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Careers for

Corning Men

A Practical and Authoritative

Discussion of a Profitable





United States Senator, ind President of The

Prudential Insurance Company

of America

(Published in Ikt New York Tribune, 1903.)

Issued by

The Prudential

Insurance Company of America.

( Incorporated as a Stock Company by the State of New Jersey.)



President. ad Vice President.


Vice President. 3d Vice President .

EDWARD GRAY, Secretary.


Careers for the Coming Men.

By Hon. John F. Dryden.

IFE INSURANCE," in the words of
De Morgan, " though based upon self-
interest, is the most enlightened and
benevolent form which the projects of self-interest
ever took. Stripped of its technical terms and
its commercial associations, it may be presented
in a point of view which will give it strong
moral claims to notice." In its origin a British
institution, life insurance has developed most
rapidly and on the largest scale in the United
States. Practically unknown in this country a
hundred years ago, and of insignificant propor-
tions even fifty years since, the last half century,
and in particular the last ten years, record
what must be conceded the most marvelous
business success of this or any other age.

II LE there are many forms of insurance
protection, legal reserve life insurance
alone offers the absolute assurance that
the obligations incurred and the promises made
will be ultimately met with certainty. Of such
companies there are about eighty in active opera-
tion, with about four million "Ordinary" and
about thirteen and a half million "Industrial"
policies in force. The accumulated assets of
these companies exceed $2,000,000,000, and the
annual payments to policy-holders, $200,000,000.

Life Insurance a



Security of
Legal Reserve
Life Insurance.

Magnitude of
the Business.

Investment and

Life Insurance




The annual income is more than $500,000,000,
while the surplus to policy-holders exceeds

llFE insurance has been defined as a social
device for making accumulations for meet-
ing uncertain loss of capital, which is
carried out through the transfer of the risks of
many to one person, or to a group of persons, in
clear recognition of the principle that "the aggre-
gate danger is less than the sum of the individual
dangers, for the reason that it is more certain, and
uncertainty of itself is an element of danger."
Primarily devised to provide for the support of
widows and orphans, the practice has been
developed so as to include the secure invest-
ment of surplus earnings, in conjunction with
the insurance of a sum payable at death.

j N virtue of these principles the system has
been developed to an extraordinary extent,
but, however widely diffused, it is safe to
state, with a reasonably thorough knowledge of
the facts, that the real development of the busi-
ness is of the future rather than of the present,
and that the actual progress which has been
made during the last thirty years will be in
contrast, rather than in comparison, with the far
greater progress and further extension of the
business during the next thirty years.


|HIS, then, appears on its face a reasonable
proposition, that for a career many young
men would choose well and wisely to attach
themselves to what already is one of the foremost
and most important business enterprises of the
age. Subject to no violent fluctuations, of an
enduring character, and growing at a rapid rate,'
the administration and management of this busi-
ness require an army of men of exceptional
ability, integrity, energy and insight, and to such
the business offers not only adequate compensa-
tion, but more than average remuneration. In no
business, it is safe to say, is the division of
labor carried to so high a degree of perfection
and at such little cost to the individual. In life
insurance the greatest possible range of oppor-
tunity is given to every individual worker,
whether in the office or outside, and the grada-
tions of employment are such that at least a
moderate amount of success is within the reach
of all who conform to the simplest principles of
industry, energy and integrity.

iROADLY speaking, there are two distinct
methods of life insurance on the legal re-
serve plan, namely, Ordinary and Indus-
trial. Of the two the latter is relatively the more
important, in that it reaches a very much larger
number of people. The essential difference is in
the method of paying the premiums, in that Indus-
trial payments are weekly and collected at the
homes of the insured, while Ordinary premium



Industrial and



Young Men.


payments are quarterly, semi-annual or annual,
and required to be sent to the office of the
company. A further distinction is that the
average amount of insurance is about $120 on
the Industrial, against about $2,100 on the
Ordinary plan.

BHESE two distinct methods of life insur-
ance, although derived from the same
fundamental basis of mortality and finance,
offer different opportunities for young men who
make a choice of life insurance as a career.
Again, speaking broadly, the work of a life
insurance company is divided into office work
and field work, or administrative and agency
work. By the latter term, in Industrial insur-
ance, is understood the soliciting for new business
and the continued collection of the weekly
premium ; in Ordinary insurance, only the
soliciting for new business and the collection
of the first annual premium. The home office
work is practically the same, except in so far
as the administration of an Industrial-Ordinary
company is more intricate, more scientific, and
more subdivided into different departments, on
account of the enormous number of risks in-
sured. With an Industrial company the number
of risks is counted by the million, and the new
weekly proposals alone average from twenty
to thirty thousand. This requires a large
machinery for accounting, inspection, tabula-
tion, analysis, etc., and for this reason the home


office of an Industrial company may be said
to offer a wider field for the development of
individual talent.


|HE field work of Ordinary and Industrial
agents has much in common, and yet there
is a radical difference. Both classes of
agents have to secure business by personal solici-
tation, with this difference, that the former
reaches the more prosperous element of the
population, while the latter is expected to canvass
largely among the families of wage-earners or
people of small means. This work is thoroughly
supervised by district superintendents and assist-
ant superintendents, who are responsible for the
most effective management of their respective
districts. While the average amount of insurance
under Industrial policies is about one-seventeenth
of that of the Ordinary, the opportunity for insur-
ing the entire family increases correspondingly
the opportunities for making an agency a position
of material importance. The usual method is
to transfer to a new agent a certain amount
of collectible premiums, and through this in-
troduction to the business he becomes familiar
with the territory and soon adapts himself to
the local conditions. Promotion is rapid from
the position of an agent to that of an assistant
superintendent, with a guaranteed salary, and
to the still higher position of district superin-
tendent Very little technical education is re-
quired for Industrial field work, and the chief
elements of success are energy, tact and in-

Development of





to Higher

Attractions of
Field Service.


JDDITIONAL attractions for employment
as life insurance field workers are the
opportunity for outdoor life, contact with
different elements of the population, and, perhaps
most of all, the certainty of finding remunerative
employment in any part of the country in fact,
in almost any part of the civilized world. A good
solicitor for life insurance can secure a paying
position anywhere, and he will be readily em-
ployed if he can furnish satisfactory references
and credentials.


ERDINARY solicitors require a fairly thor-
ough technical instruction in the general
principles and practice of insurance, since
the large variety of plans of insurance offered to
the public by different companies makes competi-
tion very keen, and success often depends upon a
perfect knowledge of the intricacies of the busi-
ness. The more thoroughly the Ordinary solicitor
realizes the necessity for personal canvassing
the more likely it is that success will be attained.
The business cannot be advantageously carried
on in connection with other employment. An
agent should understand the fundamental prin-
ciples of life insurance and have a thorough
knowledge of every plan of insurance sold by his
company and its chief competitors. The men
who succeed best are those who limit themselves
in their arguments to a straightforward state-
ment of the facts in the case in other words, to
the cost of insurance and the results to be


realized by the insured. Men who adapt them-
selves to the exigencies of the occupation are
practically certain to meet with modest success,
and reasonably certain to meet with more than
average success, such as would follow corres-
ponding efforts in other directions. Every agent
should make himself familiar with the history of
his company and with its principles and practice,
as well as with the general history of insurance
and the readily comprehended arguments in favor
of this form of family protection.

IE general status of the life insurance solic-
itor has very materially improved within
recent years, largely because of the superior
class of men who are now attracted to this calling.
The arguments in favor of insurance have be-
come more intelligent, the literature distributed
for the information of the public has been freed
from technicalities and from controversial argu-
ments, while at the same time the public at
large has become more thoroughly familiar
with the value and advantages of life insurance
protection. Other things equal, it is safe to say
that the best success is attained in communities
in which a large number of companies are repre-
sented and actively engaged in the extension of
their business. To agents, Industrial as well
as Ordinary, who will adapt themselves to con-
ditions under which success is granted, the
business offers to-day exceptional opportunities
for remunerative employment and for rapid

Elements of

Status of
Life Insurance

More Rapid than
in Other Lines.

The Management

of a

Life Insurance


Vast Office


promotion to higher grades of field management
or to the administrative branch of the business,
probably more so than in banks, railways or
other financial and commercial enterprises.

JHE general management of a life insurance
company is under a board of directors or
trustees, according to the character of the
institution whether proprietary or mutual. The
direct administration is in charge of officers and
officials, to each of whom specific duties are as-
signed. The president's duty is to maintain a
general supervision over and direction of the
business of the company, both in the office and
in the field, but in particular he must give his
attention to the care and investment of the
company's funds and to other financial transac-
tions a great and far-reaching responsibility.

| HE vast office machinery of a large com-
pany is exceedingly complex, and not
readily separated into its integral parts,
but, speaking generally, there are usually three
groups of officers the first being in charge of
the office and field administration; the second
representing law, finance and real estate; and
the third the actuarial, medical and statistical


|HE Ordinary field administration is always
under the immediate direction of an ex-
ecutive officer, usually one of the vice-
presidents. The territory is divided into sections,
each of which is in charge of a manager, who
will have under him the general and special
agents, whose principal duty is to solicit for
new insurance. Ordinary agents are not paid
a salary, but they receive a commission on new
policies secured and a renewal interest in the
subsequent premiums paid. In this manner per-
manent relations are established between the
company and its Ordinary field force, and remun-
erative incomes are built up by degrees as the
result of intelligent effort. The office work in
connection with the Ordinary department is
quite involved as an intricate method of book-
keeping, and therefore offers a ready field for
the development of individual ability.

| HE Industrial field operations are also
always under the charge of an executive
officer, generally a vice-president, and
subordinate to him there are division managers,
to each of whom a particular section of the
country is assigned. The actual field work is
managed by a district superintendent, assisted
by assistant superintendents, under each of
whom there are a number of agents who collect
the weekly premiums and solicit new insurance.
Industrial agents are paid a commission for


Office ind Field

Industrial Agents

as Ordinary


Home Office


collecting the regular weekly premiums and a
special commission for new insurance written.
Industrial agents also write Ordinary insurance
and thus increase their incomes. The superin-
tendents and assistants are paid regular salaries,
but they have an interest in the work of the
district and receive additional compensation for
Ordinary insurance secured through their own
efforts. Inspectors are employed for the purpose
of investigating different districts and for occa-
sionally taking charge of districts during the
temporary absence of the superintendent, or for
other causes.

flHE general office organization is divided
into a large number of departments, each
of which is under a manager and assistant
manager, who in most cases have reached their
positions by entering as clerks and often as office
boys. The more important branches are the
supervisor's, cashier's, auditor's, bookkeeper's,
policy issue, claim, purchasing, editorial, adver-
tising, mail and supply departments. Some
companies have their own printing department,
managed as a distinct commercial enterprise,
with work limited to the needs of the company.
Life insurance companies usually publish weekly
or monthly publications for the instruction of
the agency force and the information of the
general public.


| HE qualifications for employment in the
general office departments vary, but as a
rule the commencement is in an inferior
position, from which promotions are made to
junior clerkships, special clerkships, assistant
managers and department managers as occa-
sions arise. The employment is practically
permanent, once a position of some importance
has been attained, for the unqualified are readily
forced out of the service after a sufficient trial.

| OST of the legal work of a life insurance
company is in connection with the passing
upon titles, securities, investments, etc.,
but there is opportunity for the development of
legal talent of a high order, and aside from the
usual qualifications, a special knowledge of cor-
poration law, insurance law and medical jurispru-
dence is necessary and of exceptional value.

NDER direction of the president, the
finances are in charge of a comptroller,
treasurer and cashier. The general duties
in this department resemble the management of
banks, trust companies, etc., and there are ac-
cordingly separate divisions for the conduct of
the different branches of the work.





Life Insurance

The Actuarial

The Medical

The Statistical


| HE actuarial department is in charge of the
actuary. The work is divided into different
sections according to the highly differential
nature of the work. The main division is
actuarial and mathematical, and the special
requirements for employment in the last named
department are a thorough knowledge of mathe-
matics and familiarity with general insurance
principles and practice, the general principles of
finance and a knowledge of the practice and
results of other life insurance companies.

jHE medical department is in charge of the
medical directors, who primarily supervise
the acceptance of risks on the basis of
individual medical reports made by local medical
examiners. Every risk is passed upon by office
medical examiners, and undesirable risks, for a
variety of reasons, are rejected. The require-
ments for employment in this department are
various, but a thorough knowledge of the theory
and practice of medicine, in particular of life
insurance medicine, medical jurisprudence, physi-
cal diagnosis, urinalysis, etc., is essential. Local
medical examiners are paid a fee for each exami-
nation, the amount of which varies according to
special and well-defined circumstances.

jOME companies maintain a statistical de-
partment, under the direction of a statisti-
cian, whose duties include the collection
and analysis of darfa pertaining to life insurance,


the tabulation and analysis of medical statistics,
special investigations into mortality problems
and a variety of other duties not readily defined.
The special requirements are a thorough knowl-
edge of the theory and practice of general
statistics, some knowledge of mathematics and
a broad understanding of social and economic
problems, of longevity as affected by occupation,
climate, habits, heredity, etc. A part of the
statistical department is a library of insurance,
medicine, law, finance, etc.

Ka general way, it may be said that the
icientific temperament is most likely to lead
.o success in home office administration.
This term is here made use of in the widest sense.
Perhaps the first principle of success is absolute
accuracy, which, in other words, means a careful
training of all one's faculties, since the trained
eye is able to see where the untrained eye
discerns nothing. Scientific training, as well as
all higher education, distinctly qualifies a man
for administrative responsibility.

IE work of a home office may be compared
Jto the work of a general staff of an army,
'the very purpose of which, in a large
measure, is to seek the problems that ordinary
observers cannot see. If anywhere there is
necessity for the preaching and practice of what
President Roosevelt calls the gospel of intelligent

First Principle*
of Success.

"The Gospel of
Intelligent Work.'

Opportunities for
College-bred Men.

Life Insurance


work, it is in the office and field administration of
a life insurance company. There is an increasing
demand, not only for men of energy and ability.
possessing integrity, tact and perseverance, but
also for specialists, to bring to higher perfection
the numerous minor departments for the investi-
gation of facts and forces beneath the surface
of everyday business experience. The demand
for young men of exceptional ability is out of
all proportion to the available supply, and there
is abundant opportunity for the profitable em-
ployment of large numbers of college-bred men,
or men of higher education, who are practically
certain, other things being equal, to make a
greater success in the field of life insurance than
in any other branch of commercial enterprise.

IDUCATION in life insurance as a busi-
ness has during recent years been intro-
duced into colleges and universities, and
some of the leading institutions now have general
courses in insurance which possess considerable
intrinsic merit, aside from the encouragement
given to the development of special talent. The
education of field men forms part of every large
insurance institution, and aside from manuals of
instruction, special literature on particular sub-
jects, leaflets explaining particular policy forms,
etc., meetings and conferences are held, at which
agents are addressed by qualified speakers, for
the discussion of problems of practical field


HE work of agency instruction is supple-
mented by life underwriters' associations,
which usually combine social and educa-
tional advantages. The education of the general
public in insurance principles and practice is also
an important means of business extension, and
all the larger companies publish literature for
the information of the public, setting forth the
advantages of particular forms of insurance or
dealing with matters of general interest, such as
the taxation of life insurance companies, the social
duty of insurance, the comparative advantages of
life insurance as a mode of thrift, etc. Some
companies have published their history, and a
number of valuable works on the technical
aspects of life insurance have been placed on the
market by insurance publishers. There are
many valuable journals devoted entirely to insur-
ance matters, and State insurance departments
annually publish reports which contain a mass
of information, with the essentials of which
every agent or office man should make himself
familiar. The social aspects of life insurance are
gradually being recognized by writers on ques-
tions of social reform and by students of political

HERE is, therefore, a considerable basis of
theory and experience available to students
of insurance problems, reasonably sufficient
for the preliminary technical education of those
who make a choice of life insurance as a business
career. The opportunities for individual develop-


Life Insurance

Study of Life



for Development.

Advantages of

Life Insurance

as a Career.


ment are exceptional, but the business is exact-
ing in its details, and the competition between
different companies is so keen that all that
goes to make character in man is required for
individuals to attain more than a moderate
success. While it is entirely true to say that
modest success is possible to any one who
will exert himself with a reasonable degree of
efficiency and energy, it is equally true that
the most exacting demands are made upon
trained minds to meet the increasing needs of a
rapidly growing business. Those who have
carefully observed the tendency of the business
are entirely at ease in making the prediction that
within another twenty-five years the present
position of life insurance will appear as insignifi-
cant as the position of the business in 1875
appears to us at the present time ; and it would
seem to be a perfectly rational view that the
intelligent, industrious and tactful young man is
not likely to be in error in making a choice of
life insurance as a business career.

Prudential Agent

has to offer a most varied line
of life and investment poli-
cies, on both participating

and non-participating plans.

He has a most advantageous
agency contract, -with liberal
first-year and renewal com-

The Company has open terri-
tory in -which it desires good


The Prudential Insurance Co.

of America.

JOHN F. DRYDEN. President.
Home Office : Newtrk, New Jersey.




M&fcV;>,k : I'il #! J^


Online LibraryUnknownCareers for the coming men; a practical and authoritative discussion of a profitable profession, life insurance → online text (page 1 of 1)