Sai Gadam lists entry-level careers for youth in insurance
If you are passionate about business or finance and care about the welfare of others, then a career in insurance may be right for you. In this industry, you will find a wide selection of job opportunities that suit a number of interests and skillsets. However, most recent graduates are unaware of the abundance of career options available to them in insurance. For instance, you may be attracted to a position as a life insurance agent, claims adjuster, underwriter, broker, or financial analyst, to name a few. Luckily, most entry-level opportunities do not require a specific degree to be able to work in this field. According to Sai Gadam, while excellent communication skills and some industry-specific knowledge is helpful to land a position, most technical training is completed on-the-job.
Sai Gadam graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. Gadam started his career in insurance as an intern before being hired as a full-time auditor at the same company. He was also allowed the opportunity to experience several different departments and roles, providing him with a complete understanding of business operations. Today, he is an underwriter for a commercial insurance company where he shoulders ample responsibility and continues to excel in his career. Here, Gadam shares a few of the benefits of working in the insurance industry, and four entry-level insurance positions that can help you get your foot in the door.
Benefits of Working in Insurance
There are several reasons why insurance is an increasingly attractive career choice for Millenials. Firstly, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that 400,000 people are expected to retire from the insurance industry by 2025, making jobs in this field highly sought after. Moreover, individuals can expect career advancement by completing industry certifications, usually at the expense of the company. Employees should also anticipate facing new challenges, leveraging technology to work more effectively, achieving a work-life balance, job security, access to great employee benefits, and the opportunity to meet new people. However, one of the biggest advantages of working in insurance is being able to help people. For instance, you may be responsible for assisting vulnerable clients that have recently experienced a home burglary or a car accident. Sai Gadam asserts that a career in insurance will offer a satisfying and worthwhile career.
#1: Junior Risk Analyst
Risk analysts review all potential threats involved in running a business, including problems with the physical location of an organization, the probability of being robbed, or the likelihood of employees being injured on the job. Most risk analysts work in an office environment and spend their time critically examining statistical reports and other documents to uncover risk factors. However, at times, analysts may be required to go out into the field to gather additional data, such as physical walk-throughs of a business or to speak with employees. Once an analyst has successfully considered all of the internal and external influences that could harm a business, they will offer suggestions for prevention, including supplementary insurance plans or stricter safety protocols.
Most entry-level analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree in any of the following fields of study; accounting, economics, finance, statistics, or mathematics. However, for more advanced positions, employers may require a master’s degree in business administration or finance, in addition to their on-the-job training. To advance in this field, Gadam says that you may need to express interest in working towards the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation, which offers the necessary tools to help you become an informed insurance professional.
#2: Insurance Broker Assistant
If you enjoy administrative work and conversing with clients, then you may want to consider a position as an insurance broker assistant. Insurance assistants are responsible for handling customer inquires regarding their insurance coverage and renewals. They are also the ‘go-to’ person for sales agents regarding the client’s policies and changes that need to be implemented. Overall, their day-to-day involves on-going conversations with clients, potential clients, and salespeople. Gadam says that effective insurance assistants can multitask, have good communication skills, a strong customer-service orientation, are organized, and exhibit a general knowledge of computer software. To become an insurance assistant, individuals should have at least one year of customer service or administrative experience and an interest in pursuing a CIP designation. While most assistants have completed their college diploma, post-secondary studies are not always necessary, given an adequate amount of experience.
#3: Underwriter Trainee
An underwriter trainee is an employee that is undergoing extensive training to become an Underwriter. Gadam states that insurance underwriters are primarily responsible for protecting the insurance company from conceivable financial losses. It is an underwriter’s job to determine whether or not an applicant should be approved for coverage and under what terms. Underwriters are highly competent when it comes to technology and can use risk-assessing programs, word-processor, spreadsheets, and presentation software. Most insurance companies have in-house underwriter trainee programs that allow individuals to learn the business in a supervised environment. These mentorship programs typically last three to four months, but can even be as long as two years depending on the company. Trainees spend a lot of their time learning about the particular market in which their company specializes. In general, underwriters need to be familiar with the array of risk factors that affect whether or not insurance companies are willing to insure and be comfortable making judgement calls.
#4: Customer Service Representative
Every insurance company needs customer service representatives (CSR). As such, you should not have a problem finding job postings for this position at one of the many insurance firms. CSRs are responsible for supporting insurance agents and brokers by providing clients with policy information and handling customer complaints. Successful customer service reps have a friendly demeanor, excellent communication skills, work well under pressure, and are able to remain calm when dealing with difficult clients. From a technical knowledge standpoint, they must also have a deep knowledge of the company’s insurance products, be able to assess customer accounts, relay important policy information, recommend products, and manage the customer complaints database. According to Gadam, people who have experience in customer service and are able to conduct themselves in a professional manner would make a good CSR. In addition to holding a high school diploma, you may need to obtain an insurance license. However, companies will typically pay for your insurance training once you have been hired for the position.
Insurance is a stable industry to be employed according to Gadam. In fact, BLS estimates that the demand for insurance agents will grow ten percent faster than average through to 2026. While the jobs detailed above are a good starting point, the insurance industry offers plenty of room for advancement. Thus, if you exhibited an interest in any of the above career options, consider searching related jobs in your area and get started towards a profitable career in insurance.