If insurance is not already on your radar as a career, it should be. An insurance career can offer stability, variety, challenges, rewards, above average potential for advancement and the opportunity for you to take your career where you want to go.
There are a few misconceptions about the industry and the kinds of careers it can offer. Here are five common ones.
5. Insurance is all about sales
Like any business, insurance does have a sales force. That said, of the nine roles promoted by the industry’s Career Connections program as gateways to an insurance career, only one – Broker/Agent – is actually focused on sales.
Risk Management, Underwriting, Claims, Marketing, Appraising, and Investigations are amongst the other areas of the insurance sector where you could find a rewarding career. Not to mention, the traditional functions that are a part of an organization like Human Resources, IT, Finance, Accounting and Communications.
4. Young people are not working in the insurance industry
Youth represent a large part of the recruitment that has taken place in the insurance industry in the last five years.
Though it is true that up to 28% of the industry’s workforce is eligible to retire in the next 5-10 years according to the Insurance Institute of Canada’s most recent Demographic Research Study, there is also consistent growth in the number of young people working in the sector.
Gen Y or the Echo Cohort (those under 32 years of age) accounts for 27% of those working in the insurance industry – this is up from about 12% in 2007. The Boomer Generation (those 46-65) represent 37% of the industry – this is down from 49% in 2007.
The demographics of the industry are definitely trending younger- so much so that industry networking associations targeted at young people have emerged in key industry centres across the country like the Young Insurance Professionals of Toronto or LARAQ in Montreal.
3. Insurance is boring
As with any kind of work, a career in insurance includes some tasks that don’t appeal as much as others – but with an overall satisfaction rating of 89%, we can deduce that people are feeling challenged and rewarded by their careers in the industry.
Insurance at its core is ultimately a ‘people industry’ – whether that be in managing client or business to business relationships, working as part of a team to assess a potential risk, helping someone through the claims process or conducting an interview as part of a fraud investigation.
Curious? Check out this video featuring industry professionals and hear what they have to say about their careers in the industry.
2. Insurance employers are not employers of choice
Insurance employers are as diverse as the people working in the industry – ranging in size from 5- 10,000 and operating in urban and rural centres. Some are a part of a multinational conglomerate while others are independent small businesses.
You can find insurance professionals working in brokerages, adjusting and risk management firms, insurance companies, financial institutions, healthcare centres, private industry and all levels of government. It is very likely, that in this mix, you will find an employer who is right for you.
As well, the majority of insurance organizations offer competitive compensation packages, benefits, a commitment to supporting your insurance and professional learning, a great company culture and a chance to take your career exactly where you want to go.
1. You need a business degree to work in insurance
You do not have to have a business background to work in the insurance industry.
Gifted at math? Consider a career as an Actuary. Background in Health Care, Kinesiology or Psychology? You might be well suited to a career as a Loss Adjuster. English, History, Life Sciences more your thing? You might enjoy a career as an Underwriter. Or maybe you studied Police Foundations or Criminology? Think about a Claims Investigator role. Engineering? Risk Management might be where your career evolves to.
And, for those of you who did study business – not to worry, there are definitely roles that could suit you too!
Want more examples? Check out this chart from the Insurance Institute of Canada’s Career Connections Web site.
Now that some of the myths are out of the way, you might want to check out www.career-connections.info to find out more about a career in this vital and stable sector.