agents: Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2019, September 4). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/sales/insurance-sales-agents.htmlink opens in a new window