Is working for property casualty insurers a good career path?

Whether or not working with property-casualty insurers is a good career path depends on a range of factors. Find out if you got what it takes

Is working for property casualty insurers a good career path?


By Mark Rosanes

Property-casualty insurers play a crucial part in helping individuals and businesses protect their hard-earned investments such as their homes, vehicles, and certain commercial assets. If you find this role intriguing, then you may be wondering, “Is property-casualty insurers a good career path for me?”

To help you in your decision, Insurance Business will walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of working under the property and casualty insurance line. This guide will also give you a rundown of the different career options you can pursue and what it takes to be successful. Read on and find out if working for property-casualty insurers is a good career path for you.

But first, what is property and casualty insurance?

Property and casualty insurance provides coverage for the things that individuals and businesses own. It consists of two parts that are often bundled into a single policy. These are:

  1. Property insurance: Covers personal belongings including cars, homes, and commercial equipment
  2. Casualty insurance: Pays out for expenses incurred if a person or business is found liable for damages to another person or their possessions

Property and casualty insurance, also called P&C insurance, comes in a range of specialties. These include:

  • Auto insurance: Covers vehicles in case of accidents
  • Homeowners insurance: Covers damages to your home, as well as injuries that happen within its premises
  • Condo insurance: Covers damages to the condo unit and shared areas in a condominium
  • Renters insurance: Covers damages to tenants’ personal belongings for events that occur within the rental property
  • Landlord insurance: Covers the rental property, including liability issues with tenants
  • Professional liability: Covers businesses and professionals against claims of negligence
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: Covers expenses incurred if an employee suffers a work-related illness or injury
  • Marine insurance: Covers damages to shipping vessels and shipyards
  • Powers sports insurance: Covers damages to motorcycles, scooters, and ATVs

Is working for property-casualty insurers a good career path?

Whether or not working in the property and casualty insurance sector makes sense careerwise depends on a range of factors. One of these is your professional goals. Just like with other occupations, being a property and casualty insurance professional has its share of benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the pros and cons that you need to consider before choosing a career in the industry.

Benefits of a career in property and casualty insurance

1. Diverse career options

The property and casualty insurance sector offers a range of professional opportunities that span beyond traditional roles, including insurance agents, adjusters, brokers, and underwriters. Depending on your skills, educational attainment, and professional experience, you can also land positions in actuary, customer service, data analytics, investigation, and technology, as well as senior management positions. We will discuss the different careers you can pursue within the sector in more detail in the succeeding section.

Choosing a career in the sector gives you an opportunity to work with the top property-casualty insurers in the country. The table below shows the 10 largest P&C insurance companies in the US, according to the latest figure from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

10 largest property-casualty insurers in the US to start a career with

State Farm and Farmers are among the top insurers in the sector, both of which attract agents who want to pursue careers in insurance. If you want to find out what type of compensation package these industry giants offer sales agents, you can check out our guides on how much State Farm insurance agents make and how much Farmers insurance agents make.

2. Job security

With people constantly in need of financial protection – whether when driving their cars, investing in homes, seeking healthcare treatment, and operating businesses – insurance products will also be always in demand.

In a recent insurance industry labor market study conducted by the recruitment firm The Jacobson Group and major industry player Aon, slightly over two-thirds (67%) of insurers planned to increase staff this year, reflecting a strong demand for insurance professionals.

3. Flexible work arrangements

Depending on the role, some insurance professionals are given the flexibility to set their work schedules. There are also ample opportunities to work from home, although some occupations will require that you meet up with clients in-person outside your residence.

Many property-casualty insurers implement measures to ensure work-life balance by giving staff sufficient time to pursue interests outside work. This has been proven to boost engagement and productivity in the workplace.

If you want to know which insurers provide such benefits to their employees, you can check out our list of the best insurance companies to work for in the US

4. Strong earning potential

Another factor that makes working for property-casualty insurers a good career path is earning a good living salary with a strong potential for growth. Some professions, including insurance agents and brokers, earn commission-based incomes. This means that if you choose to become one and have a great work ethic that matches the role, you will also have more opportunities to earn a higher income.

Wondering how much an agent makes selling insurance? You can find out everything you need to know about insurance agent salary in this comprehensive guide.

Disadvantages of a career in property and casualty insurance

1. Unpredictable income

Having a commission-based insurance job also has its disadvantages. Among these is the unpredictability of how much your next paycheck will be. Your earnings will depend on the quantity of sales you make or claims you assess. This also means that if you don’t push yourself hard, your income will reflect it.

2. High-pressure work environment

A career in the property and casualty insurance sector can be fast paced with constant pressure to perform at your best. This can result in high amounts of stress, which often lead to burnout.

3. Career entry barriers

Although there are some roles that don’t require college degrees, many property-casualty insurers prefer candidates who have one. Most states also implement their own licensing requirements. If you plan to practice in a different location, you need to comply with these qualifications. Some occupations will require you to take up continuing education to move up the career ladder.

4. Limited paid time off

If you opt for an independent role, you will most likely not have access to a full range of employee benefits. This means you will have limited paid time off. For many commission-based jobs, taking time off also takes away time that you may otherwise have spent building relationships with clients and looking for leads. This can cost you a portion of your earnings.   

Here’s a summary of the advantages and drawbacks of choosing a career with a property-casualty insurer:

Is working for property-casualty insurers a good career path

What are your options if you want to pursue a career with property-casualty insurers?

As mentioned, working in the property and casualty insurance sector offers a range of career opportunities. Some of the most prominent P&C insurance roles include:

  • Actuary: As an actuary, your job entails pricing insurance policies and advising companies on how to meet regulatory compliance and balance capital. You will also be tasked to maintain daily communication with clients and implement risk management tools.
  • Account manager: P&C account managers supervise client relationships. The role includes addressing client concerns and ensuring that they are satisfied with the service they receive. Account managers also explain insurance coverage and pricing to clients and work with agents to boost sales.
  • Claims adjuster and investigator: These professionals are tasked to assess and investigate claims to determine how much or if a property-casualty insurer should pay for the damages and losses. An insurance adjuster is also responsible for ensuring that the claims filed are not fraudulent. Find out how much an insurance adjuster makes in this article.
  • Customer service representative: Customer service representatives act as frontline support for clients. Their main duties include providing customers with useful information, answering their queries, and responding to complaints to ensure that they are satisfied with a product or service.
  • Insurance agent: Agents are responsible for selling the policies of their partner property-casualty insurers. They typically represent one or several companies and act as intermediaries, informing potential customers about the insurers and their offerings. Insurance agents also have the power to bind coverage.
  • Insurance broker: A broker’s role is like that of an insurance agent with a few key differences. Unlike agents, an insurance broker acts as a representative of the insurance buyer. They also don’t typically have the power to bind coverage. If you want to read our guide on how much insurance brokers make, feel free to click on the link.
  • Insurance underwriter: Insurance underwriters determine if an insurer can provide coverage to a potential client by assessing the risks involved. They work closely with other industry professionals to find ways to strike a balance between offering competitive premiums and maintaining profitability.
  • Risk manager: A risk manager oversees an insurance company’s insurance program. They help evaluate potential risks and advise on how these can be prevented or mitigated.

What skills do you need if you want to pursue a career with property-casualty insurers?

To be successful in your chosen P&C career, you must have the right mix of hard and soft skills that can enable you to connect with clients and match them with the best possible coverage.

The table below lists some of the most crucial skills and attributes that you should possess to ensure that working with property-casualty insurers is a good career path for you.

Skills you need if you want to pursue a career with property-casualty insurers

Where can you find the best property-casualty insurers to start your career with?

Our Best in Insurance Special Reports page is the place to go if you want to find the top property-casualty insurers to start or continue your career. The insurance companies featured in these special reports have been nominated by their peers and vetted by industry experts as respected and dependable market leaders.

If you choose to work with these property-casualty insurers, you can be sure that you’re going with a company that prioritizes employee wellbeing and provides a positive workplace culture. These will allow you to thrive in your insurance career.

Do you think working with property-casualty insurers is a good career path? What other skills and qualifications do you think are essential to have a successful P&C insurance career? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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