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How do I get Started in an Insurance Career?

By Jessica Bosari
Updated May 17, 2024
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Getting started in insurance is relatively easy, and you will only need a few basic skills at the entry level. While an insurance career can require a college degree, most people can get a job in insurance with only a high school diploma. If you do not wish to go to college, or cannot afford it, you may want to consider an insurance career.

To have an insurance career, you must be able to type and use a computer. In addition to standard computer applications, most companies have their own proprietary software for tracking policy and claim information. You should be able to speak professionally on the phone and have basic math skills. Many insurance careers require a license examination, and the maintenance of continuing education requirements to renew the license.

Most entry-level insurance jobs can be found in customer service or claims. A claims insurance career can lead to other avenues, such as subrogation, an insurance term used to mean collections. Customer service and claims representatives often move from automobile or homeowners claims, up to injury claims and claims in litigation. Claims adjusters may need to be licensed.

One insurance career in demand is that of fraud investigator. A seasoned claims adjuster can become a fraud investigator, but in many cases a college degree will be required. The nature of fraud claims requires a deep understanding of consumer protection laws and criminal justice. Most insurance companies prefer candidates with a college degree in such a position.

An underwriting insurance career is also more likely to require a college degree than a claims insurance career. However, most high school graduates can secure a position as an underwriter’s assistant, and with hard work, be promoted to an underwriter position. In many cases, underwriters must be licensed to do business and maintain continuing education credits.

Underwriters must have a professional demeanor and good organization skills. They must be able to communicate with insurance agents and claims representatives to secure accurate information and maintain a friendly working relationship. Underwriters can move on to careers in risk management and actuarial science, but college degrees will be required before they are able to do so.

An insurance agency is another good place to find an insurance career. You can become a broker, working with insurance companies to place business, or work as a producer, actively selling insurance policies. Brokers and producers often must be licensed to do business.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By umbra21 — On Jul 10, 2011

@indigomoth - In fact, although insurance companies often get painted as bad guys and although sometimes they *are* bad guys, most of the time they do pay out if you deserve it. They have to, after all, you've signed a contract which entitles you to the money.

If you didn't pay to ensure a certain circumstance, they won't pay for it, which is where people often get angry. They think they have full health care, but maybe they didn't read what was actually covered.

I personally think there's nothing wrong with being in insurance. It is the same as any other job. You can do good in it, or you can do harm.

By indigomoth — On Jul 10, 2011

I had a friend who worked with an insurance company over the summer one year.

She was a claims officer and she was quite suited to it, to tell the truth. She had that kind of attitude that people brought suffering on themselves and it was no business of hers if they didn't deserve the money.

I know that seems harsh, and I'm only speaking about my friend here, not insurance as a whole. But, if you want to work in an insurance claims career you have to be prepared to make people very unhappy, something I would not be comfortable with.

People will either feel like they got what they deserved and you mean nothing, or that you have singlehandedly ruined their life. Either way, it's not pleasant!

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