Florida Surplus Lines Association Recognizes Insurance Careers Month, Highlights Workforce Demand in RMI Profession


CONTACT: Allison Aubuchon, APR
communications@allisonaubuchon.com | 850.766.5255


Florida Surplus Lines Association Recognizes Insurance Careers Month, Highlights Workforce Demand in RMI Profession

Tallahassee, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2024) — Florida is witnessing a surge in educational initiatives supporting the growth of the risk management and insurance (RMI) profession. The Florida Surplus Lines Association is not only glad to see this but is also supporting the growth of these programs, as the surplus lines market has more than doubled over the last two decades, with projections indicating continued growth. The organization is highlighting the workforce demand in the RMI profession during Insurance Careers Month. 

“Attracting talent is imperative for tackling the critical risk management challenges that demand innovative solutions,” said David DeMott, CPCU, AMIM, ASLI  AU, ARM, ARe, of GridIron Insurance Underwriters, president of the FSLA. “As the Florida Surplus Lines Association (FSLA), we are proud to witness and be actively contributing to opportunities growing for the future of our profession.”

The University of South Florida’s (USF) risk management and insurance program began as a minor at its Sarasota-Manatee campus in 2015 and was expanded to a bachelor’s degree program in 2017 after employers asked campus leaders to help address the industry-wide shortage of qualified risk management and insurance professionals. 

The Muma College of Business created the School of Risk Management and Insurance when USF consolidated its campuses in 2020 — the program now has around 25 active students and is focused on cultivating industry-ready professionals. Through a $30,000 endowment, FSLA helped establish the program’s first endowed scholarship dedicated to RMI students — providing $1,000 annually to an undergraduate student pursuing an RMI major or minor. According to FSLA, its inaugural scholarship recipient, Ryan Schiavone, embodies the dedication and promise of these students.

The insurance industry is growing but it is also aging. About three in four of today’s insurance professionals are 55 or older, and according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 50 percent of the insurance workforce will retire by 2028, with 25 percent leaving the workforce in the next three years. FSLA hopes more students like Ryan Schiavone will be able to fill in the gap.

“When I talk to people, sometimes they are surprised when I tell them about my interest in risk management and underwriting, but I know this is the career for me and that this program will position me well at a young age to serve the industry,” Schiavone told FSLA. “I am fortunate to have had great mentors, including Dr. Wang at USF. The Muma College of Business has provided a great platform for students, and I am grateful for the leadership of Associate Professor Steve Miller in getting it going. This scholarship opportunity will allow me to work fewer hours so I can dedicate more time to my risk management studies and related club and internship activities.”

FSLA also actively engages with Florida State University (FSU) and its RMI program, participating in annual events like “Insurance Days” career fairs and student speaking opportunities. DeMott says these events are among some of the most rewarding and fun for their members, who often find exceptional student interns who become full-time employees. 

FSU consistently ranks among the top programs in the nation, and in 2012, its Risk Management/Insurance Program was named the Dr. William T. Hold/The National Alliance Program in Risk Management and Insurance. Both FSU and USF have chapters of Gamma Iota Sigma, a student-led organization focused on development for emerging risk professionals. The newest RMI program added to the Florida map is at the University of Central Florida (UCF). 

Training for all jobs related to the profession — beyond sales, underwriting and claims — will be part of the evolution of our industry’s education. There continues to be a demand for expertise in accounting, finance, actuarial science, HR, investment services, legal, loss prevention and marketing. According to WSIA, IT/tech-minded students with a focus on analytics and storytelling are in high demand as the industry assesses risks with data visually. 

In 2023, surplus lines, a cornerstone of Florida’s economy, provided vital support through a total premium of $15.4 billion, marking a 27.83% increase from the previous year. As the industry evolves, DeMott says the importance of education and growth cannot be overstated. 

“In our dynamic industry, the pursuit of knowledge and the recruitment of forward-thinking problem solvers must continue,” added DeMott, who also serves on the advisory board for the USF School of Risk Management. “And we encourage our peers in our profession to engage with student programs fostering an environment where learning and innovation thrive.”

For more information about the Florida Surplus Lines Association and its initiatives, visit www.myFSLA.com.

About FSLA:
The Florida Surplus Lines Association (FSLA) is an association representing excess and surplus lines agency member firms and associate members in Florida. Over the past 60 years, FSLA has promoted the regulatory and legislative interests of FSLA members and the Florida surplus lines industry, with a focus on supporting opportunities and insuring risks throughout Florida. The Florida Surplus Lines Association serves as a voice and a resource for its members and is consistently recognized for being one of the most active in the nation, ranking among the top three surplus lines associations in the country. Learn more at www.myFSLA.com.

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