When I lived in Texas, I had a friend who was an insurance adjuster. She seemed to make good money at her job, and after she told me about the crazy encounters she would have with all sorts of snakes, spiders, and scorpions as she checked under mobile homes and other dark and scary places, I thought, ‘Well, of course, you make good money. You put your life on the line every day!’
Let’s look at the different types of jobs in the insurance industry.
- 16 Different Types of Jobs in the Insurance Industry
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16 Different Types of Jobs in the Insurance Industry
Most insurance jobs will require you to have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree. You also want to be knowledgeable in math and statistics.
If you are trying to work at the more challenging aspects of insurance, such as an actuary, you would need to have a good understanding of database management and SQL coding language.
Whichever job you take, you will need to be trained for that specific position and possibly acquire a certification or license in that particular field.
For jobs such as clerks, customer service representatives, and sales agents, the minimum educational requirements are a high school diploma.
A financial analyst works with all financial matters involving the insurance company. They will direct, advise and even oversee employees. They can also work with actuaries and risk managers to help establish financial strategies and manage the company’s investments.
A financial analyst will use analysis models to predict revenues and expenditures and calculate cost structures to help determine budgets for projects.
The responsibilities of a financial analyst may include compiling and analyzing financial reports and seeking out discrepancies that require attention, recommending an investment portfolio, evaluating financial data and determining economic and business trends, and preparing financial reports with sturdy conclusions that management can use to develop more effective operational strategies and provide EOM (end of the month) reports for C-level (CEO, CFO, or COO) executives.
Skills Needed to Be a Financial Analyst
- Strong analytical skills in order to gather and analyze information to problem-solve and investigate potential solutions
- Good communication abilities, both written and verbal
- Excellent technical skills
- Adept in math and computer software to evaluate financial data, spot patterns, generate forecasts, and design portfolios for clients
- Strong attention to detail
- Good decision-making abilities
A financial analyst has an average base income of $70,667 annually.
Claims and Policy Processor
This person is responsible for processing all the paperwork when a person files a claim or when a new client becomes insured with the agency. A claims policy processor must have good computer and data processing skills.
Their responsibilities could include preparing claim forms, verifying information, and working with agents and beneficiaries. They can also review policies, determine coverage, calculate claim amounts, and process claim payments.
Skills Needed to Be a Claims and Policy Processor
- Thorough knowledge of the insurance industry and relevant state and federal regulations
- Computer literate
- Excellent critical thinking and decision-making skills
- Excellent organizational and administrative skills
- Strong customer service skills
- Able to work under pressure and meet deadlines
*A claims and policy processor averages a base pay of about $45,169 annually.
Insurance Claims Clerk
Insurance claims clerks examine all the paperwork a client has filled out to make sure everything is completed accurately. They also help determine claim coverage and calculate the amount that should be paid out on a claim.
Responsibilities could include determining covered insurance losses, establishing proof of loss by studying documentation from outside sources, preparing reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing all information gathered, ensuring policies and procedures are followed accurately, providing legal support by gathering documentation for settlement activity, and maintaining a good relationship with all departments in the agency.
Skills Needed to Be an Insurance Claims Clerk
- Thorough knowledge of insurance-related policies and legislation
- Skilled in analytical math
- Excellent ability to resolve conflicts
- Strong written communication abilities
*An insurance claims clerk averages a base pay of about $37,696 annually.
A claims adjuster works with clients who have had an accident or loss of an item they have insured. This is the job my friend did. They will go out to the person’s home to inspect the damage that the claimant has submitted and assign a value to have it fixed or replaced.
The claims adjuster can be an adjuster who works for the insurance company and an adjuster who works for the public. Because the adjuster who works for the insurance company has the primary goal of saving and making money for the company they serve, a person may want to hire an independent adjuster to help them get the amount they deserve for their loss. The main goal of an insurance company adjuster is to save the company money. The main objective of a public adjuster is to get the highest possible amount paid to the policyholder.
Responsibilities of a claims adjuster can include interviewing clients and witnesses to gather information about the claim, inspecting the damage to the property or person if they were injured, examining photos and video footage, statements, and all other documentation, verifying insurance policy coverage and negotiating with the claimant to settle the claim.
Skills Needed to Be a Claims Adjuster
- Excellent communication and organizational skills
- Scrupulous investigative skills
- Analytically and mathematically minded
*A claims adjuster averages a base pay of $60,130 annually.
A claims examiner will review the case the claims adjuster wrote up and go over everything to ensure it has been appropriately filed by both parties. They also verify that due process was followed in the investigation, and they ensure legal compliance and provide assistance to claims adjuster if needed.
The examiner does this by:
- Inspecting and authorizing claims after they have been submitted
- Approve or deny insurance plan applications
- Determine if the more complex applications will need to be investigated further
- Assist adjusters during busy times
- Authorize final payments to claimants
Skills Needed to Be a Claims Examiner
- Sound administrative and organizational skills
- Excellent attention to detail
- Great interpersonal skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication
- Knowledgable in mathematics and spreadsheet programs
- Excellent decision-making ability
*A claims examiner averages a base pay of around $48,795 annually.
Insurance Field Inspector
The Insurance field inspector will estimate the property’s initial value to be insured. They can work in many different locations, such as insurance companies, mortgage lenders, or even banks. Their primary responsibility is to give an accurate value of the item based on its condition and possible problems that may arise.
Some of their responsibilities could involve gathering information, providing property value appraisals, visually inspecting and photographing the property, gathering data, and compiling a report based on your findings.
The best way to become a field inspector is to obtain an entry-level position and train under an experienced field inspector.
Skills Needed to Be a Field Inspector
- Strong computer and technology skills
- Great communication skills
- Excellent research skills
- Some knowledge of photography
*An insurance field inspector averages a base pay of about $71,572 annually.
An insurance appraiser will investigate the value of the items on an insurance claim and decide if and how much the insurance company will pay the insured making a claim. They will work in offices and the field in order to inspect damages such as automobile accidents and damage to a home or structure.
Also, if they believe there may be fraud involved, they will report this to investigators.
Skills Needed to Be an Insurance Appraiser
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Great attention to detail
- Good organizational skills
- Ability to work under pressure
*An insurance appraiser averages a base pay of around $53,341 annually.
Insurance investigators investigate possible insurance fraud or criminal activity. They go over each insurance claim, interview witnesses, look over any surveillance video footage and make sure no one is trying to commit insurance fraud. They will also talk to the police and review police reports to make sure everything said is accurate.
Though educational requirements vary depending upon the company you work for, many employers prefer to hire someone with prior experience in law enforcement, firefighting, criminal justice, or forensics. You will also need to be certified and maintain a license.
Skills Needed to Be an Insurance Investigator
- Have an eye for detail
- Interpersonal skills
- Excellent time management skills
- Thorough knowledge of insurance laws and rules
*An insurance investigator averages a base pay of $56,546 annually.
Insurance Sales Agent
An insurance sales agent needs to have excellent communication skills since they will be spending most of their time talking with people and trying to sell them an insurance policy.
They are the ones who design and implement different marketing strategies to help insurance companies obtain new contracts. They also provide customer service to existing clients and help them to develop long-term plans.
An insurance sales agent’s responsibilities could include maintaining records, developing payment options, and distributing policy proceeds.
Skills Needed to Be an Insurance Sales Agent
- In-depth knowledge of the different types of insurance plans, whether a vehicle, home, or business
- Excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills
- Skilled expertise in computers and statistical analysis software
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
*An insurance sales agent averages a base pay of around $69,943 annually.
Insurance brokers are intermediaries between an individual or corporation looking for insurance and the insurance company. They will analyze the needs of either an individual or an organization, determine the risks they may face, and then work towards finding insurance policies that can minimize those risks at the best price that suits the client’s needs.
Insurance brokers generally specialize in one particular area of insurance.
An insurance broker’s responsibilities may include:
- Creating marketing initiatives to gain potential clients
- Meeting with these clients to discuss their insurance needs
- Research all available policy options for the client
- Presenting the client with the details of the policy
- Collecting premiums
- Advising clients on when and how to file a claim
- Updating existing policies
Skills Needed to Be an Insurance Broker
- A love for sale
- In-depth knowledge of insurance products
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Basic knowledge of office and accounting software
- Superior negotiating abilities
- Strong mathematical skills
*An insurance broker averages a base pay of around $84,146 annually.
Loss Control Consultant
A loss control consultant looks at all the aspects of the business, evaluates the risks involved with certain practices, and looks for ways to prevent safety concerns. They may find ways to prevent thefts and inventory loss and will do whatever they can to protect the employers from undergoing any tremendous financial loss.
They also conduct routine assessments and will regularly look over a worker’s compensation and insurance claims. A loss control consultant can work with more than one company at a time.
As a loss control consultant, your responsibilities may include:
- Identifying potential safety risks
- Implementing strategies for the company and employees to prevent safety problems, theft, and inventory loss
- Evaluating a worker’s compensation claim
- Building and maintaining professional networks and channels of communication both in and outside of the agency
- Communicating safety information to assist in the risk selection of the underwriting procedure, and
- Maintaining the database for industrial inspections that are performed each quarter.
Skills Needed to Be a Loss Control Consultant
- Thorough knowledge of safety issues, rules, worker’s compensation, industry operations, risk assessments, and liability claims
- Excellent problem-solving skills and exceptional customer service abilities
- Excellent technology skills
- Outstanding verbal and written communication abilities
*A loss control consultant averages a base pay of around $65,405 annually.
An actuary will need to know statistics as they are analyzing the potential risk that an event will happen. With the information obtained, they will help their industry understand what to charge for the various types of coverage and help them plan for or reduce the financial repercussions should an event occur.
An actuary primarily works for an insurance agency and broker that sells policies to multiple companies, though an actuary could also work for the government.
Responsibilities could include collecting information and evaluating it for potential risks and how that would impact the business, using computer programs to compile and analyze data, creating models, graphs, tables, and reports to show your findings, preparing and presenting reports to managers, stakeholders, clients, and other involved parties, and refining strategies that would minimize the risks and costs to others.
Whichever direction they take, they will need to pass several tests.
- Actuarial Analyst
- Actuarial Associate
- Actuarial Manager
Skills Needed to Be an Actuary
- Knowledgable in mathematics, statistics, computer science, and calculus
- Familiar with finance or insurance industries
- Strong communication and presentation skills
- Demonstrable knowledge in computer software and modeling programs
*An actuary has a median income of $114,308 annually.
The primary function of a risk manager is to supervise the risks an organization will undertake and develop plans that will help keep losses at a minimum. A risk manager will investigate the cause of an accident or loss and try to find ways to improve and lower costs in the event that the accident happens again.
Some of the responsibilities of a risk manager may be analyzing data from previous claims and identifying trends or patterns, creating new policies or procedures to help curtail future risks, and negotiating with vendors to obtain a better price on supplies and equipment.
Skills Needed to Be a Risk Manager
- Knowledgable about risk assessment
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Understand data analysis
- Thorough financial knowledge, including how to read financial statements and how to interpret financial data
- Excellent problem-solving abilities
*A risk manager has an average base pay of $84,759 annually.
An underwriter will usually specialize in a particular area of insurance, such as auto or health. Their job is to determine if a client should get the insurance they are requesting and what risk they possess to the insurance agency.
For example, suppose a person is purchasing life insurance. In that case, the underwriter will evaluate the application and health information as well as the person’s lifestyle and determine their insurance classification based on the risk. From this, they will quote the client a premium amount.
If a person is seeking auto insurance, they will do similar research as with health insurance. They will consider the person’s age, gender, credit history, zip code, and driving record and then calculate what risks would be involved to insure the client and determine their premium.
Once the driver agrees and pays the premium, the insurance company takes on the risk of covering the driver.
Responsibilities an underwriter might do are:
- Collect appropriate and accurate information to assess the risk of taking on the new client
- Review policy applications based on previous loss records, age, medical report, and credit ratings
- Compare various policies that have a similar risk and conduct actuarial studies to decide on the company’s loss records
- Make decisions to accept, modify, or reject an application after studying all the data from documents acquired
- Write quotes
- Determine premiums and coverage and negotiate terms with brokers and clients
- Handle inquiries from credit departments, brokers, and clients
Skills Needed to Be an Insurance Underwriter
- Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
- Proficient in analytical thinking and research
- Strong interpersonal and negotiation skills
- Exemplary IT, math, and statistical skills
- In-depth knowledge of underwriting regulations
- Strong problem-solving and decision-making abilities
*An insurance underwriter has an average base pay of $116.262 annually.
Customer Service Representative
The customer service representative is the first person people generally speak with when they call an insurance agency. Customer service representatives provide valuable connections and can set the tone of the relationship.
As a customer service representative, you will need to handle all customer calls, inquiries, and complaints. You will also provide prospective clients with detailed information about the company and what they have to offer.
The responsibilities of a customer service representative are to be knowledgeable about the companies and their services, answer calls and respond to complaints, recommend different services, forward customers to a sales agent if it’s time to upgrade, type up complaints and manage the customer complaint database.
Customer service is an excellent place to start if you are thinking of going into the insurance industry. You can learn from the inside and work your way up.
Skills Needed to Be a Customer Service Representative
- In-depth knowledge of insurance products and policy schedules
- A friendly and professional attitude
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Excellent typing skills
- Ability to be calm in stressful situations
- Able to explain policy concepts in a way the average person can understand
*A customer service representative has an average base pay of $27,834 annually.
*Average base salary taken from Indeed.com, from a pool of salaries reported in each position, and updated April 2022.
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Alexandra Christensen is a freelance writer and editor. When she is not working on an assignment, she can be found hanging around with other writers on Medium.com/@alexandra_creates where she writes mostly about raising foster and adopted kids and those with invisible disabilities.