By Hailey Brindamour, American Corporate Partners
Everyone knows that some things just pair perfectly together. Peanut butter and jelly; fall leaf peeping and pumpkin spice lattes … the U.S. military and the insurance industry? While it may
not be as obvious, the two vocations share some common threads that make insurance a
natural career fit for transitioning veterans.
“Insurance is a protection industry, similar to the military,” says Roy Lopez, an Army and Air
Force veteran and alumnus of ACP’s mentorship program who is now paying it forward in his
second year as a mentor. Lopez, who currently serves as Nationwide’s Director of Talent
Acquisition for University Recruiting, draws a surprising parallel between the two. Like the
military, he notes, insurance is a silent protector that comes through powerfully in moments of
“For us as insurance providers, it’s a service-first mindset,” says Lopez, adding that this
approach comes naturally to veterans who have volunteered to serve. ACP protege Patrick
Freeworth, an active member of the Army National Guard, adds that veterans’ ability to
problem-solve and troubleshoot independently are incredibly valuable for anyone operating in
The field offers career opportunities at every level, and lack of experience or a related degree
are not barriers to entry. Freeworth started learning about insurance on YouTube during a
recent deployment and is now working in insurance sales with an eye toward future
advancement. “It’s a similar atmosphere to the Army,” he says, with a sense of camaraderie and
teamwork towards a common goal—serving the policyholder.
Salespeople comprise the majority of the direct insurance workforce at about 40%. For those
with keen attention to detail and a strong affinity for self-directed work—traits many veterans
carry over from their time in service—claims adjuster or examiner roles are also excellent
These roles offer an average salary roughly equivalent to an E-6 with six to eight years of
service, making them attractive options for veterans with limited civilian experience.
What if you’re not a natural salesperson or don’t want to dive into the minutiae of individual
policies? Lopez says you can still thrive in insurance—“every large company needs so many
auxiliary services.” Whether your expertise is in human resources, marketing, or finance and
accounting, there is a place for you in insurance.
Debra Bartee, a first-time ACP mentor and Assistant Vice President with Travelers, adds that
many insurance companies are putting more resources into tech. “What’s changing is automation,” says Bartee. “People want things done faster now,” and the industry is evolving to
meet the needs of customers who want a more streamlined experience with their insurance
provider. This is an excellent opportunity for veterans interested in data analytics, software
development, cybersecurity, and more.
If you are transitioning and interested in insurance, says Freeworth, take advantage of the
resources available to you; don’t wait until your transition is almost complete to begin exploring
your future career. One example is the SkillBridge program. With over 4,000 partnering
organizations and more added every month, it’s a good option for transitioning veterans looking
for real-world experience.
Are you looking to break into a new field like insurance but unsure where to start? American
Corporate Partners is the gold standard for providing post-9/11 veterans individualized career
guidance in one-on-one, year-long mentorships. Apply here today to speak with an ACP
Operations Associate and work with one of our incredible mentors!