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An insurance assistant provides administrative support in an insurance office, working with senior agents and other personnel to meet the needs of clients and prospective insurance customers. It may be necessary to hold a license to work as an insurance assistant, and some offices preferentially hire people with bachelor's degrees for these positions. This kind of work can set people up to work as agents eventually, and some offices will provide support and assistance with the examinations needed to work as an agent or broker.
The insurance assistant works at the front desk of the office, handling phone, email, and in person inquiries. Insurance assistants can provide customers with basic information about insurance policies and may offer help for customers who need to file claims or make changes to their policies. As representatives of the agency, they need good communication skills. In some regions, bilingual employees are preferred to reach customers who may not speak the native language of the area.
Another part of the job can involve filing paperwork with the head office, reviewing policies to make sure they are in order, and maintaining the office filing system. As customers update their policies and accounts, the insurance assistant needs to document these changes and issue new paperwork to reflect the alterations to insurance policies. An insurance assistant may supervise other administrative personnel and delegate some tasks to them to focus on more complex and sensitive work.
Each agent has a slightly different working style, and the duties of an insurance assistant can vary. Part of the work requires anticipating the needs of agents and making sure the information they need is ready when they go into meetings and discuss issues with clients. Insurance assistants can also perform research for the agents to help them understand all of the issues that may be associated with a particular customer or policy. For complex and large policies, this research can include a variety of activities like tracking down records of real estate ownership, reviewing medical records from a doctor's office, and so forth.
Insurance offices periodically have openings for assistants and provide information about what they are looking for in their job listings. In addition to educational and license requirements, offices may prefer applicants with some experience in the insurance industry. A person with an interest in becoming an insurance assistant might want to work in an office as a member of the administrative staff to build experience and references before applying for assistant openings.
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