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Study finds insurers are looking to increase staff sizes throughout the next year

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A labor market study has revealed that 63% of P&C, life, and health insurance carriers and reinsurers plan to increase their staff and 27% expect to maintain their current staff size throughout the next year. Ten percent are expecting a decrease.

Conducted by The Jacobson Group and Aon, the Semi-Annual Insurance Labor Market Study is based on a survey of small, medium, and large-sized carriers. Eighty-five percent of the respondents were from the P&C insurance industry.

Technology, claims, and underwriting roles remain the industry’s most in-demand positions, according to the study.

Sixty-two percent of companies have added staff since July 2022 while 10% reduced staff.

“While the labor market appears to be settling compared to last year, recruiting remains difficult and the majority of insurers aspire to add staff,” said Gregory P. Jacobson, co-chief executive officer of The Jacobson Group. “Carriers must be doing everything they can to position themselves as an employer of choice from a compensation, benefits and flexibility standpoint.”

The news from the study comes on the coattails of a recent layoff by Farmers Insurance. The carrier announced in August that it laid off 2,400 employees to better position itself for “long-term profitability and growth.” The layoff encompassed 11% of its employees throughout all its business lines as Farmers shifts to a “more simplified and streamlined organizational structure.”

The Jacobson Group and Aon also found in its survey that:

    • Seventy-two percent of companies expect to grow revenue during the next 12 months, which is a decrease of seven points compared to the January 2023 study;
    • Ninety-two percent of companies currently offer hybrid work and 68% offer fully remote work to their employees. More than half of respondents offer flexible hours;
    • All roles are considered at least moderately difficult to fill. Technology, executive, and analytics positions are considered the most challenging to fill; and
    • Underwriting, claims, and operations are at the bottom of the list of most needed and experienced employees at 77%, 73%, and 52%, respectively.

Based on their findings, The Jacobson Group and Aon predict that if the industry follows through on its plans, there will be a 0.66% increase in employment during the next 12 months.

“Many insurers have been challenged over the past year to achieve profit targets due to inflation, weather events, and rising loss costs,” said Jeff Rieder, partner at Aon and head of Ward Benchmarking. “However, the industry remains very resilient and we still see a high demand for the core claims, underwriting, and technology functions.”

A presentation on the findings states that since January, overall expectations to add staff decreased four points to 63% with 82% of small companies expecting an increase compared to 70% in January.

Medium-sized companies decreased their 12-month expectations from 73% in January to 50% in July while large companies decreased from 61% to 50%, according to the study. Fifty-two percent of small and 39% of medium-sized companies said they expect a more than 10% increase in revenue from premiums in the next year compared to 25% for large companies.

A results summary and webcast are available here.

The study has been conducted semi-annually since 2009. The next one will take place in January 2024.


Featured image: Wasan Tita/iStock

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