Careers in Insurance & Risk management

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Hands-on risk management

Actuary

A specialist in the mathematics of insurance who calculates rates, reserves, dividends and other statistics. (Americanism: In most other countries the individual is known as "mathematician.")

Adjuster

A representative of the insurer who seeks to determine the extent of the insurer's liability for loss when a claim is submitted.

Agent

An individual who sells and services insurance policies in either of two classifications:

  1. Independent agent represents at least two insurance companies and (at least in theory) services clients by searching the market for the most advantageous price for the most coverage. The agent's commission is a percentage of each premium paid and includes a fee for servicing the insured's policy.
     
  2. Direct or career agent represents only one company and sells only its policies. This agent is paid on a commission basis in much the same manner as the independent agent.

Broker

Insurance salesperson that searches the marketplace in the interest of clients, not insurance companies.

Captive Agent

A representative of a single insurer or fleet of insurers who is obliged to submit business only to that company, or at the very minimum, give that company first refusal rights on a sale. In exchange, that insurer usually provides its captive agents with an allowance for office expenses as well as an extensive list of employee benefits such as pensions, life insurance, health insurance, and credit unions.

Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)

A Professional designation earned after the successful completion of 10 national examinations given by the American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters. Covers such areas of expertise as insurance, risk management, economics, finance, management, accounting, and law. Three years of work experience also are required in the insurance business or a related area.

Claims Adjuster

A representative of the insurer who seeks to determine the extent of the insurer's liability for loss when a claim is submitted. Independent insurance adjusters are hired by insurance companies on an "as needed" basis and might work for several insurance companies at the same time. Independent adjusters charge insurance companies both by the hour and by miles traveled. Public adjusters work for the insured in the settlement of claims and receive a percentage of the claim as their fee. A.M. Best's Directory of Recommended Insurance Attorneys and Adjusters lists independent adjusters only.

Insurance Attorney

An attorney who practices the law as it relates to insurance matters. Attorneys might be solo practitioners or work as part of a law firm. Insurance companies who retain attorneys to defend them against law suits might hire staff attorneys to work for them in-house or they might retain attorneys on an as-needed basis. A.M. Best's Directory of Recommended Attorneys and Adjusters lists insurance defense attorneys who concentrate their practice in insurance defense such as coverage issues, bad faith, malpractice, products liability, and workers' compensation.

Risk Analyst

Investigates, evaluates and resolves claims from property liability, medical malpractice, and fleet vehicle loss; consults with County departments to minimize risk and safety exposures; assists in administration of Injusry and illness Prevention Program (IIPP), Worker's Compensation, Family Medical Leave Act.

Risk Manager

The individual in an organization responsible for evaluation of the organization's exposures, and controlling these such means as avoidance or transference, as to an insurance company.

Underwriter

The individual trained in evaluating risks and determining rates and coverages for them. Also, an insurer.