Career Story: Insurance Company Executive

Insurance Company Executive

Job Title: Assistant Vice-President

Type of Company: A brokerage firm that specializes in analyzing employee health and disability benefits for companies.

Education: High School

Previous Experience: I was an account executive for a large insurance company for four years and went on to become a provider relations representative recruiting providers/hospitals into their health plan. I worked the next 13 years for Delta Dental as a senior sales executive. I am now working as an employee benefits consultant to large companies.

Job Tasks: Whether you are planning for future growth, looking to reduce insurance costs or would like to ensure that your benefits package is up to date and competitive, my firm has the knowledge and experience to structure the benefits program that will meet your needs.

We're committed to providing the highest level of guidance and "hands-on" customer service for our clients. Our mission is to please our clients by delivering value through our brokerage services, client support, and quality products.

I work with about 20 clients, all with more than a hundred employees. I typically meet with them quarterly and discuss the parameters of their employee benefits packages. These can include (but aren't limited to) health plans, dental, life and long-term disability insurance, long term care and a wide range of other products and services. I recently worked with a client to structure a premium contribution strategy for their health plans. We will have a pre-renewal strategy meeting to discuss what the plan will be for the coming year and map out a schedule to make sure we meet the deadlines. In addition, I help coordinate their open enrollment meetings that presented the options to the employees and draft the open enrollment communication material for employees.

I was able to negotiate a 2% rate decrease for the dental benefit plan and lock in the decreased rates for two years. The life and disability plans that we structured through one of our preferred insurance vendors reduced the overall costs by over 20%, and the client was able streamline their administration with one carrier, simplifying both the billing and claims process. In addition, the client was able to offer long-term disability insurance to their hourly employees for the first time. Up to this point, the hourly employees only received short-term disability coverage. Voluntary optional life plans were also introduced to all of their employees, and over 40% of the employees signed up thanks to a strong propaganda program.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the satisfaction of helping companies save money and offer better solutions for their employees. When a company doesn't have a short-term disability program and doesn't think they can offer it, I can be there to offer solutions. I can be there to advise them on structures of their health plans. Give them advise on new legislation and compliance rules and regulations.

The worst part of my job is that sometimes it is very stressful. Deadlines are crucial and long hours a necessary at times.

Job Tips: Start at an entry-level position and be willing to work hard. This position requires people skills, knowledge of the insurance industry, and networking. Get your Life Accident/Health Insurance Brokerage Licenses before applying. This field is very small, so don't burn bridges. Everyone knows everyone in this industry and you might just work for that person again someday. The field can be financially rewarding and is very competitive.

Additional Thoughts: I have been doing this for over 20 years and I'm 38 years old. I really didn't expect to be in the business for this long, but I have met wonderful people and have enjoyed my career. It has opened the doors for me in so many different ways and there are miles I can travel within the industry.

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