Concerned about making a career in insurance but not certain what your options are? You’re not alone. Many recent grads are unaware of the variety of entry-level insurance jobs that are offered in the industry. Despite what you have studied, insurance offers a little something for everybody. Here’s a breakdown of five widespread insurance jobs you should be looking for if you’re fresh out of school. Whether you’re interested in ultimately working as an underwriter, broker or claims adjuster, there are numerous different paths you can take to reach your goal.
Concerned about making a career in insurance but not certain what your options are?
You’re not alone. Many recent grads are unaware of the variety of entry-level insurance jobs that are offered in the industry.
Despite what you have studied, insurance offers a little something for everybody.
Here’s a breakdown of five widespread insurance jobs you should be looking for if you’re fresh out of school. Whether you’re interested in ultimately working as an underwriter, broker or claims adjuster, there are numerous different paths you can take to reach your goal.
A Risk Analyst is in charge of analyzing client risk exposures and works with the rest of the group to increase new business accounts. On a day-to-day basis, they conduct comprehensive surveys, organize reports and record assessments in order to advise the client and underwriters how to best reduce 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 presently works as a Client Representative who provides support and services to larger insurance brokerage and risk management accounts. He worked as a summer student at a variety of other insurance companies prior to 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 commerce background when applying to an entry level insurance job or rotational program, but it’s not compulsory.
“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 obligated to begin working in the direction of the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation once they joined the company. The program helps fresh employees develop the essential skills and equipment compulsory to developing into a well-informed insurance expert.
Working as a Risk Analyst offers important space for expansion, as Kerr has practiced firsthand. After graduating from Marsh’s rotational program, he has already been promoted to Client Representative and has gained experience with many high-value contracts along the way.
An Insurance Assistant provides clerical and technological support to the client service team. They are also accountable for handling questions and requirements from present and potential clients.
Everyday tasks can range from preparing insurance forms and giving out business communications to answering phones, handling mail, and photocopying documents.
If you are well organized, patient and have impressive interpersonal skills, you would be a good fit for this position. It also helps to have strong attention to detail and prior knowledge of the insurance industry.
In order to develop into an Insurance Assistant, you must have at least one or two years of customer service or managerial experience. It’s also helpful to communicate an interest in working towards a CIP designation. It’s a job that will constantly be in high demand.
Fundamentally, an underwriter trainee is precisely what it sounds like: an Underwriter-In-Training. Underwriter Trainees re-evaluate insurance applications to decide if the stage of hazard is satisfactory under their company’s guidelines. An underwriter trainee’s main responsibility is to suggest the accurate coverage package for clients after analyzing the risks and other related factors described in the application.
Skills necessary for the job consist of strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the capability to study quickly and work independently. Underwriter Trainees also require above-average investigation and analytical skills along with time management skills to stay on top of their workload.
An Underwriter Trainee will also need to work towards a CIP designation to become an underwriter.
Looking to find out more about the underwriting profession? If so, obtaining an Underwriter Assistant position is a great place to start.
The principal role of an underwriter assistant is to give administrative and underwriting support to the rest of the underwriting team. You could be asked to do a wide variety of tasks including researching new leads and servicing existing clients, data entry, reviewing documents and managing administrative duties.
In order to be successful in this role, a high level of professionalism is necessary. Perfect candidates will be determined, flexible and have strong problem solving capabilities. It’s also a benefit to have strong verbal communication skills and an established record of working well in teams. Hiring for this position will likely go to candidates with a post-secondary degree and an eagerness to work towards a CIP designation.
Customer Service Representative
One of the most populated entry level jobs in the insurance business is a Customer Service Representative (CSR). A CSR generally works in a call centre or supports a team of insurance brokers and agents.
An insurance CSR is usually in charge of answering calls and handling requests from existing and potential clients. You’re trained in the company’s systems and services and apply this to your daily interaction with customers.
You would be a superior fit for this position if you have customer service experience, interpersonal skills, and are able to present yourself in a professional manner.
An insurance license is at times essential to becoming a CSR, but various companies will reimburse you for your tuition once you’ve been selected for the position. Eagerness to work towards a CIP designation is considered a bonus.
Each and every insurance company is required to have customer service representatives, so it’s a great way to get your foot in the door and gain some valuable knowledge about the industry.
Source: Conference Board of Canada, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Statistics Canada Input/Output tables (2007), Statistics Canada. Canadian Business Patterns (June 2010), Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending (2009), Mobilizing Toronto’s Financial Sector for Global Advantage, Boston Consulting Group (Nov 2009), www.insuranceeconomy.ca, www.insuranceworks.ca, http://talentegg.ca/incubator/