Career Spotlights: Insurance

Insurance reduces the negative impact of losing assets or income when an accident, illness, robbery, or death occurs. Many buy different types of insurance like health, life, auto, and home insurance so that they can transfer some of their risk of loss to the insurance company. But what does the other side of this industry look like? What does a job in insurance look like?

Career paths in insurance require strong backgrounds in math, statistics, and financial theory. Additionally, you need good communication and writing skills as often times you would be writing reports and communicating with clients about your findings and calculations. Here are some potential career paths and what each field requires.

Actuaries: They help develop insurance policies by determining the costs of risk. Actuaries also work in the public sector where they evaluate proposed changes to Social Security or Medicare or examine and regulate rates charged by insurance companies.
In addition to having excellent arithmetic skills, actuaries need to take examinations to get the right certifications. Most employers support their employees throughout the later part of their certification process (e.g. covering the costs of exams or giving raises after they pass exams). You can find out more by checking the Society of Actuaries website.

Financial or Insurance Managers: They decide how to limit losses by protecting against risks like costs imposed by lawsuits against the organization.
Financial managers need at least a bachelor’s degree and 5 years or more of experience in related occupations like accountant, loan officers, securities sales agents, or financial analysts. Many employers are also interested in hiring people with a master’s in fields like finance, accounting, economics, or business administration.

Insurance Sales Agents: They contact potential customers to sell one or more types of insurance. Sales agents explain various policies and help clients choose plans that suit them best. Agents can specialize in selling a specific type of insurance like life insurance or casualty insurance or sell multiple plans. They can also choose to work for a specific company or work for an insurance brokerage by selling the policies of many companies.

Agents need licenses in states where they work. They are only issued to applicants who have completed the necessary courses and pass state exams covering insurance fundamentals and state insurance laws. Many state licensing authorities also require agents to take courses on insurance laws, consumer protection, and other technical aspects of insurance policies. You can find more about these state requirements here.

Raisa Fatima ’23 is a Physics major with interests in research and engineering. She enjoys painting, reading and playing games like Stardew Valley in her spare time. Raisa works as a Career Peer Educator for the BE and PHN career communities so if you’re interested in anything PHN or BE related, or you just need some general advice on anything professional development related like resumes, cover letter etc. you can schedule an appointment here.