An Industry Where Everybody Fits by Joshua Rubin

Insurance, as an industry has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States, currently hovering around 2%. This is compared to a national average of roughly 4%.  Average insurance employees work about 38 hours a week, and make about $34.00 an hour. A quick back of the envelope calculation (38 hours x 52 weeks x $34 per hour) comes up to $67,134! Sound good to you? Working less than a “normal” forty hour work week AND earning a nice wage. Insurance (in my opinion) is the best industry to launch a career in right now. With 2% unemployment, the industry needs more employees, and one of those employees could be you!

Hmmm, something to think about!

“But wait,” you say, “I don’t know anything about insurance.” If only you knew how valuable you could be. Just about every type of insurance position can benefit from various backgrounds and college degrees in these insurance companies. There are so many positions in the industry, that nearly everything you could ever want to do professionally could be achieved by working in insurance.

Let’s take a psychology background or degree for example. With a psychology degree, you can understand how people interact, how people think, infer what people want. This background can be useful in claims, sales, or even as a part of special investigation unit – helping to stop fraud.

Finance background? Insurance companies have field auditors who look at their insured’s financial statements and determine proper premiums for different lines of coverage. Not to mention that finance departments that all insurance companies have who are responsible for investing and making financially sound decisions about the company’s funds.

If you happened to have a background in marketing or PR, you could be valuable to an insurance company as well. When a crisis occurs in the industry, PR representatives are the first line in managing and diffusing the situation.

Maybe you grew up involved in construction. You’d make a great construction insurance underwriter, property adjuster, or even a property inspector. That knowledge on how things are built makes you an asset to any one of these teams.

Backgroound in construction? We have a ton of work for you!

Are you a car addict? You’d make a great fit on an auto claims team, knowing how vehicles should be properly repaired after an accident. An insurance carrier would greatly benefit by having a knowledgeable employee keeping track of how the repair shop is fixing up an insured’s vehicle.

Did you go to med-school? Niche insurance products like Malpractice Insurance are right up your alley. No, you don’t need an M.D. here, but just your knowledge of how the industry works gives you a head start on your training.

Just finished law school? Insurance companies need analysis of legal documents constantly.

Design degree? Architect’s and Engineer’s policies would be a great place to start.

Environmental Science Degree? Did you know there are special pollution insurance products? Underwriting, claims adjusting, or even consulting may fit.

Governmental Affairs Degree, Poly Sci? These could apply in International Insurance Policies.

Are you an expert negotiator? You could fit in as a wholesale broker, helping negotiate insurance coverage for your retail clients.

Did you go to art school? Maybe a position with a fine art insurance company interests you, or perhaps your understanding of copyrights and trademarks would help you underwrite or adjust losses for media related insurance products.  

Tired of teaching? We have work for you!

Always loved children and went into teaching, but now you’re looking for something new? Guess what, all those new hires coming into the industry, they need someone to teach them! Someone to develop training programs, run classroom sessions for their employees, etc.

Some of you are reading this thinking, “I don’t have a degree, so they won’t hire me.” You couldn’t be more wrong! Insurance companies hire people without degrees too.  And guess what, many of them will provide pay for tuition assistance while you are working there. Maybe you work in customer service at a grocery store, and you love working with people. Guess what! You might fit great into a call center or customer service role.

Don’t worry. I didn’t forget you either. Yes, all of you who say you could “never work in an office, or a large company, or a 9 to 5…” There is a place for you too!

Many field adjusters spend their days out inspecting vehicles, homes, property, and even interviewing others. There are thousands of small insurance carriers, MGAs, agencies, and startups. Love to travel? Cat Adjusters (or Catastrophe Adjusters) often follow large storms or events and work in damaged areas for months at a time. Once the company has paid out most of the claims in the area they are in, the adjuster moves onto the next storm damaged area (when a hurricane comes through, hundreds of extra adjusters are needed in any given area). Some Cat Adjusters have a permanent home, some live in RVs, some rent temporary apartments throughout the country when needed in a given area.

And you… the one who says you just can’t work for anyone. You can’t work for the man, and need to be on your own, the insurance industry presents nothing but opportunity. You can start your own agency (are you a sales person), be an independent adjuster (sub contracted claims work from multiple insurance companies, set your own hours), or maybe even a public adjuster (work for the claimant, not the insurance company).

I’m sure I missed a few backgrounds, but you get the point. With over 2,000,000 employed in the industry, no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you want to be, you can be an important part of the insurance industry. Insurance companies can provide a multitude of jobs and paths that can lead you to be successful in achieving your career goals.

Field jobs can be some of the most rewarding!

About Joshua Rubin

Joshua is a graduate of VCU RMI program and co-founder of the Richmond Alumni Chapter of GIS. He's currently an Environmental Underwriter at Virtue Risk Partners.

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