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Becoming A Commercial Insurance Broker – Alternative Jobs For Lawyers

A commercial insurance broker negotiates and places property, casualty and specialty lines of insurance for commercial businesses of all sizes, with a focus on Fortune 500 companies. Brokers draft endorsements and policy language to tailor coverage to meet a client’s needs. They also negotiate rates and premiums with underwriters.

Today’s guest, David Orleans, is the team leader of an environmental practice at a global insurance broker in San Francisco. He tells us all about becoming a commercial insurance broker and walks us through a typical client scenario so we could understand these law degree jobs. As a non-practicing lawyer, David explains that careers in insurance make great alternative careers for lawyers due to the many legal skills used in a typical day.

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WATCH A SNEAK PEEK

Today’s Guest

Environmental insurance broker David OrleansInsurance Executive David Orleans
Title: Sr. VP & Team Leader of Environmental Practice, Global Insurance Broker
City: San Francisco, CA
Law School: The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, IL
College: Indiana University in Bloomington, IN
Videos: Becoming a Commercial Insurance Broker & David’s Advice

Becoming A Commercial Insurance Broker

It’s common for commercial insurance brokers to specialize and become experts in a certain industry area. This is a result of the fact that the type of insurance program a hotel and resort company purchases, for example, is very different from the type of program a plastics manufacturer buys. So you’ll often find roles for commercial insurance brokers to be focused on finding insurance programs for specific industries.

In the full career video, David shares great advice on how to break in to becoming a commercial insurance broker. He goes in-depth into explaining the overall career path as well as how having a law degree and legal skills will help you – and can make becoming a commercial insurance broker a great fit.

 

TRANSCRIPT PREVIEW

This is a preview of the video transcript on insurance industry jobs.

Join JD Careers Out There for access to the full version of this transcript plus the career guidance video library & transcripts.

Luber: Hey everyone – welcome to JD CareersOutThere – where we explore paths both in law practice and alternative careers for those of you interested in leaving the law. It’s my mission to help you find a career that fits you and help you succeed using your law degree.

I’m your host Marc Luber, the founder of JDCOT. I’ve always used my law degree to work in alternative careers for lawyers – first in the music industry and then as a legal recruiter. I’ve been helping lawyers with their careers since 2003 and I’m excited for the opportunity to help you.

Today we’re exploring a place where a lot of JDs find great careers – and that’s the insurance industry. We’re specifically looking at becoming a commercial insurance broker, and we’re talking to my good friend, David Orleans, a Senior VP and Team Leader of the Environmental Practice at a Global Insurance Broker. He’s going to tell us all about being an insurance broker.

Dave, welcome to JDCOT!

David Orleans: Thanks Marc, good to see you. Thanks for having me.

Luber: Dave, can you start by telling us what you do as an insurance broker?

David Orleans: Basically, I help clients find insurance programs and policies that transfer the risk of their businesses to the capital of an insurance company.

And what that means is whether a client’s in real estate management or manufacturing or oil refining, all of those types of businesses have a lot of different risks.

And just like you might want to buy insurance for your house or car, large businesses need to buy insurance for basically everything that they do; to protect their workers, to protect the public at large, to protect their investments, to protect their assets.

And so, as a commercial insurance broker, I gather information from a client that captures their risks and their hazards and we find insurance companies that write policies to provide protection and limits of insurance in the event of a major loss.

Luber: That’s interesting. Can you walk us through an example? Like let’s say Company XYZ Oil Refinery comes to you or you go to them, what would be a typical scenario?

David Orleans: So if a client came to us they would say, “Well look, I’ve now invested in a huge refinery operation, so I have the actual buildings and machinery and equipment that refine petroleum. I have workers who are there all day every day putting out the product that I sell; I sell products on the market. Every aspect of my business from start to finish has risk: in the event of a fire, in the event that some system malfunctions and breaks down, some of my supply chain is cut off for some reason. Any one of those circumstances could end up in a loss of a lot of revenue to my company.”

That’s what a client would tell us – and we would say, “Well we’ll help you find the right casualty, the right property coverage,” and in my situation, the right environmental insurance, because that’s my specialty. “That will help you, Client X Refinery Operation, manage the risk and transfer that risk to an insurance company.”

It works a lot the same way that a home owner’s policy would work or auto insurance, but on a grand scale for large corporations.

Luber: Very interesting. What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of this path?

David Orleans: I think the most important and rewarding part of it is that I use skills that I learned in law school. I love exercising that part of my brain. When somebody comes to me with a problem, they know that I have a skill-set that I learned in law school that helps me analyze issues, compartmentalize issues and really peal back all the complexities of what they’re bringing to me…

Luber: I want us to dive deeper into that! We’ll do that in the Full Interview. In that video, you’ll all see that Dave shares lots more about what it’s like to work in the insurance industry, what skills you’ll use, how your JD helps you – and he’ll provide a lot of helpful detail on specifically how to break in to becoming a commercial insurance broker and find success once you’re there.

You’ll want to join the JDCOT membership for access to the full video and JDCOT’s library of in-depth career interviews & transcripts that will help you find and land a career that fits you. Check out what people have been saying about JDCOT by clicking here.

Thanks again for watching everybody. I’m Marc Luber and I’ll see ya soon.

[theme song]

©2015 Careers Out There

 
Does being an insurance broker interest you? Let us know in the Comments what you thought of our talk with Dave on these alternative jobs for lawyers.

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GET MY FREE SELF-ASSESSMENT!

Thinking of leaving the law? The best first step you can take is a good look in the mirror. START HERE:

it's free!
You’ll also get periodic updates, reminders & access to career guidance programs sent to your inbox. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe via a click at any time.