Is Specialty Insurers a Good Career Path?

The general goal of getting insurance for one’s self, a business, or property is to provide peace of mind. However, standard insurance or policy may not be enough to cover all concerns. This is where specialty insurance comes in, and where a steady career path may be waiting for those interested.

Specialty insurance plans or products are made especially for specific jobs, businesses, properties, or even events such as festivals that may be at risk for things that are not covered by general insurance policy, such as flood insurance. It provides additional support for business owners by giving them the capacity to choose policies that fit their needs, mitigating risks and helping the business grow. With the increasing number of differences and needs of every policyholder, specialty insurers can find their niche market to secure their own careers.

What are the Best Specialty Insurers Jobs?

Jobs in the specialty insurance industry stem from regular insurance. While these jobs still require communication and networking skills, it has the added benefit of wider opportunities with its curated offerings for clients. Here are some of the best specialty insurer jobs in the market:

Underwriter

An underwriter’s primary role is to assess and analyze the potential risks and benefits of a particular application or proposal and make informed decisions about whether to provide coverage, issue a loan, or approve an investment. They use different tools and data, along with the provided information about the business or individual to help them make an objective decision.

Underwriters typically require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to become an underwriter, preferably in business. Professional certifications, such as the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), the Associate in Risk Management (ARM), and Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) help in professional development and in job applications.

Risk Consultant

Risk management consultants are professionals who help clients or businesses identify risks to the organization and proceed to make plans or suggestions on how to make sure that the business will survive or never go through these events. Their main goal is to help clients mitigate risks while helping their businesses grow, with continuous monitoring and customized solutions.

A bachelor’s degree in finance or related courses is typically required to become a risk consultant, while the Professional Risk Consultant (PRC) and the Certified Financial Risk Management Consultant (CFRMC) are just some of the certifications that can help in applications.

Claims Specialist

Claims specialists, also known as claims adjusters or examiners, manage insurance claims. Their primary responsibility is to determine the validity of claims made by a client or a policyholder, evaluate the extent of the loss, and decide on the appropriate amount of compensation. They assess damages, review the policy, and make sure that everything is well documented, in case appeals are made or the policyholder is not satisfied with the decision. They also specialize in detecting fraudulent claims and settlements.

A high school diploma or a GED is the minimum requirement to start becoming a claims specialist. However, most employers would require a bachelor’s degree or insurance-related work experience. To become certified, some states require specific licensing or continuing education credits to renew licenses. The National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) is a good place to start for those interested in this career.

Product Development Specialist

Product development specialists conceptualize and help in the formation of new policies that can be offered to businesses and individuals. They work with other departments or specialty insurers to create new policies that will benefit both the company and help provide security for business owners. They do these through thorough market research, looking for emerging risks in the market, and data analysis to provide the best products at the best premium they can offer.

Insurance product development specialists usually need experience as underwriters or claims specialists; in addition, certifications such as the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and the All-New Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI) help prove technical expertise.

Loss Control Specialist

Risk Control or Loss Prevention Specialists work to prevent accidents, reduce risks, and minimize potential losses for businesses and organizations. They focus on the prevention part of the insurance by identifying potential hazards and implementing strategies to enhance safety measures, improve operational processes, and mitigate risks that could lead to property damage, injuries, or financial losses. They usually lead safety and hazard inspections, employee training, and emergency response planning.

There are multiple loss control certifications in the United States, such as the Associate in Loss Control Management (ALCM), Certified Loss Control Specialist (CLCS), and Certified Loss Control Professional (CLCP). Make sure to find out which certifications are eligible or most preferred by the state or company you want to work in.

Why Choose Specialty Insurers as a Career?

Specialty insuring is a niche expertise within the insurance industry. Contrary to the idea that it has fewer opportunities for professionals because it is only focused on special or specific products, it actually opens doors for a wider network and allows continuous learning, while still providing stable financial compensation.

Specialty insurance professionals can also work in more varied environments, aside from insurance companies. They can work as a freelance agent or self-employed insurance professionals, as consultants for various organizations, or for risk management firms that focus on specific industries or areas of specialty.

What are the Opportunities in Specialty Insurers?

The insurance industry is generally a stable industry to work in. As of 2021, the global specialty insurance market size is valued at $80,815 million, with a projected growth of up to $178,522 million by 2030. Emerging new businesses and careers require new insurance products to help them and the economy.

How Much Do You Get Paid?

As of May 2021, the median annual wage for insurance sales agents was $49,840, which can go lower or higher depending on their expertise and the specific products they offer clients. This will also depend on the state where professionals are practicing, as well as the industry they are specializing in.

Underwriters on the other hand earn an average annual wage of $82,990 as of May 2022, with entry-level underwriters earning around $47,340 and those with experience up to $130,210. This can also be affected by the state and company they are working in.

Risk consultants or analysts can expect an average annual salary of $86,116, with a base pay of $55,251, and can go as high as $134,224. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators can expect an average annual wage of $65,080 with a range of $41,490 up to $101,290 depending on experience.

Insurance product developers or specialists in the United States make an average of $144,581 per year. Loss control specialists can expect an average of $87,282 with a salary range between $70,608 and $106,127. Overall, salaries in the specialty insurer career path can provide stable finances for professionals.

One of the best first steps you can take when starting your insurance professional journey is joining a trusted insurance carrier. If you are applying for a company such as Progressive, expect to go through pre-employment tests. Check out our complete guide on Progressive’s pre-employment test!

What is the Future of Specialty Insurers?

In general, those in the insurance industry can expect an employment growth of up to 6%, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

There is an average projected number of 52,700 openings for insurance sales each year, many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Younger professionals are encouraged to look into the industry as it provides flexibility and stability at the same time.

Insuring Your Own Future

Specialty insurance professionals are a subset of the insurance industry that provides specific or curated products for businesses and individuals. While there are many specific licensing or certification requirements to become a professional, it is all regulated to ensure the safety of both policyholder and the carrier.

Professions in specialty insurance can expect steady growth in the next decade or so. Specialty insurers provide a good career path for those who want to help others while insuring their own futures.