COLUMBUS -- Allstate is kicking off 2013 with plans to add 136 jobs in Ohio, including 48 in the Columbus area.
The insurer plans to appoint 12 new insurance-agency owners in Columbus and hire 36 licensed sales representatives for new and existing agencies in the region. The remaining jobs will be throughout Ohio, specifically in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton and Akron, the company said.
“We’re seeing opportunity to gain market share in every market,” said Kevin Clickett, strategic deployment leader for the insurer’s north-central region. “We always need a good pipeline of people.”
Ohio currently has more than 300 Allstate agents, he said. Each agent typically has one to seven support-staff members.
Clickett said the opportunity to own an agency has appeal to many in the insurance industry who want to own their own business. Agency owners are independent contractors of Allstate.
“We’re looking for folks with an entrepreneurial spirit with a sales background, a management background who are tired of earning money for somebody else,” Clickett said.
New agency owners will need a minimum of $50,000 to invest in their agency, an amount the insurer says can be used to successfully fund the normal day-to-day costs associated with starting and running a business.
Clickett said the agencies will offer insurance and financial products, including life insurance, annuities and mutual funds.
Allstate already is one of the biggest insurers in a state where there is stiff competition, which has consistently provided the state’s homeowners and drivers with some of the lowest rates in the country.
Allstate was No. 3 in total auto-insurance premiums in the state in 2011 with 9.9 percent of the market and No. 2 in homeowners’ insurance premiums, according to state figures. State Farm is tops in both categories.
Clickett said the industry tends to be recession-proof because all drivers need insurance and mortgage companies require homeowners to carry insurance.
The new jobs that Allstate is bringing to Ohio reflect an industry that will need insurance professionals in the years to come, said Mary Bonelli, spokeswoman for the Ohio Insurance Institute.
About half of the state’s insurance work force is expected to turn over by 2025 as baby boomers retire, opening up opportunities for young professionals or those looking for a career change, she said.
“The evolving work force creates endless opportunities and job openings in an array of venues, everything from building your own agency business from the ground level to those who seek career stability, which the industry offers,” she said.