STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and it has become an essential focus in the educational field with many curriculums based around these subjects. STEM education focuses on the skills needed to succeed in the workforce today and beyond, from practical skills like numeracy and literacy to employability skills like problem-solving and communication. It was only a matter of time before this focus began influencing the way things are done in the insurance industry, from how claims are handled to how underwriting works. Here’s what you need to know about STEM education in the insurance industry...
Why Are We Talking About STEM?
Insurance carriers need more people with technical backgrounds. Some industry observers call for an 80 percent increase in technical staff over the next decade. That means many insurance jobs require an understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math. Most major insurers have plans or programs to beef up their STEM education efforts.
What STEM Means to Claims and Underwriting
Using computer-based tools and data analytics, claim adjusters can be more effective when they’re on site, taking pictures of damaged property and scheduling repairs. They can check customer accounts for contract renewals, payment history, and contact information. They've been given better access to customer information through technology.
In terms of underwriting – (the process of determining whether a customer is likely to make future claims and what their premium should be) – developers are using data analytics tools that allow them to predict risks better. These tools can assist sales staff by suggesting products that could help lower customers’ insurance premiums. That’s important because more than 70 percent of customer decisions are based on price.
With customer service skills becoming more automated through chatbots and AI (artificial intelligence), agents need new ways to differentiate themselves from their competition. Since it has proven difficult for insurance companies to find customer service reps with technical expertise, many have begun hiring candidates with a background in a STEM field.
For example, Allstate has begun hiring candidates with a background in software engineering or mobile app development. By doing so, they have seen an uptick of over 15% and 25% in customer satisfaction scores for these departments. As such, if you are a technical candidate interested in working at an insurance company but aren’t sure how your skills can translate into their processes, now may be a good time to ask them about it!
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