Why I Work in Insurance: A Millennial Perspective

If you walk into a college classroom and ask, “How many of you would like to work in Insurance?” I’d be surprised if anybody raised their hand. Unfortunately, there is not enough information given to millennials that promotes the exciting employment opportunities in the industry. The same stale and boring reputation that existed decades ago stills exists today, even with the industry rapidly changing. As a millennial working in #insurance, I’ve realized this reputation is outdated and unfair. Millennials are the future of insurance – from being consumers themselves to employees in the industry.

Many insurance professionals begin their career in the industry by following one of two paths – “falling into it” or “having family in the business.” I fall into the latter category as both of my parents have spent their entire careers in the industry. I grew up where insurance lingo was common vocabulary at the dinner table. At a young age, I knew if you had an accident, insurance would fix your car. Of course, I had no idea you had to pay a premium; I thought insurance would fix the car for free.

Is an Insurance Career Boring?

After graduating college, I did not seek out the industry in my initial job search. I explored many different industries looking for the ideal employer to start a career. Ultimately, I decided to take a leap of faith and follow in my parent’s footsteps. My decision was not warmly received from fellow millennials with some saying, “Are you sure? #Insurance seems too boring.” I certainly started second guessing myself as many of my college classmates were joining local startups where dress codes did not exist and happy hour was an encouraged practice.

In the summer of 2011, I joined the Arbella Insurance Group as a member of their Corporate Communications department. Although nervous with my employment decision, it was an exciting time to join the communications/marketing/advertising department of a Massachusetts insurance carrier. In 2008, the state’s Division of Insurance eliminated regulation which opened the door to many new competitors joining the market place. After a few years in communications, I realized my growing interest in the industry and wanted to learn more. Currently, I’m working in Commercial Lines Underwriting, training under the guidance of experts in evaluating auto risks.

It doesn’t take long to develop a reputation but can take years to change said reputation. [tweet_dis]Whenever I speak with friends looking for a career change, I always suggest the #insurance industry.[/tweet_dis] It’s an exciting place that offers the following:

 

Opportunity for Growth:

Many in the industry have been around for decades. It is not uncommon to meet someone who has been in the industry for 30+ years. To millennials, this is the perfect opportunity. In the near future, the #insurance industry will lose many of these experts and baby boomers to retirement. This will provide a wealth of opportunity for career growth as many new opportunities will be available. We are the future!

 

Opportunity to Help Others:

As a whole, millennials are a generous generation. The insurance industry is about people and supports giving back to others in valuable ways. Whether you are providing proper coverage or excellent claim service, you are helping others during difficult times. Additionally, most carriers provide meaningful opportunities to volunteer within the community. Arbella has an incredibly large community of employees who give back. The ability to help others is a gratifying experience and will provide a rewarding career!

 

Every Day Is A New Challenge:

Being a millennial, my biggest fear about the “real-world” was boredom. How was I going to sit at a desk for 8 hours? The industry helps alleviate any concerns of boredom as there is a new challenge to conquer and new opportunities to learn and grow every day. As the world changes and new products are introduced to the market place, people will need to have new types of insurance coverage. Just as cyber risk has increased over the last few years with technological advancements, other unknown risks will present itself in the future that will need coverage. These are the challenges millennials are seeking!

 

Technology Is Our Opportunity:

Millennials grew up with technology at our finger tips. Instead of visiting independent agents, as our parents did, we are comfortable shopping for insurance online. National carriers with large marketing budgets are advertising the ease of purchasing insurance online, but many are neglecting the expertise that an independent agent can provide in ensuring that your assets are properly covered. Agencies are improving their technology but need help. This presents an opportunity for millennials to help independent agents market more effective to consumers with their technological savviness.

 

Work/Life Balance:

Millennials seek a work/life balance. No, we are not lazy! We understand the importance of working hard and being a valuable asset for a company, but we also want to enjoy our own life. How can we be a happy productive employee if we are always burnt out from our job? Insurance provides the perfect balance. This is not Wall Street where you will be tied to your desk 80 hours a week.

I will be continuing my campaign to change millennial’s thoughts on the insurance industry one conversation at a time. I’m passionate about the industry and am excited to teach others about the opportunities. Millennials have a bright future in insurance!

About

Daniel Corcoran finished his Bachelors in Business at Saint Alselm College in 2011 and he has worked at Arbella Insurance Groups since 2012 where he has quickly grown from a Communication Assistant to a Commercial Lines Underwriter.

8 thoughts on “Why I Work in Insurance: A Millennial Perspective

  1. I love this article. I am a current college student planning on pursuing an insurance career when I graduate. I have been working with an insurance recruiter as a part time job to make some extra cash while in school and have really taken an interest to the field. I always try to explain to my classmates why am I pursuing this industry, but I get the same response: “You’re crazy, that sounds too boring!” Hopefully, more Millenials will start to see the benefits of the ins. industry.

  2. Hi Daniel,

    Excellent article. You brought up some very valid points that have interested me even more to pursue an opportunity that has been given to me within the insurance industry. I feel it is clearly underestimated and that very perception is what allows many doors to open once you’re in. I have been offered by my employer to pay me both CPCU and CLU charters and will definitely pursue this moving forward. Thanks for your reinforcement.

    Best,

    Pedro

    • Hi Kyle. It’s a simple question that demands a rather complex answer, but I’ll give it a try. It depends, both on the area of the industry you start in and on your geography. Some of the more popular entry-level roles in insurance are the service centers and claims, in either of those, you might make $35-$45k a year (in a low cost of living area like Des Moines, Iowa). Moving on up to underwriting you’re looking at $55-$85k in most cases but with experience and a little extra education you can break into the $100k territory within 3-5 years. On the carrier side of the industry, you probably hit a ceiling somewhere around the $150k mark, which is VERY nice money, making more than that requires ascending the executive ranks. On the agent and broker side of the industry, things are different. Starting salaries in the entry levels of personal lines agencies might be as low as $10-$13 per hour, but you might get commission on top of that. A successful and established personal lines agent is probably breaking into the $80k-$100k territory within 5-8 years in the industry. The highest income potential is in becoming a successful commercial insurance broker. Starting salary will vary a LOT, the first 5-10 years will be very hard as you build your book, most won’t survive that period, but among those who do survive and thrive incomes are essentially unlimited with $250k, $500k, $750k or even over a million a year not unheard of. I hope that answers your question. I’d be more than happy to discuss further at ChatWithTony.com

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