Insurance 101


Many myths have been woven about the insurance industry.

Some assume it’s boring. To others, it may seem like number crunching and not much more. For those who work in insurance however, it is neither boring nor solely focused on numbers. It’s an exciting industry where no two days are the same.

Here’s why.

The insurance industry is ever-evolving. In order to serve a wide variety of clients and sectors – from sports to fashion to agriculture – the industry must remain at the forefront of emerging issues. Cyber security, autonomous cars, drones and climate change—these are all examples of game-changing trends that require the thought leadership of insurance professionals to balance risk and maximize rewards. At the end of the day, everything requires insurance. That’s why it’s a thriving industry that offers a lot of exciting opportunities for talented, ambitious and hard-working students and new grads like you who want a build a fulfilling, ever-expanding career. In this article, we’re going to give you an overview of the insurance industry and why it could be a perfect fit for you!

What is Insurance?

At the core of the insurance industry is one key concept-security. In an uncertain world where natural disasters, accidents and health issues can flip our world upside down, how will we know that we’ll be okay? The insurance industry exists to give its clients a sense of safety by watching over their key assets and ensuring that their quality of life will be protected when circumstances change. It’s the industry that works quietly but powerfully in the background of our lives, ready to help us the minute tragedy strikes.

Types of Insurance

There are three main types of insurance: property & casualty, social and life & health insurance. Property and casualty insurance seeks to protect physical and capital investments such as cars, businesses and property. Social insurance on the other hand, focuses on insurance for employees and compensation for when workers are injured on the job. Finally, life & health insurance ensures that even in the event of a death or sudden illness and disability, you’ll be able to cover your expenses and live a stable life. Out of the three types of insurance, property and casualty insurance is by far the biggest—so if you start working in the insurance industry, you’re most likely to work in this sector!

Roles in Insurance

As you can imagine, the insurance industry is a multi-faceted field that requires many different skill sets and personalities working together seamlessly in order to function. From the marketing professional who can break down and explain in simple terms the various kinds of insurance plans you might be interested in, to the claims investigator who inspects your vehicle after an accident to ascertain how much coverage you’ll need, the insurance industry is built on a diversity of roles. Here is a list of nine roles you could have as part of the insurance industry, their key responsibilities and personal qualities that would make you a good fit for each one.

Do you like quizzes? Take this one to see which role in the insurance industry is perfect for you!

Types of Employers

From multinational companies to local insurance firms, there are many types of employers in the insurance industry! So whether you’re happier in a large organization situated in the city or a smaller one that’s closer to home, there’s definitely an employer that’s right for you. To give you a glimpse of all the different employers you can have as part of the insurance industry, here is a list of private and public insurance companies provided by the Insurance Institute of Canada.


What kind of people work in the insurance industry? Here are five key statistics to give you a taste of the bigger picture!


Myths About the Insurance Industry

Myth #1: Insurance is boring.
There couldn’t be a bigger myth than this one. Insurance careers are as diverse as the clients the industry serves—so whether you prefer to be behind a desk crunching numbers or out in the field assessing risk or damages, you’ll be able to find a role that will meet your needs and keep you engaged. Because the industry has to evolve with the ever changing needs of the individuals and sectors it serves, the learning never stops for insurance professionals. Whether you’re dealing with a new risk, portfolio, or client you’ll find each day brings new challenges and opportunities for growth.

Myth #2: Insurance is just about numbers.
Insurance is so much more than just numbers – it’s a people focused industry! After all, at the end of the day, the aim of insurance professionals is to improve the quality of life of their clients. Therefore people are at the centre of the insurance industry, not numbers.

Myth #3: It’s all about selling insurance.
While properly explaining insurance to potential clients and setting them up with the right plan is a big part of the insurance industry, it definitely isn’t all of it – there is also the need to create the proper plans, assessing the conditions for when they come into action and reexamining the insurance needs of the whole population just to name a few!

Myth #4: Insurance is a job, not a career.
If there’s one thing all insurance professionals can probably agree on, it’s that being in the insurance industry is so much more than just a role – it’s a journey. Every single day brings with it new challenges and opportunities to grow as professionals and people. Choosing insurance then, might begin as a job but evolves into a career that could span decades of fulfilling and meaningful work.

Curious to learn more about the insurance industry? Check out the Insurance Institute’s career resources page, Career Connections for more information!