Ask anyone that works in insurance, the story has been the same for years. They never really planned to work in insurance, it somehow just happened. That may be changing. Our younger generations, yes that includes millennials, are selecting insurance as a career choice and choosing a post-secondary school and program that makes the best sense to achieve this goal.
Erie Mutual has had the pleasure of working with Co-op students at both the secondary and post-secondary levels over the past couple of years, and there is a genuine interest in pursuing a career path within the insurance industry. Having the opportunity to complete a Co-op with an insurer rather than a broker allows the student to explore the various options available, and having all departments in one building is an important factor.
Thinking more seriously about wanting to work in insurance, what should you consider?
You may be more of an analytics lover with a strong math background, the great news is that if finance is not your first choice many insurers are starting to build department and company strategies based on analytics. Data has become one of the most sought-after assets.
It will not matter if you happen to be an extrovert or an invert, you can select a position that suits you best. If being a people person is your thing you still have more than one option in the industry, consider sales (insurance agent), claims or even loss prevention (with electrical and or plumbing backgrounds perhaps) as each of them will bring you face to face meetings and discussion with policyholders. For the more quiet and reserved individual, an isolated work space in an underwriting department may be your true calling. Each of these jobs can still be broken down further into specialties within that field, AB specialists focus their time and attention on the ever-changing scope of auto insurance and the accident benefits coverage, limits, and conditions that apply. Prefer dealing strictly with property insurance only or have a general love of farms then make that your key role and be a leader in the group or department that writes business, advises, informs and educates others.
Your options really are endless. Surprisingly, customer service is much more important than ever (even with continued automation introduced online via websites and apps). IT is also of growing concern for most companies, another expense that is better managed in-house rather than hired out on an as-needed basis.
Your computer skills, people skills, and management skills will always find a home in an insurance office. We recommend some leadership courses along the way if you want to really leave your mark or be considered for promotions or positions which become available.
The best part about working in insurance is that if you find it is time for a change, you can make a minor or major career change and still be working in insurance, perhaps even for the same company.
Article Written by Darcy Johnson
Erie Mutual Insurance Manager – Sales, Marketing & Business Development
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