Interested in starting a career in insurance but not sure what your options are?
You’re not alone. Many recent grads are unaware of the variety of entry-level insurance jobs that are available in the industry.
Regardless of what you studied, insurance offers a little something for everyone.
Here’s a breakdown of five common insurance jobs you should be looking for if you’re fresh out of school. Whether you’re interested in eventually working as an underwriter, broker or claims adjuster, there are several different paths you can take to reach your goal.
A Risk Analyst is responsible for analyzing client risk exposures and works with the rest of the team to develop new business accounts. On a day-to-day basis, they conduct detailed surveys, prepare reports and record assessments in order to advise the client and underwriters how to best minimize risk.
“It definitely helps to have strong communication skills and an understanding of the industry, but a lot of the technical training is taught on the job.” —David Kerr, Client Representative, Marsh Canada Limited
David Kerr is a University of Guelph marketing management graduate who recently completed the Risk Analyst rotational program at Marsh Canada Limited. He currently works as a Client Representative who provides support to the client executive on his team and services larger insurance brokerage and risk management accounts. He worked as a summer student at various other insurance companies before starting the entry-level program at Marsh.
“The new graduate rotational program at Marsh gave me the opportunity to work in three different units across the company, including Aviation, Communications Risk Management and Risk Consulting. Being exposed to these different practices has definitely helped me realize my interests and gain practical experience. I would highly recommend the program to any new graduates looking to start a career in the industry.”
According to Kerr, it’s helpful to have a business background when applying to an entry level insurance job or rotational program, but it’s not mandatory.
“Many of my colleagues have used skills from previous summer jobs to help them launch a career in insurance. It definitely helps to have strong communication skills and an understanding of the industry, but a lot of the technical training is taught on the job.”
Kerr and the other risk analysts in his program were required to begin working towards the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation once they joined the company. The 10-course program helps new workers develop the necessary skills and tools needed to become a knowledgeable insurance professional.
Working as a Risk Analyst offers significant room for growth, as Kerr has experienced firsthand. After graduating from Marsh’s rotational program, he has already been promoted to Client Representative and has made many valuable contacts along the way.
An Insurance Assistant provides administrative and technical support to the client service team. They are also responsible for handling questions and requests from current and prospective clients.
Daily tasks can range from preparing insurance forms and processing transactions to assisting with support duties such as answering phones, processing mail, and photocopying materials.
If you’re organized, dependable and have strong interpersonal skills, you would be a good fit for the position. It also helps to have strong attention to detail and prior knowledge of the insurance industry.
In order to become an Insurance Assistant, you should have at least one or two years of customer service or administrative experience. It’s also beneficial to express an interest in working towards the CIP designation. Most client teams require an Insurance Assistant, so it’s a job that will always be in high demand.
Essentially, an underwriter trainee is exactly what it sounds like: an Underwriter-In-Training. Becoming one is a great way to learn about the foundation of the industry.
Underwriter Trainees review insurance applications to determine if the level of risk is acceptable under their company’s policy. An underwriter trainee’s primarily role is to recommend the right coverage package for clients after analyzing the risks and other relevant factors described in the documentation.
Skills required for the job include strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to learn quickly and work independently. Underwriter Trainees also need to have advanced research and analytical skills in order to stay on top of their workload.
An Underwriter Trainee will also be required to work towards the CIP designation in order for their career to progress.
Looking to learn more about the underwriting process firsthand? If so, becoming an Underwriter Assistant is a great place to start.
The primary role of an underwriter assistant is to provide clerical and underwriting support to the rest of the team. You could be tasked with anything from researching new business leads and servicing current clients to inputting data, reviewing reports and handling reception duties.
In order to succeed in this role, a high level of professionalism is required. Ideal candidates will be organized, flexible and have strong problem solving abilities. It’s also an asset to have strong verbal communication skills and a proven record of working well in teams. Preference will usually be given to candidates with a post-secondary degree and a willingness to work towards a CIP designation.
Customer Service Representative
One of the most common entry level jobs in the insurance industry is a Customer Service Representative (CSR). A CSR typically works in a call centre or supports a team of insurance brokers and agents.
An insurance CSR is typically responsible for answering calls and handling requests from current and prospective clients. You’re required to have a strong understanding of the company’s systems, services and products in order to provide customers with the most accurate information.
You would be a good fit for this role if you have customer service experience, strong interpersonal skills and are able to conduct yourself in a professional manner.
An insurance license is sometimes required to become a CSR, but many companies will pay for your training once you’ve been chosen for the position. Willingness to work towards the CIP designation is considered a bonus.
Every insurance company needs to employ customer service representatives, so it’s a great way to get your foot in the door and gain some valuable knowledge about the industry.