There is an old joke in our industry that nobody actually grows up planning to be in insurance, you sort of just fall into it. While it may not be true ALL of the time, it is definitely a recurring theme among many of my industry peers – including myself.
For me, insurance was somewhat of a family business that I had a lot of exposure to growing up. After studying business, I decided that insurance was a logical step for me because I was familiar with the field. That was almost 10 years ago, and I have been building and enjoying my career in the insurance industry ever since.
Many of our veterans within the life insurance industry are retiring and many more are expected to follow suit in the coming years.
Recent statistics show an overall decrease of almost 34% in the number of employees working in the Life Insurance Industry over the last 25 years.
Some might think that this steady decline in the number of industry professionals is indicative of an industry that is shrinking – but that is far from the case. In fact, New Life Insurance Premiums are steadily increasing year over year, growing by 13.2% between 2014 and 2015. It doesn’t take an Actuarial Analyst (see what I did there?) to tell you that the basic rules around supply and demand dictate that there is a large and increasingly growing gap in the amount of insurance being sold vs. the amount of insurance professionals required to accommodate this.
While some find these statistics concerning – I see this as an opportunity (I guess you can call me an optimist) for young professionals to build a lucrative career within an industry that has numerous specialized career paths, all with excellent opportunities for advancement. Now, you may be wondering:
How does someone entering the insurance industry develop a specialization?
Let’s take a career in underwriting as an example, as this is a specialized career with knowledge that translates across the entire life insurance service chain from Insurance Agents all the way through to Reinsurers.
The 2014 ALU Life Underwriter Census revealed that Underwriters are facing the same looming gap in talent as the rest of the Life Insurance Industry – an opportunity!
Underwriting is a vital part of issuing insurance policies, as it allows companies to properly assess and manage the risk they are exposed to, which in turn allows them to ensure that premiums remain affordable for their policy holders. It requires a comprehensive understanding of medical impairments and treatments that requires both a highly specialized skill set and continuous learning as the world of medicine continues to evolve.
Sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be.
In my experience, the two most valuable ways to develop a new skill set are
- by learning directly from an expert,
- by “getting your feet wet” in doing the work yourself
I know what you’re probably thinking “that’s all well and good – but how am I supposed to gain practical experience if I’m new to the industry and have little experience?” A valid question!
Find the right resources
It’s important for any learner seeking a specialization in underwriting, to find an underwriting training provider they trust. Ideally you would find one that is specifically designed not only to equip you with the necessary knowledge on medical impairments and treatments, but to effectively apply your learnings by physically underwriting life insurance applications and medical records. This is integral to learning our methodology of Learn, Check, Apply.
Developing this type of expertise opens doors outside of becoming a Life Underwriter, as many different roles can utilize the knowledge of underwriting in their daily work. This includes Insurance Case Managers, Claims Adjudicators, and even Sales Professionals.
Remember, insurance is something that there will always be a need for – which makes it a great choice for those looking to develop a rewarding career.
Get started today and take your career into your own hands!
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