In 2019 we added a video companion to this article:
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we compiled this list of 10 reasons to be grateful for your career in insurance. If this is the only industry you’ve worked in, it can be easy to take all the perks for granted and even if you’ve worked here for 30 years it’s always good to remember just how good we have it. Carly and I both have experience outside insurance and often discuss the reasons we love working for our respective insurance companies. There is usually overlap in these reasons though we’re no longer at the same company. Here are some of the things we are grateful for:
10. Great Vacation Time
Before working in insurance, I was getting one to two weeks off per year. Most insurance professionals get 15 to 25 vacation days to enjoy away from the office. This has allowed me to travel to Europe and to my native Costa Rica more often than I used to be able to. Carly attempts to see a new country every year. I have a co-worker (another CPCU) who has visited Mexico, Bahamas, Italy, Vatican City, Spain, France, Malta, Tunisia, Canada, Turkey, Kenya, Netherlands, England, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, Hong Kong, Macau and Germany (and 12 U.S. states) just in the last five years she’s been in the industry.
9. Fantastic Benefits
Insurance professionals tend to get great health, life, and dental insurance plans, along with discounts on their home and auto insurance. After all, it’s the business we’re in!
8. 401k and pension plans
Most insurance companies offer 401k plans, and many still offer pensions, which have all but disappeared outside of the financial industry. These plans allow us to completely focus on doing a great job today knowing that our financial futures are taken care of.
7. Large Need for Up-and-Coming, Ambitious Leaders (Like Us!) Because of Aging Workforce
With many insurance professionals preparing for retirement, there is a great need for strong leaders—which, in turn, presents a tremendous opportunity for career advancement. Insurance is the place to be for young go-getters! The best part is that this benefit hasn’t been advertised much, so there’s a lot of space for new talent.
6. Recession Proof Industry
People will always need insurance. Even with recent years’ downturn in the economy, the demand for insurance professionals has only grown. As long as risks exist, they will need to be managed by our industry, regardless of what the stock market or real estate markets are doing.
5. Not a Flat Industry
There are numerous levels in an insurance company, which means if you work hard, there is ample room for growth and development in your career. For many entry level roles at the big carriers the hierarchy looks like this: You –> Supervisor –> Manager –> Associate Director –> Director –> Assistant Vice President –> Vice President –> Senior Vice President –> COO –> CEO. This means there’s 10 levels to get promoted to!
4. The work is challenging and rewarding
With just five years in the industry, I have helped people file their claims, repair their vehicles, get their medical bills taken care of, rebuild their lives after major catastrophes and properly insure their farms. I’ve helped forecast companies’ future sales and report on sales for last quarters. For the last year and a half I’ve been a sales manager helping grow our company in the exciting area of Northern California.
3. Very Supportive of Continuing Education
Many insurance companies offer tuition-reimbursement programs that can help you further your education. Whether it’s going back to school to finish your Bachelors, finally getting your MBA or getting technical insurance education, the industry is very supportive.
2. The Alphabet Soup of Designations
There are more than 90 different insurance designations! Most require passing just three or four tests to secure—some are like a master’s degree in insurance (CPCU, CLU). Many insurance companies will support you in your pursuit of further education. Some provide a small bonus for every test you pass or provide you with travel expenses to attend a conferment ceremony when you earn a major designation. You’re probably used to studying already; if you hold on to the habit, it’s pretty easy to get your designations, and they can make a big difference in your career. You can basically make studying a part time job and turn it into promotions and better opportunities.
1. Our Job is to Help People Protect Their Way of Life and Get Back on Their Feet
In insurance, you are not just a cog in the corporate machine: you are making a difference in people’s lives—and there are simply no words for how good that feels.
These are just 10 reasons to be thankful. Insurance may not be sexy, but as we talk to others outside the industry, let’s remember that we have a lot to be grateful for, and it might be a great next step for someone’s career.