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Career Story: Commercial Lines Manager For An Insurance Company

Commercial Lines Manager For An Insurance Company

Job Title: Commercial Lines Manager, Insurance

Type of Company: I work for a small insurance agency. We provide both personal and commercial lines expertise to our customers. Our clients ask us to help them properly insure their business in the case of a loss. Some insurance is mandated by law. Other coverages are purchased based on one's exposure to loss or suit.

Education: BS, Management

Previous Experience: I have been in the commercial insurance business for 20 years. It is a job that many people fall into rather than consciously decide to pursue.

Job Tasks: As manager of our commercial lines department I have various responsibilities. I handle a small book of business. I deal with the clients over the phone and by mail, reviewing their policies and coverage to make sure they are properly covered. I sometimes recommend additional coverage based on an insured's operation as well as what we see in claims and suits. As a manager, I'm responsible for build and maintaining relationships with our insurance carriers. I will let them know if we are having concerns or issues with them or any of their employees.

I also manage a small staff, working with the rest of the company's management team and discussing in a general way where the agency and industry are going. The key is to be proactive.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I enjoy working with clients who understand my job is not to sell insurance but to help them make decisions that could perpetuate their business in the case of a loss. Insurance covers so many different aspects of an insured's business and can be an intricate part of their business success. I enjoy researching valid questions. What frustrates me is how much we do for our clients and how much I have to know and learn to be a top-rate account manager. I have no interest in accounts that are simply price-driven and have no idea what we do for them behind the scenes, from coverage analysis to negotiating terms, pricing and claims.

Job Tips: Insurance is relatively easy to get into for those coming right out of college. The industry is interested in attracting new players to the field. However, the industry in some respects appears to be behind the times, so those who start their career young may be frustrated by how things are done. The industry is ripe for change and it will come. Insurance has so many facets you need to find where you fit in best. Don't be afraid to talk to people and pick their brains. Get to know your clients and carriers that you are working with.

Additional Thoughts: Never settle, but give yourself a chance. Things don't happen overnight. Share your insight with those around you. This can be a fabulous industry if you remember we are professionals working with the client.

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