What You Need to Know About Your Insurance Career in 2020 - The Year of Change
I have been very fortunate to be a talent acquisition professional in the insurance industry since the ’90s. Over the years, I have spoken with talent managers, human resource professionals, and thousands of insurance workers about their hiring needs and career tracks. For the last 11 years, I have produced the National Insurance Industry Employment Outlook Report. I mention all this because, for the first time since I have been in the business, I see a lot of change coming to this great industry.
“The aging workforce and insuretech are capturing headlines, and both emphasize the changing of the guard in this major industry, which employs almost three million people.”
I believe that in the next five years, the job you are doing right now will change. The question is whether or not this is going to be suitable for your career or not. The great news is the fact that you are in a great position to make that prediction, only if you understand what is going to “replace” your current responsibilities.
I remember when the internet first came on the scene in the early ’90s, so many people thought that it would never work. Once smartphones actually became smart, it changed the game. This is what is happening in the most conservative, laid back, old school, and stable industry in the world. For those who remember manual rating of policies, the change to automate this didn’t eliminate the rater but turned them into underwriting assistants (and paid more!)
“The iconic insurance companies are not creating many of the new jobs but through startups with billions in capitalization, insuretech is showing the future.”
You are in control of your insurance career, and the great news is a lot of new opportunities are going to be available. Your challenge is to figure out how your current skill set (claims, underwriting, loss control, etc.) is going to change, be eliminated, or stay status quo. Depending on your situation, location, company, and skill set, it might be hard to understand what is changing because this industry hasn’t had many career disruptions over the years. Even if your current job doesn’t change in the next ten years, are their other jobs in the industry that may pay more while upgrading your skills?
Let’s take a look at the future of jobs in a few insurance sectors:
Claims Jobs: The word on the street is that the day of the independent adjuster will be over within the next seven years. That’s a lot of people. So, what is going to replace IA’s? The simple answer is restoration companies. It is already happening. With technology like Livegenic, whoever is first on the scene (usually water remediation) uses this technology to submit the claim. Livegenic handles the video, all measurements, and onsite claims management. Companies like Geico are moving their outside insurance adjusters inside because technology like Snapsheet can analyze damage without the need for a live adjuster.
Underwriting Jobs: If you need a car or life insurance, many companies have automated online products underwrite and issue your insurance without the need for humans. For example, SE2 Digital Direct Life claims humans never will be involved in any phase of customer acquisition, application, approval, and issuing the policy. Better yet, it takes just a few minutes to get approval.
Chatbots with most auto policies assist customers in selecting the proper insurance. These robots seem like humans, but they get smarted every day via AI and machine learning, so they give the consumer an effortless experience and acquire the business. Just recently, Munich Re launched an automated underwriter named “Allfinanz Spark.” Not a catchy name, but this product uses AI and machine learning to help new customers reduce paperwork, streamline onboarding, and reduce errors.
Companies like Lemonade, who sell and manage your claims ( homeowners and renters insurance) from your cell phone is being adopted quickly by Millennials and changing the traditional channel insurance agent. Companies who can sell and service insurance are already taken a bite from the apple from established brokers, agencies, and independents. Many companies are coming to market, including Hippo, Fabric, Oscar, and many more.
Future underwriting jobs will be more strategic, dealing more with the customer experience and customized, specialized products determined by sophisticated data analysis.
Risk Management/Loss Control/ Actuary Jobs: These areas are going to continue to grow. Actuary’s and risk manager jobs will have more tools, and millions of data points to help insurance companies make better and more profitable products. Jobs in this area will also be the highest paying jobs in the insurance industry.
Insurance Sales Jobs: Jobs in insurance sales are indeed changing. Most companies sell their personal lines and BOP policies online without humans already. The personal lines sales agents are mostly customer service professionals in a call center environment. These jobs are going to continue to grow and be very customer service oriented as well as technically trained to support many types of new insurance products (telematics, etc.). Companies like Cake quote a commercial worker's compensation policy in 90 seconds. Not to long ago, this same quote might have taken over a week even after filling out a lengthy application.
We will keep you posted on the job trends in the insurance business. One thing most agree on in the insurance industry; the future jobs will require some technical training, but ultimately the most successful workers will also have outstanding customer service skills. Customers are still human.