Careers in Insurance
The enormous number of careers in insurance reflects the wide variety of skills needed by the industry. There's sure to be a career path to suit you.
Underwriters are the insurance company's decision-makers. They review customers' applications for insurance, research and assess risks to determine the cover and terms to be offered and the insurance premiums to be charged
An underwriter's work is always different as the risk involved with each case is ever changing. They use their decision-making skills to determine the best course of action to meet the needs of a constantly changing social and economic environment. They're also involved in placing reinsurance for their company. The aim is to minimize exposure for their company and help it to make a profit.
- Underwriting Assistant
- Assistant Underwriter
- Senior Underwriter
- Underwriting Manager
Underwriting positions require research and analytical skills, sound judgment, attention to detail, good communication skill and aptitude for working with computers
Special knowledge can be helpful for particularly unusual or complex risks. However, there are opportunities for school leavers and graduates with many companies encouraging further specialist study for their employees in this area.
You'll need to be excellent at relationship building, have good attention to detail and be a strong communicator and negotiator. Empathy is another important quality.
Claims staff arrange the settlement of claims made by clients against their policies. They assess the claims by reviewing the coverage and special terms of policies, sometimes by interviewing clients or their representatives and obtaining evidence. Claims staff will also determine whether a loss is covered by appointing and working with loss adjusters/investigators. They assist clients in making claims and arrange for claims to be paid to the appropriate level once accepted. They are also involved in making claims on reinsurance on behalf of their company.
They decide how valid the claim is and whether it's genuine or not, keeping an eye out for fraud.
- Trainee Claims Handler
- Claims Handler
- Team Leader
- Claims Manager
- Claims Director
There are opportunities for school leavers and graduates with many companies investing in further specialist study for their employees in this area. Claims adjusters are also people on the front lines when accidents happen, so they need to demonstrate good customer contact skills while shrewdly negotiating claims or deciding whether claims are fraudulent or not.
Interpersonal skills are key in this area of work. During training you're likely to become involved in investigating scenes of accidents and taking statements from other professionals, such as the police and medical and technical staff. Negotiating and empathy are equally important.
In addition to their insurance qualification, many senior claims personnel have a background in law or management.
Loss Adjusters are independent experts who investigate claims for insurers arising out of losses such as fires, accidents and burglaries, and determine the amount of damage or loss covered by the insurance policy. They research what can often be complex situations by collecting information and assessing it against guidelines. They report to the insurer on the details of a loss and the circumstances surrounding the loss, making recommendations to the insurer regarding repair or replacement of lost or damaged property.
- Loss adjusting
- Trainee Loss Adjuster
- Loss Adjuster
- Senior Loss Adjuster
Loss Adjuster personnel have a background in accounting, engineering, science or business. They need to demonstrate good customer contact and investigative skills while negotiating claims to determine whether claims are legitimate.
Good communication and empathy are essential and you will also need to be able to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple cases with confidence and accuracy. You will also need to be a good team worker, be flexible and someone who responds to working to targets.
Loss Adjusters can benefit from a detailed legal and technical knowledge and accounting skills and often have qualifications in accounting, engineering, science or business. It is a highly specialized field requiring a sophisticated blend of interpersonal and technical skills. The ability to display the competencies and development potential to become an effective loss adjuster tends to be more important than having the actual degree.
INSURANCE AGENTS AND SALESMEN
Insurance agents act as authorized representatives on behalf of insurance companies to help consumers identify their insurance needs and obtain appropriate insurance from insurance companies. They assist customers with the completion of insurance applications and collection of premiums, and provide valuable customer service. Authorized representatives are insurance professionals and they operate in both the life and general insurance areas. They are paid commissions by the insurance companies they represent.
The backgrounds of sales professional are widely diverse but this career choice is becoming increasingly attractive to young graduate with a keen interest in being selfemployed or owning an agency.
Positions are available to school leavers and graduates, however in Trinidad and Tobago insurance agents and salesmen must pass a State Licensing exam in order to receive their license to sell insurance.
Insurance brokers are independent insurance professionals who work as either individual brokers or for broker organizations. Brokers represent their customers, assessing their insurance requirements to find the right insurance policy that best suit their needs.
- Broking Assistant
- Trainee Account Handler
- Account Handler
- Account Executive
- Account Director
- Managing Director
In addition to understanding their client's needs, brokers need to stay ahead of the latest trends, available insurance covers and the cost of covers. Similar to agents, they help consumers find and arrange insurance but their responsibility lies with the client, not the insurance company. They must be licensed as a broker for their type of business. Many brokers have customers throughout the region and travel periodically to visit or to arrange coverage in international markets.
Brokers are required to have the technical knowledge, skills and qualifications to effectively represent their clients and pursue specialist study to ensure they are properly qualified. Communication skills are particularly important. Getting the job done depends on your ability to liaise and negotiate with a wide range of people, assimilating and communicating information that is often complex and technical.
Broking positions are available to school leavers and graduates and like agents they must complete the State Licensing exam in order to get a brokerage license.
Risk managers evaluate, balance and spread the risk their company takes on over a number of different areas. They determine the possibility or probability of a negative outcome from a particular event then develop risk management strategies to avoid this. In insurance companies, they will advise underwriters on the degree of risk to be covered by insurance policies and, being ultimately required to make a profit on the risk, will advise the company on sound pricing and investment strategies.
- Risk Technician
- Risk Analyst
- Risk Manager
Risk Managers are typically employed with companies with large exposures such as energy companies and conglomerates and usually have a degree in engineering, insurance or business completed by specialist studies in Risk Management. Risk managers are also increasingly finding a role in corporations, industry and government to evaluate and manage risk, and advise on insurance on behalf of these organizations.
Risk Management is a good field for engineers or people who have some specialized knowledge about medicine, business, contracting or other areas where a company offers insurance coverage. For example, a firefighter might help building contractors reduce the fire risk in a new building, and a nurse might help create a health insurance wellness programme.
Communication skills are key, and you also need to be commercially aware, diplomatic and confident enough to deal with a wide range of people, from site workers to managing directors. You'll need to be a good negotiator with an analytical mind.
They are often degree qualified in engineering, business management or accounting and undertake further specialist study in risk management.
Actuaries apply their knowledge of mathematics and probability theory to real life problems involving the predictability of future events. They analyze mathematical, statistical, demographic, financial, economical and social data in order to predict and assess the long-term risks involved in financial decision and planning. Actuaries are generally graduates with specialist actuarial qualification.
Don't even think about becoming an actuary unless you're a math, statistics, or actuarial science major - this is hard core. Even if you end up in a job where you meet with regulators and never crunch numbers, you'll still be expected to pass a rigorous series of intense, math focused exams to move up the ranks. As actuaries often hold senior positions within a company, they need to be able to communicate effectively at all levels. You'll have to be good at math, but you also have to be an innovative thinker and problem solver. Numeracy is vital, but beyond this you will need to develop the capacity to give expert advice. Often this will involve dealing with non-actuaries and the general public, so the ability to communicate and articulate difficult topics to non-specialists is of paramount importance.
They then calculate premiums and advise on whether or not a company has sufficient assets to meet its potential and actual liabilities.
- Graduate trainee
- Qualified Actuary
- Senior Actuary
A degree qualification in business management, accounting or actuarial science is required.
There are also great opportunities for:
- Business Development
- Insurance Lawyers
- Marketing and Sales Professionals
- Investment Strategists/Advisers
- Human Resource Managers
- Learning and Development Managers
- Compliance Managers
- IT Specialists
- Customer Service Operations