Insurance companies in Lincoln offer range of jobs

2012-02-19T00:00:00Z 2012-02-24T11:35:44Z Insurance companies in Lincoln offer range of jobsBy LORI PILGER / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com
February 19, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Lots of insurance companies have a big stake in Lincoln.

Ameritas and Union Central Life, Assurity Life Insurance, Farmers Mutual Insurance Co. of Nebraska, Lincoln Benefit Life Insurance, Allied Insurance and State Farm, even Dell Services.

By the latest U.S. Census data, more than 7,200 people work in the insurance industry in Lincoln.

But what do they do?

Bruce Ramge, director of the Nebraska Department of Insurance, said the types of jobs are pretty diverse.

There are attorneys and actuaries, claims adjusters and people who work in sales and customer service, he said.

Mark Walz, president, treasurer and chief operating officer at Farmers Mutual of Nebraska, said the company has 80 claims adjusters working at 13 offices around Nebraska.

"Everything else is done right here," he said.

Walz said about 170 employees work at its Lincoln home office doing everything from handling claims, underwriting and customer service to accounting and IT jobs.

Over at Assurity Life Insurance Co., Tom Henning, president and CEO, said they have roughly 400 associates, doing all types of things.

Like marketing and sales and client services for policyholders with questions, he said. And claims analysts, underwriters and associates who invest the premiums the company takes in.

"We feel that our people are a huge differentiator for us because they are good Midwestern people and they want to offer good service," Henning said before an open house at the company's new building in January.

He said Nebraska is lucky there are a lot of insurance companies.

"The insurance industry, taken as a whole, provides very good jobs," Henning said.

The statistics seem to back him up.

A 2010 study commissioned by the Nebraska Insurance Federation cites the average salary per job supported by the insurance industry at $46,226 in 2010, well above the average pay for all private jobs in Nebraska, $37,696.

The study's authors -- Dr. Eric Thompson, an associate professor of economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Dr. Ernest Goss, an economics professor at Creighton University -- say Lincoln has been a major beneficiary of insurance industry job growth since 2000.

The study said insurance jobs grew 41.5 percent here between 2000 and 2010, at the same time they went down nationally.

​Reach Lori Pilger at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com or follow her on Twitter at LJSpilger.

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