How I fell into insurance

By December 4, 2014 March 29th, 2018 Company News

By Christopher Barger

How I fell into insurance

The insurance industry is growing and has a high need for talented professionals with a variety of training and skills. Recruiters are asking job seekers “where do you fit in?” In this series, Cincinnati Insurance associates describe their own career journeys.


Insurance nerds like me love to play the game “How Did You End Up in Insurance,” the implication being that no one actually intends on an insurance career. Really, how many kids in your neighborhood ever spoke longingly of a future that included the principles of indemnification? No, most of us tripped and fell into a rabbit hole that turned into an insurance wonderland.

Before I fell into the rabbit hole, I was going to teach high school English. Yes, in my daydreams, I transformed the barely literate youth of my world into Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists!

Of course things don’t always work out according to plans. Exactly 20 years ago, I was an unemployed high school English teacher who had spent the previous three years substitute teaching on a part-time basis and working construction on a full-time basis.

It was a fraternity brother who suggested that I pursue the career path that he had stumbled into several years earlier – insurance. Really? Insurance? Could there be a more painful existence?

Yet I took a leap of faith and somehow convinced somebody that an unemployed high school English teacher working construction would make an excellent underwriter. The company trained me to work with commercial accounts, and I learned about an entire world of different businesses, some that I never even knew existed. There were small manufacturers that made little parts that ended up in bigger parts. There were churches, small neighborhood stores and shops, general contractors, subcontractors, hotels, golf courses, social service agencies, breweries – an endless list of businesses that needed insurance. I wasn’t working in one industry… I was working in all industries!

I made other discoveries in this fascinating new wonderland. One was that our economy can’t function without insurance. Most business operations, home mortgages and car loans depend on the promise and security that insurance provides. I learned that we keep that promise on a daily basis. We’re there for people in their darkest hours. What an honor!

I also learned that an insurance career has something for everyone. Insurance professionals stay because we work in a place where we can develop our skills and pursue our interests. If sales …read more

Cincinnati Insurance Company Blog: Cincinnati Insurance Company