Thought Leadership

Insurance—The Future Offers Dynamic Career Opportunities

February 20, 2024 | Brown & Brown Insurance | Thought Leadership

Insurance—The Future Offers Dynamic Career Opportunities
by Andy Watts, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Brown & Brown Insurance

Last year, I was at my alma mater, Illinois State University, recruiting for Brown & Brown and surrounded by eager minds, ready to dive into professional careers.

To stimulate a potentially different response, we asked the group if they would like a “career in risk management” instead of a “career in insurance.” The hypothesis was that when someone is asked about an insurance career, their initial reaction is, “I don’t want to sell life insurance.”

I didn’t fully expect what happened next. The room transformed. Every student leaned in when the idea of a career in risk management was presented. Eyes were wide open, and hands were raised. It was a moment of revelation for these students — and us. Insurance is so much more than policies and premiums; risk management is the dynamic heart of every company.

Every enterprise, every venture and every groundbreaking idea rests on the foundation of managing risks and capturing opportunities — generally all backed by some sort of insurance. The insurance industry must reposition itself as an industry filled with careers in risk management. It’s a monumental shift, but there are massive growth opportunities as the insurance industry continues to expand and become more complex.

The next few years mark a significant transition as legacy insurance professionals retire — leaving 400,000 jobs open — and paving the way for the next generation. The number of insurance professionals aged 55 and older has increased by 74% in the last decade, and as many as 50% of the industry’s current workforce will retire in the next 15 years.

The industry is thirsty for fresh perspectives, analytical minds, finance enthusiasts and creative thinkers. Yet there’s this misconception that insurance careers revolve solely around policy sales — it is significantly broader, complex and ever-changing. In reality, there’s a universe of opportunities within the insurance industry — actuarial sciences, technology, finance, marketing, service, distribution, product creation and more.

And it’s not just about the variety; it’s about longevity and fulfillment, too. You can build a solid, rewarding career spanning decades within this industry, create significant long-term wealth and make lifelong friends.

Insurance isn’t what you think it is

As an insurance broker, our conversations with businesses are fascinating as they involve delving into the depths of risk management and strategy with senior leaders of companies. Each company isn’t a cookie-cutter template; it’s dynamic, individualistic, evolving and changing year after year. The beauty lies in the nuanced understanding of how much risk to retain, how much to transfer and at what cost. For each business, the answers will be different.

When I started my career at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in Chicago, I had the opportunity to work in various industries, including insurance. On the insurance front, my time was focused on the risk bearers rather than brokers. What I found is that there is a tremendous amount of opportunity within the insurance distribution chain.

The key question for you is, “What interests me?

Insurance isn’t just about crunching numbers, selling life insurance or predicting life expectancies. None of those are bad; they are just one component of a highly complex and diverse insurance distribution channel. Insurance and risk management are gateways to incredible responsibilities and opportunities early in your career, where the seeds of long-term wealth creation and satisfaction are sown.

More than that, it’s a world built on relationships — a platform to forge lifelong relationships and connections that transcend boardrooms and office spaces. If you cherish diversity and change, this industry thrives on the concept.

The insurance landscape is anything but static. It has market swings or cycles and is quite often a reflection of the world’s economy. Fluctuations like inflation, higher interest rates and global political shifts affect insurance, including catastrophic weather claims or the integration of artificial intelligence and Insurtech — this industry is constantly evolving.

Insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all domain. It’s an industry where specialization reigns supreme. Think about the opportunities for pilots to soar in aviation insurance; doctors can navigate strategizing healthcare plan design; and engineers can shape insurance solutions for the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. This field calls for those with deep experience to help these industries manage and mitigate risk by drawing upon specialists from various domains to make a tangible impact.

The industry is vast, encompassing everything from corporate insurance needs to personal lines and employee benefits. The industry needs talented individuals for a variety of positions, ranging from sales, service, actuarial sciences, underwriting, finance, technology, data and analytics to human resources and operations — the list of skills in demand within this multifaceted world is endless.

The beauty is that you’re not confined to a single role in the insurance distribution chain. You can be on the front line, interfacing directly with customers, or operating in an intermediary role, bridging the gap between customer and carrier. You could even be crafting insurance products for distribution or providing insurance for insurance companies, known as reinsurance.

Instead of being dull or limited, the insurance industry has a dynamic landscape where change is the only constant, and the growth trajectory is high.

The future of insurance is here

In the next five years, I believe the insurance industry will undergo another transformation to redefine its very fabric. Here are some changes I’m expecting:

  • Granular risk assessment: Prepare for risks to be dissected into smaller, more intricate pieces. By breaking risks into smaller fragments, underwriting and pricing will become laser-focused. This shift will demand specialists who understand the specifics and nuances of specific lines of coverage and industries. The goal will be tailored pricing that optimizes consumer costs, bringing forth a more nuanced approach.
  • Data and tech-driven overhaul: Say goodbye to the old-school pen-and-paper approach. The influx of a tech-savvy generation into the industry will drive a profound wave of automation and efficiency. These digital natives will push to leverage data and technology to streamline processes from underwriting to policy issuance, gradually squeezing out lingering inefficiencies. Then, there is the linkage of risk and data with the underwriting process. Those with strong analytical skills will be key to helping determine the best coverage at the best price.
  • Revamped customer experience: There will be a revolution in the buyer experience. As consumers today, we are accustomed to seamless digital interactions in our personal lives and other sectors. These digital experiences will transform the insurance industry. The focus will shift toward eradicating low-value friction points, delivering an intuitive and efficient customer experience. You can be part of the exciting evolution.

The industry needs you

As these shifts unfold, the insurance industry will undergo a metamorphosis, embracing innovation, personalization and efficiency like never before. Change is on the horizon, and it’s bound to reshape the essence of insurance in the coming years.

The insurance industry is one where every skill finds its place, and every skill is needed to shape a safer, risk-based and more resilient business landscape across diverse markets. These skills will contribute to reducing risk and have an indelible mark on the future of businesses and their growth opportunities worldwide. INSURANCE NEEDS YOU! Now is the time to capture the opportunities on the horizon and build an incredible career.



Frankly Financial
with Andy Watts, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Brown & Brown Insurance

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