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Insurance Associations and Insurance Journals

Insurance Associations

Professional associations are critical to the insurance industry. They play an integral role in educating members and consumers, as well as influencing regulatory and legislative authorities.

Industry associations inform their members about current trends in the industry, such as changing laws and regulations. They also sponsor research, gather facts, and report on best practices, technological advances, and social and economic developments impacting the industry. In addition, most industry associations provide educational seminars, webinars, workshops, and conferences to educate members.

Many insurance associations serve as objective, nonthreatening parties that gather industry data that will benefit the entire group. For example, industry associations often publish salary surveys or benchmarking reports. Members participate anonymously in the surveys with the understanding that the results are masked. No one respondent’s information will be revealed, instead it is disclosed in a consolidated report. This helps members know where they stand in terms of the competition on topics of interest.

Industry associations also serve as powerful lobbyists. They draw strength from the caliber of their membership and often speak to regulators and legislators on behalf of the group. For example, a health insurance association may give an opinion and perspective on privacy laws.

Industry associations sometimes use resources to educate the public about a certain topic. They might sponsor consumer awareness advertising campaigns or publish educational literature for mass distribution. These activities help advance the mission of the industry as a whole.

For most association members, the biggest benefit of belonging is in the networking opportunities associations offer. Networking is part of most associations’ charters. It is one of the reasons they exist - to give professionals a forum to meet, make business connections, and form mutually beneficial relationships.

Most insurance associations sponsor social events to provide opportunities for people to meet and for new business collaborations to form. They also provide the opportunity for management staff to meet individuals who may be good prospects for employment opportunities.

There are numerous associations serving the insurance community. Some are geared to an insurance market segment. For example, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America is a key advocate in its field. With a mission to educate and advocate for the property and casualty industry, the association has driven more than 2.4 million visitors to its website. The group has over one thousand members nationwide.

In addition, there are associations for specific insurance careers. For example, the International Claim Association addresses a wide range of life, health, and disability claims issues. Its membership includes life and health insurance companies, managed care companies, reinsurers, and third-party administrators.

There are typically costs associated with membership in insurance associations. The fees are usually assessed annually and are often paid for by an employer. Most employers recognize and support the value of employee participation. Specific educational forums or events may have additional charges as well.

Membership fees typically cover the compilation and distribution of a membership directory. These directories provide valuable contact information to encourage networking. In addition, members usually receive periodic informational materials throughout the year.

Insurance Journals

Insurance Associations

Industry trade publications and journals are an excellent resource for those pursuing insurance careers or seeking advancement in their positions. Journals come in a couple of forms; they can be print, electronic, or sometimes both. The publications are written for an exclusive audience and provide an insider’s view to the industry.

Industry trade publications report on hot topics facing the industry. They usually offer timely coverage of legislative and regulatory changes, and provide commentary on what those changes mean to the typical practitioner and to clients. Most journals or trade publications report on professionals who have achieved some level of success in their position and discuss how that success was attained.

New products, technologies, and strategies are regularly featured in insurance journals. In addition, most trade journals include descriptions of upcoming educational opportunities, networking events, and industry forums.

Many of these journals publish annual “Best” or “Largest” editions, where they will list companies and individuals with the most success in particular categories. For example, Insurance Journal highlights the one hundred largest privately held insurance agencies. The agencies are profiled and are given good visibility for recruiting and client acquisition purposes.

Most importantly for the job seeker, insurance journals often have classified sections. Insurance companies, brokerages, and agencies will post open positions in the hopes of finding qualified candidates.

Much like insurance associations, there are journals for general segments of the insurance market, and there are journals for specific careers within the industry.

The following are some of the most popular general insurance publications and websites:

In addition, there are a number of journals and trade publications that focus more exclusively on particular fields within insurance. Some of those include:

These trade publications and journals offer the reader insights into the most important issues impacting the industry. Candidates who are seriously considering positions can use them as resources to help prepare for job interviews. People currently employed in the industry can use them as a source of information to help career advancement. They provide an excellent way to learn about what is going on in the industry and how others are tackling common issues.