At its most basic, insurance is an instrument designed to help financially when things don’t go according to plan. As a result, just about everyone needs insurance at one time or another during their lives, whether that’s for the purpose of travel, your home and belongings, or to look after your dependants. This means that insurance is an important employment sector in the UK. In 2018, there were more than 94,000 people working in insurance jobs.
Insurance jobs might have a reputation for being boring, but, in reality, this is probably because the work is low stress, stable and secure. That said, it’s not everyone’s first choice when it comes to a career. Many people either fall into it or enter the career through family connections. However, new technology has changed the industry and, for those with an interest in IT, the sector offers some very exciting opportunities.
When it comes to variety, there are a huge range of insurance jobs across a number of specialisms. These include:
Underwriting – This is the process by which financial institutions take on risk for a fee. Underwriters effectively assess clients and their needs in order to create the terms of the insurance policy.
Broking – Insurance broker jobs exist for the purpose of researching, finding and selling the best policies for client needs.
Claims – Working in claims, you’ll act as the first port of call for a client who needs to make a claim.
Loss adjustment – Loss adjusting typically involves a lot of travel as loss adjusters are required to attend sites in order to review and assess claims.
Beyond these roles, there are a number of specialist niches within insurance, such as personal liability insurance or specialist commercial insurance. These involve front-facing and back office roles, servicing clients, dealing with claims and assessing risk, as well as business and data analysis.
Getting into insurance
Insurance is popular with graduates as most degree disciplines are accepted. Companies are looking for people with the right skills rather than specific knowledge related to insurance. However, a professional qualification can take you far. Most graduate schemes involve the Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII) or fellowship (FCII) from the Institute of Insurance. Initially, however, you’ll be able demonstrate good problem solving and analytical skills. The professional exams can be demanding so a sound work ethic will be essential. As with so many careers dealing with a variety of clients, solid interpersonal and negotiating skills will be essential.
Job security is high and prospects are good in insurance. Many people who go into the sector spend their entire lives working in the niche, sometimes with only one or two job changes along the way. Work/life balance is excellent. Most insurance broker jobs operate Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. You won’t be tied to your desk 20 hours per day as with many other financial jobs. Starting salaries on graduate schemes start around £30,000, depending on company size and location. Once you complete a professional qualification, your salary could double and in multinational firms, there is plenty of opportunities to take your skills overseas. Those at the top can earn a six figure salary. Some can go on to establish their own specialist businesses.
For a wide range of jobs in insurance, start with a search on Zoek UK.
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