The insurance industry has undergone exciting transformations over the past few decades. Most recently, the introduction of digital products designed specifically to aid in insurance processes has led to the development of an entirely new field at the crux of insurance and technology: insurtech.
In this article, we dive into the exciting career opportunities in the insurtech space and explore some of the ideal backgrounds and skill sets that those hoping to land a role within this field should have.
What is Insurtech?
Insurtech is the fusion of cutting-edge technology and the traditional insurance sector. It leverages innovations like big data, AI, machine learning, and more to revolutionize how insurance products are created, sold, and serviced.
What kind of jobs make up an insurtech team?
Typically, insurtech teams are comprised of the same roles you might find in any technology organization. Here are some—but certainly not all—of the most common titles found within these groups:
- Software developer
- Data engineer
- Product manager
- Product owner
- Software engineer
- Data scientist
- Enterprise intelligence analyst
Do you need a background in insurance to work in insurtech?
The short answer is no.
While it’s certainly helpful for at least some of the members of an insurtech team to understand the industry, Angie Stewart, Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist at Central Insurance, explains that, at the end of the day, the technical skills you bring to the table will matter most when applying for an insurtech role.
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What skills do I need to work in this field?
A glimpse at Central’s insurtech team reveals that some of the most common tactical skills among employees include:
- Software development
- Data analysis
- UX/UI design
- Computer programming
- AI/machine learning
At the same time, the softer skills typically most valued by insurtech teams align with those most valued throughout the insurance industry, with communication, problem-solving, and empathy at the forefront of that list.
“Empathy is going to be vital no matter what role you’re applying for at Central,” Stewart says. “Whether you’re a claims person, software engineer, or on our maintenance team, when you work in insurance, empathy has to be the driving force behind every decision you make.”
When hiring, Stewart has found candidates often expect their practical skills to be the most relevant to securing a role on a tech team. However, at Central, this isn’t necessarily the case.
“As a company, we’re more drawn to an employee’s soft skills. Innovation, curiosity, and a focus on relationships will get you in the door even if you don’t have insurance knowledge within the tech space,” she says. “I’ve seen people join our company with zero insurance knowledge that have gone on to do amazing things. That’s why we’re committed to learning about you, what you love, and how we can put you on the right track.”
The Value of Diverse Perspectives
It can often be to an insurance company’s advantage to hire tech professionals with a diverse set of training and experiences.
At Central, for example, we’re committed to ongoing modernization and innovation within our insurtech division. For that reason, we highly value individuals with diverse perspectives and insights that can help push our department and the larger insurtech industry into places it’s never been before.
“Innovation and curiosity are really key,” Stewart says. “You have to be open-minded to have the kind of conversations and reach the kind of decisions that elicit change, so it’s important our employees are comfortable in that space and can be respectful and mindful of those different perspectives.”
“That’s the caliber of person we’re looking for at Central,” she continues. “They need to be able to say, ‘Hey, we might not have the same background, and we might not agree on the right next step, but I value what you have to say and can learn something from you.’ That’s what we want from our employees.”
Can I switch to this fiel if I work in another aspect of insurance?
One of the most valuable types of employees that can make up an insurtech team are those that have transitioned into the department from other insurance-related roles like claims, underwriting, or loss control.
“These are the people we really want to evolve into tech roles,” Stewart explains. “They come in with insurance knowledge and are curious and dedicated to learning about technology.”
In these cases, the insights the candidates bring from the other areas of insurance make them the most valuable. A transitioned underwriter can explain from first-hand experience what kind of features or products are going to make the underwriting technology they’re developing most effective, just as a transitioned claims manager can speak in detail to policyholders’ experience with front-facing tools and help guide the innovation to meet those evolving needs.
That type of insight is crucial to a tech team looking to stay ahead of trends and provide customers and internal departments with the business solutions they need.
“At Central, our leaders are also really good about having career pathing conversations and finding out where someone’s passion lies and what steps we can take to help them reach their goals,” Stewart says. “This mindset has been so valuable in helping retain great talent at the company.”
What fields outside of insurance do most people transitioning into insurtech come from?
Although employees often transition into insurtech from other insurance roles or from existing tech companies, there are a few other common industries among insurtech applicants.
Though many non-insurance-based applicants come from tech roles within mortgage companies or larger retail organizations, Stewart has found that finance is the most common industry for these career transitioners.
“Joining an insurance organization from a financial background is very helpful because the technical systems are very similar,” she says. “The goals and applications of the technology may be different, but I think those who come from finance can innately navigate these systems a bit easier.”
Join Central’s InsurTech Team
Central is committed to growing our insurtech team. We are in the process of developing a brand new, state-of-the-art tech building in Columbus and have made great strides in recruiting the professionals we need to grow our team by 75% over the next two years.