Working in an insurance company offers a lot of opportunity for growth, education and experience. Within the insurance industry, there are many different lines of coverage offered, from life insurance to homeowner's and everything in between. Once you have determined which line interests you, there are many different positions to apply for--from entry level positions to positions that require more experience. Because of the wealth of opportunities afforded by a position at an insurance company, employees are generally able to move around from department to department until they find the right fit for them.
Apply for a position as an application processor or data entry clerk. When applications for coverage come into an insurance company, there are associates who enter the applications into the insurance company's database. These associates also start folders on the clients and get the applications moving through underwriting. This is a great place for a beginner to get an entry-level position. There may be some typing requirements and you will need to be computer literate.
Try to get a position in customer service. Associates in the customer service department are responsible for handling the incoming calls and questions from existing policy holders and insurance agents. Customer service is an entry-level position that requires some typing skills and computer literacy. As a customer service associate, you will be expected to know the basics of the insurance industry, know where to get answers you aren't sure of, and keep documentation of customer calls.
Move up to registration and licensing. Registration and licensing is the area that ensures that the insurance agents (the people who sell the insurance policies to the clients) are properly licensed and appointed. This area is entry to mid-level. For licensing, insurance agents must have passed the appropriate test for the branch of insurance they are selling, and must have been issued a license. The licensing associates make sure the agents have passed the tests and have a valid license. Licensing associates also make sure the agents complete any continuing education requirements necessary to keep licenses valid through the years. Registrations associates keep agents appointed to sell in the states they wish to sell in. Each agent must be appointed and registered in a state before they sell insurance to residents of that state. Associates in registrations make sure to stay on top of the annual paperwork and billing necessary for each state.
Work in the commissions department. Associates in commissions make sure the agents get paid. This is a good position for a mid-level, experienced associate of an insurance company. There is more pressure associated with this position than the data entry and licensing position. Agents generally work on a commission only basis. Associates in the commissions department are responsible for making sure payment is set up for each policy that is "approved" by underwriting. They also are responsible for ensuring residual commissions (also called trails, these are the continued commissions paid out on existing policies) are issued.
Learn about the claims department. The claims department offers mid-level positions that require associates to review claims made against insurance policies and decide whether or not to pay them. As a claims associate, you will be expected to be familiar with the ins and outs of the policies issued by your company. What types of incidents are payable? What types are not? For example, in life insurance, suicide may not be payable but accidental death may be. You will also be expected to look into the case and examine anything that may have been misrepresented to underwriting. If you find something, there may be a loophole meaning your company does not have to pay the claim!
Intern or apprentice in underwriting. Underwriting requires highly experienced individual. As an underwriter, your decisions affect the bottom line of the company. If you approve a policy and the facts presented to you prior to underwriting show factors that should have resulted in a decline, the claims department will not be able to decline any claims from that client. As an underwriter, you will be expected to have a strong understanding of the risk factors of activities and circumstances related to the type of insurance your company issues. You will be expected to uncover any additional risk factors and add additional premium to the policy to compensate for them. You will also need to be able to document exact reasons for declines in a way that protects your company from liability.
When applying for a position, make sure your resume highlights any experience that directly applies to the position you apply for.
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