6 Positions Insurers Need to Fill and How Tech Plays a Role

The experts tend to agree: Times currently are good for the insurance industry. There is plenty of economic promise for carriers, and with it comes a rapidly expanding headcount. But while growth is promising, insurers are concurrently being forced to rapidly improve their business models due to new technologies, expanded consumer expectations and a rapidly widening gap in workforce skills.

College for America, a nonprofit, accredited college, recently released an industry trend report entitled, “Six Insurance Jobs Affected by Growing Customer Centricity and New Technology.” The report focuses on the growing need for insurance workers and the industry changes impacting six specific jobs within the business.

On the following pages are snapshots of the six insurance jobs. Each page features statistics, including labor market data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real-time job listings and feedback from insurers nationwide on the impacts of technology on the six frontline and operational positions. (Photo courtesy of Fotolia)

1. Customer service representative 1. Customer service representative

2012 demand: 289,000

Median wage: $30,580

2012-2022 projected increase: 8 percent

Technological Impact: College for America finds that customer service representatives are now engaging with customers in forms other than the phone, such email, online chat and social media. Skills in writing, communication and active listening are increasingly important as the connectedness of the Internet makes it easy to broadly share representative-to-client communications.

Additionally, customer service representatives are being fed customer data from across the Internet and from within their business systems. These customer service reps must learn how to use the right information to inform interactions with customers and engage them in the selling cycle by providing information about products that would likely be of interest to them. (Photo courtesy of Fotolia)

2. Insurance sales agent 2. Insurance sales agent

2012 demand: 346,000

Median wage: $48,150

2012-2022 projected increase: 12 percent

Technological Impact: The report says that predictive analytics and customer segmenting technologies are informing lead generation rather than cold calls. As a result, sales agents must know how to use analytics technologies to identify prospective clients and what kinds of services they, as well as existing clients, will need. (Photo courtesy of Fotolia)

3. Business analyst 3. Business analyst

2012 demand: 42,300

Median wage: $79,680

2012-2022 projected increase: 26.2 percent

Technological Impact: Rather than technology impacting this job role, College for America says that technology is driving the need for more of these jobs. The number of business analyst positions in the insurance industry is rapidly increasing due to their role in shepherding upgrades as insurance organizations shift from legacy systems to new platforms. (Photo courtesy of Fotolia)

4. Claims adjuster, examiner or investigator 4. Claims adjuster, examiner or investigator

2012 demand: 208,000

Median wage: $59,960

2012-2022 projected increase: 6 percent

Technological Impact: As insurers migrate to paperless systems, claims staff have greater access to all of the information they need to facilitate claims processing. As a result, the research indicates that they need to be able to navigate databases and computer systems.

Additionally, insurers have begun empowering clients by providing smartphone apps to report losses, calculate liability, estimate damages and provide access to more information about their claims. While these self-services have alleviated some tasks previously required of claims staff, they have increased customer expectations to have their claims settled faster. Therefore, claims staff must truly start to rely on the speed and automation of the modernized computer systems to maintain client satisfaction. (Photo courtesy of Fotolia)

5. Insurance underwriter 5. Insurance underwriter

2012 demand: 95,300

Median wage: $62,870

2012-2022 projected increase: -7 percent

Technological Impact: As insurance companies increasingly automate tasks, College for America finds that the number of underwriters is projected to decrease as more functions are automated. The report suggest that underwriters may want to learn responsibilities of other insurance positions and pursue higher education to move laterally or upward in the industry. (Photo courtesy of Fotolia)

6. Actuary 6. Actuary

2012 demand: 13,000

Median wage: $93,680

2012-2022 projected increase: 22 percent

Technological Impact: Predictive data analytics and large data sets are helping actuaries improve the precision of product pricing and risk assessment. According to the research, professionals in these roles need to know how to use more-complex data dashboards. (Photo courtesy of Fotolia)