Is the Insurance Industry an Entrepreneurial Industry?
After Insurance careers month and the industry’s focus to grow young/Millennial talent pool – I started wondering what would drive young talent to the industry? And does the Insurance industry have the culture and environment to attract top talent? One of the cultural attributes an industry needs is Entrepreneurial spirit, so my question became -Is the Insurance Industry an Entrepreneurial Industry?
At first thought- not enough in a relatively measurement and the insurance industry can do much better.
I’d love to hear your comments below, but my thoughts are the culture of the insurance industry could become much more entrepreneurial. I think the answer also depends where you sit in the value chain. Brokers & Agents may feel differently than Insurance carrier folks. My experiences range throughout the insurance industry, from claims to insurance and reinsurance so I can honestly say I’ve seen consistency from the industry. Unfortunately consistency sub par or where the insurance industry needs to be – but it can change and will change. So those of you looking for careers or interested in the industry, stay positive because change is coming for the better.
It’s one of the great industries that has been insulated from innovation and major technological disruption. But the landscape appears to be shifting. The influx of capital and technology are putting major pressure on incumbents and will hopefully change this landscape going forward. For example, we may see small reinsurers start up again after this wave of consolidation.
Some of the hurdles to entrepreneurial spirit include capital requirements, regulatory hurdles, building trust/reputation, etc. Given this is a promise to pay in the future – if you don’t establish trust with customers and other stakeholders – it is a difficult barrier to entry.
On the reinsurance side, the ability to build risk portfolios and special purpose vehicles is a great way to partner, be entrepreneurial, innovative and nimble. On the insurance side, the ability to start your own brokerage or agency, vendor, service provider, claims adjuster – allows for a great entrepreneurial spirit – but is this spirit alive and well at large companies?
Do large companies in this sector embrace this spirit? If so, what do they do?
Do they have entrepreneurial platforms for employees? Do they give employees capital to start their own businesses?
Do they give employees time and resources to start a passion project?
If not, why? Do firms like Google and others offer this to employees? If so, how will the insurance industry compete for top talent without this type of entrepreneurial spirit?
These questions are more relevant now, with low levels or unemployment, where companies are competing for talent. Benefits and culture are of top importance and make the difference between a top applicant accepting an offer vs. going to competitor or having to over pay candidates. The insurance industry is preparing but needs to move much faster and shake up its culture to embrace this structural changes.
There are other cultural changes that need to be addressed in order to retain top talent. I will cover them under many future articles. Hopefully HR teams and senior leaders are looking for answers.
Comment below with your thoughts.