The US insurance industry boasts a workforce of more than 2.8 million employees, according to the latest data gathered by the Insurance Information Institute (III). Of these, around 1.6 million work for insurance companies – including an estimated 911,400 for the life and health (L&H) segment, 628,600 for property and casualty (P&C) insurers, and 26,900 for reinsurers. The rest are employed by insurance agencies, brokerages, and other industry-related businesses.
But just like any other sector, the insurance industry has seen a considerable uptick in staff quitting their posts and shifting expectations about what they want for their careers and from their employers during the pandemic – a phenomenon more popularly known as the Great Resignation.
To shed light on how the situation has impacted the industry, professional recruiting services provider the Jacobson Group, along with insurance giant Aon, conducted research in the third quarter of last year. The organizations’ insurance labor market study has found that industry professionals who were waiting to make moves earlier in the pandemic have begun exploring their options and re-evaluating their current roles, which resulted in the recruiting process – especially at experienced levels – becoming “extremely competitive.”
The report also revealed that more than half, or 56%, of insurance companies have plans to increase their workforce in the next 12 months, exacerbating the already aggressive “war for talent.”
What can insurance companies do to attract and retain talent?
Global management consulting firm McKinsey pointed out how companies – not just in the insurance industry – can take advantage of the pandemic to give workers an outstanding employee experience by taking time to listen to and engage with their workforce.
The firm surveyed almost 1,000 individuals to assess their views on work and how these have changed due to the COVID-19 crisis. The consulting giant then identified several factors that help create the right working environment for employees. These include:
- A sense of social cohesion and purpose
- Collaborative teams
- Clear responsibilities and opportunities to learn and grow
- An organizational sense of purpose that aligns with employees’ personal values
- A suitable physical and digital environment that gives staff flexibility to achieve a work-life balance
Apart from these, salary and benefits remain key in attracting and retaining talent. A recent survey by professional services firm Voya Financial showed that 60% of US workers are paying more attention to the benefits that their employers provide because of the pandemic. More than two-thirds, or 68%, of the over 1,000 respondents also expect workplace benefits to play a crucial role in their future job selection.
Which are the best insurance companies to work for?
To find out which insurers in the US provide the best work environment that paves the way for employees to thrive and grow both professionally and personally, Insurance Business went through several industry rankings, including Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For 2022. We also checked out each insurer’s website to see what benefits they offer employees and what recent awards they have received that reflect their commitment to employee well-being. Here are the ones that came up on top. The list is arranged alphabetically.
1. Allianz Life
Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Number of employees: 2,200+
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life) is a subsidiary of Allianz SE – one of the largest financial services providers in the world. It provides a range of retirement solutions, including life insurance for individuals and fixed and variable annuities.
For the 11th consecutive year, Allianz Life has been named in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, placing number 77 in 2022. According to its LinkedIn profile, the company offers a “creative, collaborative working environment with ongoing career development opportunities.” Apart from competitive compensation, Allianz Life provides a range of benefits, including tuition reimbursement, employee stock purchase plans, and a generous retirement savings plan.
2. American Fidelity Assurance
Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Number of employees: 2,000+
American Fidelity Assurance Company is a supplemental benefits provider that serves more than one million policyholders across 49 states. It caters mostly to employers in the education, public, automotive, and healthcare sectors. Among the products and services it offers are supplemental insurance, reimbursement accounts and administration, stop loss insurance for self-funded plans, Section 125 Plan administration, online benefits enrollment software, and patient protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) consulting.
American Fidelity was part of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For last year, securing the 53rd spot. It was also named among the country’s Top Workplaces in IT by IDG’s Insider Pro and Computerworld.
“The pandemic put a lot of pressure on IT, but fortunately we had systems in place that made it possible for us to seamlessly transition to our workforce being nearly 100% remote without impacting our business,” said Diana Bittle, senior vice-president and chief information officer at American Fidelity. “I’m proud of how our team jumped at the challenges this year brought, and we were able to quickly implement new technology to better serve our customers and colleagues.”
Read more: How to help your employees thrive
3. Farmers Insurance
Headquarters: Woodland Hills, California
Number of employees: 21,000
Farmers Insurance Group is one of the country’s largest providers of auto, homes, and small business policies. Taking care of its employees is a top priority for the insurer. To do this, it has implemented a range of ways to provide employee support, including the Farmers Family Fund, which enables the Farmers community to respond quickly when employees experience financial hardship. Since its launch in 2012, the program has provided more than $2.5 million in grants to support employees.
The company also shows its commitment to diversity and inclusion through sponsorships of a broad range of employee groups, including the Women’s Inclusion Network, Farmers Pride, Veterans & Advocates, Farmers Asian Alliance, Somos Farmers, Black Professionals Alliance, Disability Inclusion Group, Farmers Future, FarmersFit, and Parent Connect.
Farmers ranked 89th in the 2022 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Headquarters: New York, New York
Number of employees: 1,100+
Lemonade uses artificial intelligence and behavioral economics to offer homeowners, renters, condo, car, pet health, and term life insurance policies to clients across the US. The insurtech firm’s policies are 100% digital. It provides quotes, underwrites and sells policies, and handles and pays claims via an online app. The company also charges a flat fee and pays claims “super-fast.” Lemonade once famously granted a claim in three seconds by leveraging chatbots for policy queries and claims and fraud detection.
Lemonade is also a public benefit corporation and a Certified B Corporation. It operates an annual giveback program, where it donates unused premiums to non-profits selected by its community. Since 2017, the company has given back almost $4.3 million to various charitable institutions across the US. In 2021 alone, Lemonade has donated more than $2.3 million to 65 non-profit organizations, including American Forests, Malala Fund, Charity: water, and CURE Childhood Cancer.
Fast Company recognized Lemonade’s giveback program in its list of World Changing Ideas for 2021. That same year, Inc. Magazine dubbed the firm as one of the Best-Led Companies and a Best Workplace in America.
Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts
Number of employees: 45,000+
Liberty Mutual Holdings Company Inc. is the sixth-largest P&C insurer globally and fourth in the US. The firm offers a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, specialty lines, reinsurance, commercial multiple-peril, workers compensation, commercial automobile, general liability, surety, and commercial property.
In 2019, Liberty Mutual unveiled its multi-year plan to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion for all employees. The plan provided accountability and transparency by setting and publicly reporting on long-term goals to increase the representation of women and people of color at all levels of the business in the US.
A year later, Liberty Mutual was recognized among the “Best Workplaces in Financial Services & Insurance” and “Best Workplaces for Parents” by Great Places to Work. Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, 92% of the company’s overall workforce reported that they were “extremely satisfied” with Liberty Mutual as a place to work, up from 85% the year prior.
In the same year, the company established its first-ever Global Employee Experience function aimed at taking a more “holistic, inclusive, and data-driven approach” to understanding what matters to employees and working with them to co-create exceptional experiences. It also launched Moments that Matter, a new initiative to identify and map the most important moments that impact employee experiences at the company.
In 2021, Liberty Mutual has been named a Forbes Best Employer for Diversity and Best Employer for New Graduates, by offering ample opportunities for all employees. Many of the company’s executive leadership have also been awarded for their outstanding dedication to the employee experience.
6. Mutual of Omaha
Headquarters: Omaha, Nebraska
Number of employees: 6,000+
Mutual of Omaha is a Fortune 500 mutual insurance and financial services company offering a variety of products, including Medicare supplement, life insurance, long-term care coverage and annuities, as well as group coverage such as life, disability, and 401(k).
The company was recognized by Forbes as one of the Best Employers for Diversity 2022. It also ranked number 84 in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Mutual of Omaha has developed several ongoing programs for employees and managers that support an inclusive culture. These include:
- Mutually Connected – a compulsory culture-shaping workshop that explores many concepts and values that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Mutually Inclusive – the firm’s flagship program is designed to reinforce several concepts that “bridge connections across differences,” including allyship, identity and anti-racism.
- Diversity and Inclusion Action Group (DIAG) – made up of leaders throughout the company
- and provide focus and direction for the firm’s DEI initiatives.
- Advocacy and Advisory Council – comprised of associates representing each business unit and operation, who recommend opportunities for incorporating DEI strategies and advocate for DEI within their business units.
Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio
Number of employees: 26,000+
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is a Fortune 100 firm that provides a full range of insurance and financial services products across the US. Its insurance portfolio includes car, motorcycle, homeowners, pet, farm, life, and commercial policies. The company also offers annuities, mutual funds, retirement, plans and specialty health services.
Nationwide’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion reflects how the company operates. A standard requirement for doing business with the insurance giant is a “commitment to creating opportunities that promote supplier diversity.”
Every year, thousands of its employees also participate in associate resource groups and business unit councils to foster inclusion and improve business results. In 2021, the company hosted events to celebrate its employees’ heritage, educate them about diverse experiences and demonstrate how we can be better allies. A separate campaign also allowed associates to generate a matching gift from the Nationwide Foundation to select non-profit partners focused on social equality and economic empowerment.
Nationwide is the top-ranking insurer in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2022, securing the 21st spot.
Headquarters: Mayfield Village, Ohio
Number of employees: 45,000+
The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies is one of the most popular insurance brands in the US. The insurance juggernaut is the third-largest auto insurer and top motorcycle and specialty RV insurer in the country, writing more than 13 million auto policies per year. The insurer also writes commercial auto and several other personal lines risks, including homeowners’ insurance.
Progressive puts a premium on letting its employees be themselves and bring their strengths to work. It also holds staff accountable for sticking to the company’s core values – integrity, golden rule, objectives, excellence, and profit. Working at Progressive offers excellent benefits, including access to financial wellbeing programs, which provide tuition assistance, fair base pay, 401(k) retirement plans, and an annual bonus program. Company benefits also include health, vision, and dental care, health savings accounts, mental health support, access to fitness centers, and maternity support.
Progressive ranked 51st in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and 65th in 100 Best Large Workplaces for Millennials in 2022.
9. PURE Insurance
Headquarters: White Plains, New York
Number of employees: 800+
PURE Insurance is a policyholder-owned insurer dedicated to assisting families and individuals by providing a range of personal coverages, including home, auto, cyber and fraud, jewelry, art and collectible insurance. The firm focuses on high-net-worth families and individuals who need assistance protecting their assets and homes. It offers a transparent view of their process, allowing clients to know exactly where their money is going and how their accounts are being managed.
PURE, which stands for Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, was recently named one of the Best Workplaces in Financial Services and Insurance by Fortune, Best High Net Worth Insurance Company at the Private Asset Management (PAM) Awards, and Best Insurance Underwriter at the Family Wealth Report Awards.
Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas
Number of employees: 32,000+
USAA is a diversified financial services group of companies and among the leading providers of insurance, investment, and banking solutions to members of the US military, veterans, and their families.
USAA is also one of the top insurance companies to work for in the country. The insurer gives employees and their families a range of benefits, including medical and dental insurance coverage, RSPs, paid time off, recognition programs, access to fitness centers and personal trainers, college admission assistance, and ongoing training programs. It ranked 87th in the 2021 edition of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.