Insurance Institute of Michigan
November 19, 2018

Insurance Careers

Are you interested in a career that is both challenging and rewarding? You should consider a job in the property/casualty insurance industry.

Each year, consumers and businesses in Michigan pay over $46 billion dollars for insurance. More than 1,500 insurance companies are licensed to operate here and employ about 56,000 men and women.

Insurance provides a broad array of educational opportunities for its employees and the chance to increase their knowledge and advance their careers. Many colleges and universities throughout the state and nation offer courses in insurance. Several have degree programs. The course work at these institutions is valuable for persons wishing to pursue a career in insurance — as well as for those involved in other activities where an insurance background would be an asset.

Property and casualty insurance is pretty much a people-to-people business. Nothing is manufactured. Aside from computers, there isn’t much machinery involved. Mostly, it is persons performing all kinds of services — persons with abilities much like those needed in dozens of other businesses and industries.

Here is a sampling of entry-level jobs, which are available to persons who are not necessarily insurance specialists.

Accountants
. Accountants need a college degree, with concentrations in math and/or finance.

Lawyers
put their knowledge to work for us in many ways — in courtrooms, writing insurance policies and by interpreting state and federal regulations. High school, college and law school are prerequisites for this job.

To be a webmaster, computer programmer or network administrator you would also need a college degree. College work should focus on computer sciences.

Clerical
positions of all kinds are a vital part of insurance organizations.

Advertising and Public Relations
personnel help us tell the public about our services and explain new insurance developments which affect consumers. College — with an emphasis in Journalism, Communications, Advertising or Public Relations — prepares you for these positions.

Insurance companies employ Human Resource Personnel for recruiting and training others. A college degree, with emphasis on business, human resources and labor relations, is generally needed for this position.

More specialized insurance jobs include:

The Actuary is highly respected and has a background in mathematics. The actuary is an analyst, a forecaster, a planner. The actuary studies the frequency of hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, thefts, industrial accidents, explosions, and many other chance occurrences; tabulates the damage they do and the injuries they cause; calculates the probability of recurrences; and then recommends the price which should be charged for insurance for these risks.

An Underwriter is responsible for reviewing insurance applications and making decisions whether or not to insure based on studies of the company’s experience and a review of many factors. Sound judgment and an analytical mind are essential.

Insurance Agents
provide a vital service as they provide advice to people regarding the purchase of insurance. Their greatest satisfaction comes from tailoring programs to fit the varying needs of property owners, and in assisting customers when claims are made. It is necessary to be licensed by the state in which you sell. Each state has its own licensing requirements, which usually include a written test on the fundamentals of insurance and the laws governing the business.

Field Representatives
provide a link between insurance companies and those insurance agents who sell the companies’ policies. It is their responsibility to make sure agents fully understand important developments in the business, as well as changes in company policies and practices. Field representatives are sometimes called “special agents” or marketing representatives, although they do not sell insurance.

Claim Representatives
is usually one of the first to arrive on the scene of an accident, fire or other disaster. They are there to assist those who have suffered a loss, the claim service representative inspects damaged or destroyed property and then estimates the cost of repair or replacement.

Loss Prevention Personnel
are specialists in accident prevention. Those who work in this field must have the ability to envision, develop and implement safety programs that hold accidents — and particularly bodily injuries — to a minimum. They carefully survey work areas and operations, identify the hazards involved and make practical suggestions for their elimination. Especially important is a broad knowledge of devices, materials and methods of preventing, fighting and averting the spread of fires. Loss control specialists work closely with executives of large industrial firms, cities and public institutions in designing and carrying out fire protection and safety systems.

For more information, download our brochure, “Insurance: A Challenging and Rewarding Career.”

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