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University of Colorado Denver Business School, offering Bachelor, MBA, MS, and PhD degrees

Business School, University of Colorado Denver
 


Careers: Risk Managament and Insurance

Risk Management and Insurance is an industry that will always be here. 

Insurance touches everything we do and helps fuel the global economy.

Many companies provide full benefits as well as paid vacation, sick leave, and philanthropic opportunities. The vast majority of insurance professionals are 55+ and looking to retire. Companies are looking for young talent.

All segments of this industry are seeking talented people to fill the pipeline. The Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) program provides a wonderful opportunity for you to have an edge over other college graduates. 

Bottom line—the Risk Management and Insurance industry is hiring.

Average Starting Salaries

Starting salaries vary but tend to range from $30,000 to $55,000.

If you decide to go into the sales side of the industry, the potential to make six figures within 3 to 5 years is much greater than taking an entry level position...of course, the risk is also greater.​

Is a Risk Management and Insurance career for you?

Career professionals agree that if you find a career that capitalizes on your talents, involves what you like to do and values who you are, you will have more success and be happier over the course of your working life.

A career in insurance offers variety, flexibility, above average advancement, a real sense of community and the opportunity to apply your previous education and experience in one of Canada's most vital and stable sectors.

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Career opportunities

Claims Adjuster, Examiners, and Investigators

Typically graduates  start out in an entry level position for a Claims position at an insurance carrier/company (Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Allstate, etc.).

There are  opportunities to be hired directly into Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which investigates fraud, especially if you have a law enforcement background.  Catastrophe (CAT) adjusters are another part of the SIU. 

All adjusters work directly with the people who have been involved in an accident or have suffered a loss. These people might include insureds, third-party claimants, attorneys, firefighters, police officers, body shop representatives, doctors, and rental car representatives.  

Adjusters investigate the losses, determine if there is coverage under the insurance policy, and, if applicable, determine who is at fault, and then resolve the claim. 

To do well in a claims environment, consider if you:

  • Like working with people
  • Are a decision maker
  • Are willing to help others in a time of need
  • Are tactful and resourceful
  • Have an interest in investigation
  • Are able to analyze situations
  • Have strong communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Inquisitive, detail oriented and have a strong code of ethics.


Loss Control Specialist

Rarely are graduates hired directly this position; however it can and has happened depending upon the person's background. Normally you will be hired into an entry level position in the claims or underwriting department before moving into Loss Control. 

Loss control specialists visit insureds' factories, businesses, and other commercial properties to examine work flows, machinery, and the buildings' layout/construction. The Loss control specialist makes safety recommendations to the insured to help avoid accidents and reduce risk exposures.

To do well in a claims environment, consider if you:

  • Are investigative and inquisitive
  • Forward thinking and strategic
  • Thorough and well-organized
  • May have a background or strong interest in engineering or safety management
  • Have good communication skills


Underwriter

This is another great opportunity for entry-level work in this industry.

  • Personal lines underwriters work on personal auto, home, life, and umbrella policies.
  • Commercial lines underwriters determine whether or not to provide insurance on commercial exposures--property and liability.

Typically you start working for an insurance carrier. Commercial underwriters generally earn more money than personal lines underwriters. Many times, commercial underwriters make the transition to a commercial insurance agency or brokerage where they either continue to underwrite or they move into account executive/manager roles.

To do well as an underwriter, consider if you:

  • Are analytical and a clear thinker
  • Manager potential
  • Are a decision maker and problem-solver
  • Are comfortable with numbers
  • Are curious, persuasive and have good communication skills
  • Have strong attention to detail

Underwriters have degrees in business, communications, Risk Management and Insurance, and finance.

 

Agent/Broker, Sales, Account Executive

These positions are ideal for outgoing individuals who enjoy working with people. 

There are many insurance carriers who provide training to a new agent to sell their products. This makes you into a captive agent who can only sell their product, such as an American National, State Farm, or Farmers agent. 

However, you can also own your own business as an independent agent and place your clients with a variety of products from various insurance companies (Travelers, Safeco, Progressive, etc.). This can be a very financially rewarding position. 

Account Executives either work for an insurance carrier or within an agency or brokerage. All these positions are paid on commission with a few also offering a base salary.

To do well as an agent/broker, consider if you:

  • Are outgoing and a people person
  • Enjoy building relationships
  • Are entrepreneurial
  • Organized

People in these positions have degrees in business, liberal arts, economics, marketing, and finance. 


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