Nearly two-thirds of insurance companies, among them 60 percent of life & health insurers, intend to increase staff during the next 12 months, the highest intent in the history of a study published jointly by The Jacobson Group and Ward Group.

The two companies disclose this finding in the latest iteration of the mid-year “U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study.” Conducted semi-annually since July of 2009, the report collects revenue and hiring projections from organizations across all sectors of the industry; life and health insurers make up 22 percent of the companies polled.

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The study’s authors attribute the planned staff increases to the “expectation of an increase in business volume.” Nearly 6 in 10 (59 percent) of companies list this as the primary reason-to-hire, followed by 45 percent who report expansion of business and new markets as the trigger.

“If the industry follows through on its plans, we will see a 1.37 percent increase in industry employment during the next 12 months,” says Gregory P. Jacobson, co-chief executive officer of Jacobson. “The continued focus on increasing staff paired with mass retirements and virtually non-existent industry unemployment will only further interfuse an already challenging recruiting environment.”

The study indicates that 75 percent of small companies plan to increase staff during the next year, which is nearly 34 points higher than large companies. However, large companies remain optimistic in terms of revenue increases—expecting growth as high as 82 percent, compared to 79 percent and 77 percent for small and mid-sized companies.

The report unveils these findings in respect to life and health insurers:

  • L&H carriers are projected to grow by 1.35 percent in the next 12 months.

  • The L&H industry grew 3.30 percent within the last year versus an anticipated rate of 2.06 percent.

  • 80 percent of L&H insurers expect an increase in revenue growth in the next 12 months, gains in market-share being the key driver.

  • L&H insurers have the greatest need for new technology among all carriers surveyed.

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Among the report’s additional findings:

  • Four percent of insurance companies expect a decrease in staffing during the next 12 months— the 3rd lowest percentage since 2009.

  • Sixty-one percent of carriers stated that change in market share will drive their expected revenue changes.

  • Technology, claims and underwriter roles are expected to grow more than any other industry position during the next 12 months.

  • Executive, technology and actuarial positions are the most difficult to fill.

 

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