Canadian Underwriter

Finding that swagger

October 20, 2020   by Adam Malik, Managing Editor

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Insurance is a cool industry, but not enough people know it. John McNeil, program coordinator and full-time professor at Humber College’s insurance management program, explains how to change that


– As told to Adam Malik


We as an industry need to walk with a little bit of swagger. Insurance is an awesome industry to work in and this pandemic offers us a chance to enhance our position.

The insurance industry was deemed to be an essential service during the pandemic. There were few, if any, jobs lost. The pandemic has been a dark time for a lot of people in other industries. A lot of people don’t have jobs to go back to or are going back in limited roles.

My students, however, even during  the darkest times of the pandemic, were getting one, two or even three offers at times. They were hired throughout the whole year. I’m at a 75-80% placement ratio. The ones who didn’t get placed either went back to school, they’re international students, or they wanted to wait until the pandemic is over before they start looking for work.

This is the industry’s chance to seize an opportunity to enhance our position. For those sitting at home, this is a great time to either get their broker’s licence or OTL (other than life) licence. Or they can jump into the industry and start their CIP or even go into risk management.

Speaking of risk, the insurance industry is leading the way. If you walk into a store, there’s a sticker on the floor directing traffic. Well, it was a risk manager co-ordinating that. Even the tracking and tracing, and the back to school discussions — it’s insurance professionals who are having these discussions.

Having these types of discussions is essential. People only know insurance as a consumer. We need to highlight just how secure a job in the insurance industry is. We kind of accept that people fall into insurance.

Once somebody’s given a chance to be immersed in the industry, they really like it.

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