Finding Success by Considering an Insurance Career in a Specialized Market

Whether you’re just beginning your insurance career or you’ve already built a strong background in the industry and are considering a change, there are many avenues within the Property Casualty insurance industry to consider and pursue. There are several specialized markets that offer incredible professional opportunities and can provide career longevity due to their specific nature.shutterstock_115905412_web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are examples of three fast-growing, niche markets of the Property Casualty insurance industry you may want to consider entering:

  • Agribusiness Insurance covers the insurance and risk management needs of agriculture and farm operations and is not limited to areas of dairy operations, ranch and equine operations and much more.  Whether you have a background in the agriculture industry through a prior career in farming or education concentration or you have a genuine interest in the industry, it is definitely a specialized insurance sector to consider because agribusiness is and always will be a crucial part of our economy.
  • Boiler and Machinery Breakdown Insurance covers the costly physical and financial damage that can result from an equipment breakdown (definition source: Hartford Steam Boiler). This market may be appealing to those insurance professionals with a naval or engineering background as they may already have a proficiency in this area. This sector is growing at a rapid rate and is often now referred to as equipment breakdown insurance as it covers more items such as computers, electric motors and generators adding an even greater need for qualified insurance professionals.
  • Ocean Marine Insurance covers the transportation of goods and/or merchandise by vessels crossing both foreign and domestic waters including any inland or aviation transit associated with the shipment. This type of marine insurance also encompasses coverage for damage to the vessels involved in shipments and any legal liability arising in the course of shipment (definition source: International Risk Management Institute).  In an article about ocean marine coverage by Property Casualty 360°, Travelers’ Ocean Marine President Bill Queens says, “Most of the people in this industry come from a maritime background, and they have a language that’s unique to that environment.”  He then goes on to stress how important it is for Ocean Marine insurance agents to educate themselves on the specific language of the maritime industry. If you have prior naval or mariner career experience or are knowledgeable on nautical terminology, this may be an insurance sector to consider for your career.

Many people also may not initially consider careers in these ultra-specialized areas of insurance because they feel they may not be qualified due to the specific knowledge or training that is required, but this is a misconception. Property Casualty insurance companies are often willing to assist employees with the specific training or certifications necessary to fulfill the position if they feel the person is or can be an asset to their company. If you do already have specified skills or a background that pertains to a certain sector like agribusiness or ocean marine, that can also give you an edge over other candidates.

If you are interested in moving into one of these specific insurance markets and feel you are already qualified, contact Coleman Search Group today. If you are interested in learning more about these niche markets, we encourage you to research them by visiting sources like Property Casualty 360° and Insurance Journal for more information on specialized Property Casualty insurance jobs.

Women in Insurance: Industry Insights on How to Chart a Successful Career

Blog #2The Property and Casualty Insurance sector has historically been viewed as a “male-dominated” industry, meaning men hold the majority of the upper management positions. Property Casualty 360  reported last year, “At the largest insurers and reinsurers women held only 6 percent of top executive positions, 12.5 percent of board seats, and 8 percent of inside business, legal or actuarial officer roles such as chief actuary or division president, according to a recent industry study by St. Joseph’s University Academy of Risk Management and Insurance.” Coleman Search Group recently asked top-level female executives if they would share their perspectives to provide insights that may help other women excel in the insurance industry and improve statistics by landing more influential leadership positions.

As one Commercial Lines Sales and Marketing Vice President for a major insurance carrier progressed in her career, she found it harder to overcome the proverbial “glass ceiling.” She feels that even though the industry is benefitting from diversity, there still seems to be a preference for male-oriented leadership styles in many upper level positions. That being said, she has found career success through taking a positive perspective on any opportunities she has faced in the industry. She comments, “I don’t really see things as obstacles. Everything is a problem to be solved and some are more difficult than others.”

A Senior Vice President and Chief Claims Officer for a major insurance carrier said for her, one of the biggest issues she has faced is ensuring women are effectively supporting and encouraging each other to reach their full potential. She says, “I have had several women champions over the course of my career and without them I doubt I would be where I am today.”

Here are some key points they shared with Coleman Search Group to help other women be successful in reaching higher-level positions in the insurance industry:

1. Stay educated and informed on the trends and new facets of the industry. The Commercial Lines Sales and Marketing Vice President says, “The insurance industry needs new ideas, new ways of thinking. Technology and data analytics are transforming the industry for the better, making insurance careers more attractive.”  Insurance companies are always looking for candidates that are on top of the latest trends and developments in the industry. Continually pushing yourself to learn more, stepping outside of your comfort zone by taking on new responsibility or volunteering for high visibility projects may be what sets you apart from other employees and candidates pursuing those attractive opportunities. Obtaining additional insurance designations will also help to position you as a key candidate for many high-level positions. One of the executives stated that obtaining a Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation and a Senior Claims Law Associate (SCLA) designation were keys to her success.

2. Use your personal strengths and interests to succeed. The Chief Claim Officer indicated, “There are so many career paths within the insurance industry to choose from, and the work can be very meaningful.  Find the area of work that you enjoy most.  For some people that area is loss prevention and mitigation; for others it is helping injured workers get back to work.  What is so great about this industry is that there are many options available to you. If you are willing to navigate for that right fit, it can be an awesome career.

3. Evaluate yourself regularly and be open to adjusting your work style to excel. According to the Commercial Lines Sales and Marketing executive, “Self-awareness is a great place to start.  Ensure that you are fair and objective in your position on issues, and that your interactions reflect that integrity.  Show confidence and assuredness, but not arrogance.  If you persevere in that manner, you will be accepted, valued and elevated into positions of influence.

4. Be open to new opportunities (even if it scares you). “As more women move up in the industry it is necessary to develop a broader skill set. Be voracious about learning new things and jump at opportunities, even when you think you might not be quite ready for them,” explains the Chief Claims Officer.

The insurance industry is always evolving, and women continue to make great strides every day. Soon, more women will hold high-level positions bringing even more gender balance to this ever-changing field.