Building a career requires two things – time and consistency. It almost reminds one of a quote from the cult classic – The Shawshank Redemption. “Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes really, pressure, and time.” So when we are devoting our time to something that is focal to our life, it is necessary to be sure about it. Hence there is a lot of thought that goes into choosing a career. We at Totempool aim to make this decision a little easier through our series of good career path blogs. In this piece, we discuss – Is life insurance a good career path?
What Is an Insurance Agent?
There is a great deal of uncertainty in our lives. So, we need insurance to safeguard our lives and other prized possessions, such as our homes, cars, etc in case of an adverse event.
People decide on insurance based on various factors such as premiums, coverage, and deductibles. This has led to the rise of insurance agents. An insurance agent will help you choose the insurance cover that is most suitable for you.
Additionally, he can assist with financial planning by offering retirement and estate planning services. Let’s try to understand the industry well so we can finally answer the question – is life insurance a good career path?
Nature of the job
The job of an insurance agent involves reaching out to potential clients. Then he understands their needs and pitches his products or services. Also, an insurance agent will try to assess requirements by finding out about his client’s current insurance coverage.
His other main tasks include explaining the features of different policies and keeping track of a clients’ records and renewals.
If you aspire to become an insurance agent, you can work for one company known as a captive agent. Or you have a choice of working as an independent agent selling insurance products from multiple companies.
For the most part, insurance agents get trained on the job. However, people with finance or business background are preferred. Also, people who have worked in sales or customer service positions find it easier to start as insurance agents.
Also, an insurance agent requires a license to work. And to obtain that in certain states, he needs to complete 20 hours of coursework and pass an examination.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regulates these exams and licenses. An insurance agent earns $50,000 a year on average.
Career Options in the Life Insurance Industry
In the previous section, we have dealt in depth with insurance agents. However, there are many other career options that are available in the industry. Let us explore them here.
As we have already mentioned, there are several different kinds of insurance policies such as home, health, life, cars, etc. As a claims adjuster, it becomes your responsibility to assess the damage and decide the benefits the investor must receive.
For instance, if someone’s car is damaged and they had it covered under insurance, you, as a claims adjuster, will arrive at the scene and inspect the vehicle. Also, you will talk to the vehicle owner and try to understand what had happened. This will help you decide the extent of damages and the type of benefits they should receive. A claims adjuster makes $53,0000 a year on average.
The claims adjuster has completed his inspection. Now the claims examiner comes into the picture. This is because the claims examiner reviews all incoming claims. As a claim examiner, you decide if the clients should receive compensation.
To do this, you talk to the claims adjuster and understand why a specific benefit is picked. Also, a claims examiner needs to know the damage that’ll occur if the claim is not paid. As a claims examiner, you will work closely with the claims adjuster and the relationship manager. A claims examiner makes $50,000 per year.
Insurance frauds are a widespread occurrence. As an insurance investigator, it is your job to identify suspicious claims and weed them out.
For instance, a person wanting to claim health insurance could forge hospital bills. And now it is your turn to switch to sleuth mode and check whether his claim is genuine or not. An insurance investigator makes $52,000 a year on average.
Relationship manager and advisor
The relationship manager is the medium that connects the client to the company. His main job is to ensure that the client is updated about the firm’s policies.
As a relationship manager, it is your job to ensure that a client stays with the company and continues using its products. To achieve this, you will advise your clients and maintain a cordial relationship with them. This helps reduce the churn rate of insurance companies. A Relationship Manager earns more than $66,000 a year on average.
Life insurance firms also need a good number of underwriters. Underwriters help insurance companies decide the charges for different categories based on the risk involved. This helps in finalizing the placement of individuals in each bracket.
However, the categorization of people is only done after the application is studied. An insurance underwriter makes more than $62,000 a year on average.
Insurance actuaries are professionals who make use of mathematical models, statistics, and probability to determine risks and assess their premiums.
If you aspire to become an Insurance Actuary, you will analyze various factors and calculate how much the firm would have to pay out on a policy to achieve your goal. On average, insurance actuaries make more than $108,000 every year.
Pros of a Career in Life Insurance
As we have seen, there are quite a few options for people who would like to pursue a career in life insurance. And there are many perks to working in this industry as well. Let us discuss them in some detail here.
The number of diverse opportunities in the insurance sector is immense. And this fact provides you the flexibility to pursue different careers. You could work in insurance sales, insurance broking, claims, underwriting, or more.
Also, each of these choices has plenty of exciting career options. Moreover, this is also why the insurance industry has something to offer everybody in terms of career.
Picking up new skills
In addition to having a variety of roles, there is the advantage of learning new skills in each of them. Sales roles can help you build communication, customer service, and networking skills. On the other hand, desk-based positions assist you in understanding problem solving, analytics and research.
Insurance is an entirely customer-focused industry. This is especially helpful if you are looking to impact the lives of a large number of people in a positive manner.
Choosing an insurance policy is a tricky decision for most people. Your information will make things easier for them. Moreover, the satisfaction of helping society is an intangible benefit that will keep you motivated throughout your career.
Minimal entry barriers
There are many roles in insurance that do not require a college degree. Most of the learning and training is on the job. However, your employer might ask you to complete some form of compliance training.
Also, your firm will ask you to complete online courses from time to time. This will help you keep any state licenses valid. And, you keep yourself abreast of industry trends.
High Earning Potential
There is a lot to earn in the insurance industry. This is because a vast majority of the insurance agents get a commission for every policy they sell. All you need to do is have a good work ethic and the ability to build a rapport with people. Moreover, insurance renewals provide a steady income stream as well.
Cons of Working in Life Insurance
Everything is looking very rosy so far. However, there are some downsides that one must be aware of before they answer YES to the question – is life insurance a good career path? And those are exactly what we will discuss in this part of the article.
The pressure of making targets
People working in this field have the pressure of meeting various targets and quotas. For those who are not good at closing sales or converting leads, this is an area of concern. One way to counter this is to make sure that you are clear about the compensation structure.
Fast-paced work culture
Insurance is an extremely fast-paced and challenging sector to work in. One might build excellent relations with several potential clients but not have substantial conversions to show for the same. Perseverance, a positive attitude, and the ability to face repeated rejections are a must here.
Insurance is an industry that is pretty much always in demand and is synonymous with opportunity. As stressed earlier in the piece, people always require some form of insurance. And this is an area that is fairly insulated from the state of the economy.
Hence there is a measure of job security. Also, the insurance sector provides numerous opportunities for people to grow their careers in different countries as well. So, all in all – Is life insurance a good career path?. It most certainly is.
Here we list several industry paths to help you make your choices with solid information before moving to a particular industry:
- Non-durable consumer goods
- Oil and gas
- Business services
- Consumer services
- Commercial banking
- Capital goods
- Basic industries
- Real State Investment Trusts
- Health Care
- Metal Fabrication
- Precious Metals
- Packaged Foods
If you are indecisive about the area you want to work, here we list a few functional career paths:
As more industries are published on the website, we will keep updating the list for you.