Insurance is a safe bet for candidates with transferable skills, but what roles are available? Bright Network gets to the bottom of it...
The insurance sector as a whole
Accidents happen across all walks of life; we can’t always prevent them, but we can work to ensure expenses and liabilities are pinned at the right door. Insurance can cover almost any facet of the world we live in, whether that’s pet insurance or rehabilitative costs for an accident.
Risks, and who’s accountable for them, make up the overarching picture that an insurance firm presents to its clients. As such, legalities are weighed against circumstantial evidence or predictions, forming an assessment of what someone is due, or who can claim consolatory funds in the first place.
Insurance firms charge premiums to secure customers against a particular eventuality, and they’re expected to deliver on the obligations set out in their policies. In essence, the sector safeguards against elements of chance that can affect individuals and organisations in a detrimental way.
The types of roles in this sector
Although the bulk of insurance work boils down to careful due diligence and cross-referencing, there are specific traits that define a role beyond the kind of paperwork they’re looking at. These include:
Advisors: Insurance needs a human face, and seasoned advisors help claimants gain an understanding of what they need to do next, holding their hand and answering their questions.
Actuaries: The main authority on premiums, actuaries determine how likely something is to happen, analysing economic and mathematical risk factors.
Investigators: Investigators must sniff out fraudulent claims, and discover whether or not compensation terms are met by both the insurance body and claimant.
Underwriters: Basically the infantrymen of the trade, underwriters are the people who give each application the green light, sorting through reams of data and background evidence.
Brokers: When someone is considering getting any form of insurance, they have a right to be concerned about value for money. An insurance broker works on behalf of a client to find the best deal, comparing the policies and rates of competing firms.
Why are these differences important to get to grips with?
The insurance sector is rife with elements of number-crunching, personal skills, diligent cross-referencing, and a nose for potentially wrinkles in a claim. Before you decide what position you’re going for, think carefully about the type of person you are.
For example, a candidate with a passion for getting to the heart of a situation, factoring evidence for and against the interpretation of an event, could be really valuable as an investigator. Likewise, anyone with a clear, analytical mind might gravitate towards being an underwriter or actuary.
Insurance can put you in front of businesses and individuals, involve mining data fields over extended periods of time, or require you to put on a detective hat. The extent to which these phrases appeal can give some indication of what suits you.
5 things you need to know about careers in insurance
- The UK’s insurance sector is the third largest in the world, employing over 330,000 people.
- Insurance policies have expanded somewhat in the last two decades, accounting for terrorist-related risks and the effects of globalisation.
- A 2015 survey conducted by CII talent outlines the difference in average salaries offered by larger firms (£39,974) compared to SMEs (£35,414).
- Although sales tactics form a component of an insurer’s possible career progression, many roles can be performed behind the scenes.
- If lots of clients have renewal policies around the same date, expect your workload to swell for a few weeks.
Where can you go to learn more?
You’ll find plenty more information about the insurance industry, as well as tips that will make you more attractive to graduate employers, on our graduate career advice page. However, if you’re looking to learn more about the realities of working in the UK sector, visit the CII (Chartered Insurance Institute) website.
The makeup of the insurance sector welcomes candidates of all skills and attributes. Check our list of available insurance and risk management graduate schemes to take your first step into this industry.