If hiring is any indication that the industry exiting a soft market, insurers have reason to be hopeful.

Aflac is holding a job fair Friday and Saturday Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in the hopes of filling 100 new positions. The jobs range from entry-level to technology support and analytical positions.

GEICO also is expanding. GEICO’s regional office in Macon, Ga., already employs more than 4,000 associates, and will be hiring an additional 230 associates for its centralized services division in a variety of positions including emergency roadside services (ERS) representatives, glass claims representatives, accident tow dispatchers and salvage/total loss specialists, all of which serve GEICO’s policyholders from across the country.

GEICO reports that it also will continue hiring sales, service and claims representatives for its regional auto insurance operations.

Following announcement of a record-breaking 2010, Patriot National Insurance Group, a provider of workers’ compensation insurance and services, said it would add more than 50 new jobs to its downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fla., headquarters in the coming year. 

Patriot National, which recently consolidated several Fort Lauderdale offices into headquarters located in the Las Olas City Center, has experienced rapid growth in recent years. In five years, the company has grown from three to more than 150 employees.