Looking for a Stable Career in Uncertain Times?
November 18, 2020
Try a Local Independent Insurance Agency
By Nick Fyntrilakis, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents
As Massachusetts continues to grapple with COVID-19, the public health and economic impacts of the pandemic have rightly remained front and center in the public conversation. However, if you know where to look, you can also find examples of employers and industries that are not only surviving during the downturn, but actually growing and hiring. Among these employers are your local independent insurance agencies.
Even now, when every aspect of our lives seems to be in turmoil, we all still need to insure our vehicles, homes, and businesses against loss. When COVID restrictions were put in place, Massachusetts insurance agents were deemed essential workers. Agencies have kept their doors open (both actually and virtually) to serve their customers and their communities. The Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) is a trade association that represents nearly 1,200 independent insurance agencies across the Commonwealth. These small- and medium-sized local businesses employ approximately 10,000 workers in well-paying jobs and contribute more than $1 billion annually to the Massachusetts economy. MAIA recently surveyed our members about the needs and challenges they have been facing during the COVID crisis. Nearly half (47%) of respondents indicated that they currently have or anticipate staff openings, and are looking to hire new talent.
Even before the pandemic hit, insurance agencies were actively seeking to expand their workforces. That trend is reflected across the country, with more than 400,000 job openings in our industry nationwide. In 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked “Insurance Agent” #4 on their list of best jobs. As the industry continues to evolve in new and exciting ways, we are actively recruiting the next generation of insurance agency professionals.
What does an insurance career offer?
• Attractive Compensation and Benefits: We want to see our employees thrive and grow in their careers. That starts by offering good wages and health and retirement benefits. An agency Account Manager’s salary, for example, can range from $40,000 to $60,000 plus benefits, depending on level of experience. Sales producers can earn well over six digit income.
• Advancement Opportunities: An entry-level agency employee can pursue training and professional designations that pave the way for continuous advancement — with or without a college degree.
• Stability: More than 40% of Massachusetts insurance agencies have been in business over 50 years. Many individuals who run agencies or companies are retiring. They are looking for new talent to bring in and perpetuate the businesses they’ve spent their lifetimes building up.
• Flexibility: An insurance agency career offers work-life balance, with a schedule that can accommodate vacation time, travel, and seeing your kids’ Little League games. During the pandemic, the vast majority of our agencies have nimbly moved to either a hybrid or fully remote work environment to accommodate employees and customers alike.
• Meaning: Insurance is a helping career, where you make a real difference in people’s lives by helping them rebuild when they suffer a loss.
• Community: Independent agents know and care about their clients as friends and neighbors, coaches and volunteers. MAIA member agencies contribute a total of $8.5 million to charities annually, and donate countless hours volunteering for local civic, cultural, and religious organizations. During the pandemic, they have stepped up in ways both big and small, giving generously of their time and money to the communities and people they serve.
MAIA is committed to identifying new talent, partnering with organizations to create a workforce development pipeline, and working to ensure that our vital industry weathers this pandemic and remains strong for decades to come.
If you are interested in learning more about a career in insurance, or helping us build our talent pipeline, visit MAIA’s Career HQ: https://www2.massagent.com/careerhq. 509-634-2900