Is the Insurance Industry Stable? The Buzz


Terrorist attacks in North America have become a concern in the 21st century and the insurance industry has been affected.

"General awareness of the risk companies are exposed to is a lot higher," says Roger Lear. He is the director of an online career center in Florida called Great Insurance Jobs. Lear says that it takes more experienced insurance professionals to deliver the level of service that existed before Sept. 11, 2001.

Lear also says that regardless of world events, the next 15 years will see great opportunities in insurance in the U.S. "Around 40 percent of all underwriting management is retiring soon. There will be a large void in the insurance industry and demand for all insurance jobs."

Don Givelos is president of Insuranceworks.com. He deals with the insurance job market in both the U.S. and Canada. He says that current events have not affected the job market in this industry.

"The principles of supply and demand that govern the insurance job market have not changed," says Givelos.

Baby boomer retirement will definitely place a strain on the insurance industry. Family-run businesses may suffer, says Lear, if they don't train replacements for senior staff and management before they retire.

"Companies will have to work harder to recruit and retain staff," says Lear. That means job seekers will be in demand.

But right now, the insurance industry is still feeling the effects of terrorist attacks and war. Although everyone is affected, says Lear, costs for business customers will go up more than costs for personal customers.

Givelos says that there are two ways for an insurance company to earn money. One is generating new business and finding new customers. The other is to increase the rates existing customers pay for their insurance.

At the moment, not many businesses with high risk factors are being insured because insurance companies see the risk as much higher than before. So in the commercial market, there are fewer new customers and higher rates.

"Insurance rates are going up anywhere from 20 percent to 100 percent," says Givelos.

But there's good news -- the downturn is not going to last. Once North America has been attack-free for a while and the risk of insuring businesses goes down, the insurance industry will begin to grow again.

"The stability of the industry will only be affected in the short term," says Givelos. "Individuals can create their own stability by demonstrating their abilities."

The insurance industry employs salespeople, claims processors, underwriters and actuaries.

Underwriters and actuaries calculate the risk associated with each insurance policy. For example, if a person has their car insured against theft, the insurance company wants to know what the chance is that the car will actually be stolen.

There are also positions in administration, marketing and management at many insurance companies.

There were 381,000 people working as insurance sales agents in 2002, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

As North America returns to a more secure atmosphere, a career in insurance will offer mobility and good earning potential. And with so many different career paths already available in the insurance industry, all you have to do is choose.

Links

Great Insurance Jobs
A site for insurance professionals

Insuranceworks.com
Provides links to job postings in the United States and Canada

Just in Case Insurance
A commercial site for a variety of insurance products