How Does Insurance Affect the World?

Whenever a major disaster happens, one of the first things we hear on the news is the damage measured in terms of insurance dollars. But the insurance industry's impact on the world, society and you goes far beyond claims.

On the World

No matter how ready we think we are, there's no way to completely prepare for everything life throws at us. For example, insurers paid more than $68 billion in claims in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. But the value was also an emotional one-a chance for millions of victims to rebuild and regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. Insurance helps us face difficult times with the confidence that we'll be able to move on afterward.

One thing you don't often hear on the news is that not every check from an insurance company comes in the wake of tragedy. Each year, the industry donates close to $500 million-and countless employee volunteer hours-to deserving charities, such as those focused on education, health and community development, according to a 2012 Risk Management magazine article.

On Society

Risk is a fact of life, but it's also the cornerstone of human progress. As an old saying goes, 'Leap and the net will appear.'

For anyone taking on a new challenge, insurance is that net. Whether you're starting a company, developing a life-saving vaccine, or traveling into outer space, insurance gives you the confidence you need to take the next step. And by moving forward, you bring the rest of us with you. Many of the innovations we take for granted might never have happened without the security of insurance.

Another benefit to society comes in the form of 2.3 million American jobs. It takes a lot of people to make sure that the safety net is always present, so the industry has a constant need for new talent to join its ranks. That's because insurance is all around you, protecting the buildings in which you live and work; the car you drive; your health; and even the movies, shows and music you enjoy.

Discover some surprising facts about insurance and its impact:

  • Industry Size - The insurance industry provides about 2.3 million people with strong, stable careers. That's 82 times more jobs than at the top 10 social networks combined. Now there’s a status worth sharing.
  • Global Reach - Insurance connects people and companies all over our planet. Protecting everything from shipping vessels in the Indian Ocean to homes near volcanoes in Hawaii, the global insurance community numbers in the tens of millions.
  • Job Opportunities - By the year 2020, the insurance industry is expected to generate more than 400,000 new jobs. To put this in perspective, that's almost a third of the students expected to graduate college in 2014.
  • Career Path - There are dozens of career pathways in the insurance industry, each of which can take your life in a dramatically different, yet entirely fulfilling, direction. The hardest part may be deciding which one to take.
  • Winning Work - In 2013, CareerCast.com ranked hundreds of jobs based on two dozen criteria, and actuary emerged as the best career, edging out surgeon and firefighter.

On You

As an individual, insurance helps you in an obvious way, through the protection and peace of mind it provides. From knowing that your doctor's appointment is covered to taking your first solo drive, insurance allows you to appreciate what's happening now rather than worry about what could happen later.

And if you work in the insurance industry, you'll discover another set of rewards. For one, you're part of a stable and fulfilling industry. The high demand for insurance professionals means you'll always be needed. It's also an extremely diverse industry, with a huge range of career paths, opportunities for professional growth and the chance to make a difference in the world.

Learn more about what insurance really is, why it's a great industry to work in, and how you can become part of it.