Are you a student or graduate who wants to learn more about the world of risk management and insurance? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we go over what risk management and insurance is and the differences between the two fields, what you can expect to earn, the leading employers you should keep an eye on and what skills you need to thrive.
What is the difference between insurance & risk management?
Although both these areas deal with risks, insurance provides peace of mind against risks, while risk management aims to manage and mitigate the impacts if a particular event occurs. Insurance acts as a risk management tool, so technically they work nicely hand in hand.
In terms of businesses, risk managers are highly sought-after because they can help identify potential risks that could have a detrimental effect on a business. You might be thinking, but if I have insurance, surely I don’t need a risk manager too. If you’re a growing or large business, it would be silly to only rely on insurance if something goes wrong. By having a risk manager, you’re preventing those risks from happening in the first place! If in doubt, use both.
Learn more about the benefits of risk management.
Types of roles in risk management and insurance
Risk management and insurance offer a great range of roles to graduates, most of which are available in a variety of sectors - no need to worry about being pigeonholed! Here are some of the most common roles in risk management and insurance.
Underwriters are the people who give each application the green light, sorting through reams of data and background evidence.
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. Find out more about the insurance roles you could get into.
Currency fluctuations, interest rates, late payments and inflation can all impact the position of an organisation, which makes financial risk management one of the most integral roles in this sector. Read why companies need risk management committees.
Risk is inherent when buying and selling goods which makes factoring in threats such as price fluctuations essential, especially when dealing with suppliers for gas, water and electric.
Discover more about the roles in risk management.
Key skills you need for risk management and insurance
- Problem-solving: Risk management is a strategic business. At the higher levels, you may be designing risk management solutions and processes for an entire organisation. In any insurance role, you’ll come across problems that need a creative solution. As a broker, for example, you might have to find cover for a client with unusual insurance needs. Learn more about the skills you need to thrive in risk management.
- Attention to detail: As an insurance job involves payments and calculations, attention to detail is vital. The ability to pick up on little errors can save you from a disaster caused by a misplaced decimal point.
- Analytical skills: The premise of risk management is analysing risks, calculating their potential effects and balancing them against the company’s overall risk appetite.
- Numeracy: Some insurance roles are more mathematically demanding than others. Actuaries work with statistics and computer modelling, while claims handlers just need to be comfortable with numbers.
- Verbal and written communication: Part of risk management is making sure everyone understands any significant risks and the company’s risk management strategy. This means communicating with all different audiences, from the board of directors to individual employees.
Read our article to find out the top 7 skills you need to get into insurance, including how you can develop these skills and use them in the application process.
How to make your application stand out for this sector
1. Research what the firm specialises in and read up on a few of its senior figures (LinkedIn is great for this) to show a genuine interest.
2. Tailor your CV to show you have transferable skills and experience in the specific role or sector using our CV Template.
3. What professional relationships have you made and how did you manage them? Getting ahead on this evidence shows how you might deal with a claimant.
4. Use a numbers-based approach wherever possible, whether it's recounting sales figures from a part-time job or how many calls you made on behalf of a charity.
5. Present examples of teamwork that threw you into the deep end - firms need to know you work well with strangers.
Who are the leading employers to look out for?
A global leader in insurance broking and risk management, Marsh focuses on industry clients, offering consulting, brokerage and claims advocacy services.
AXA is one of the biggest global insurance companies. In the UK, it has over 10 million customers - both personal and commercial. AXA also specialises in health plans and wealth management.
Read our ultimate guide to insurance and risk management graduate schemes to see where you could begin your career.
The world’s No.1 insurance broker (and one of Manchester United’s big sponsors), Aon is a global leader in risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, human resources and outsourcing.
Lloyd’s of London
Lloyd’s of London isn’t an insurance company - it’s an insurance marketplace where Lloyd’s brokers and syndicates of underwriters negotiate to provide clients’ insurance cover
Read more about who are the leading employers in Insurance and Risk Management and what they have to offer.
What can you expect to earn in risk management and insurance?
The answer to this depends entirely on your role, location of work, the company you work for and the skills you have. If you’re looking for a decent salary, risk management and insurance is a good place to be with their high entry-level salaries and great employee benefits. But, to give you a little idea on some average salaries, a risk manager earns roughly £56,000pa and the average insurance broker earns around the £38,000 mark.
Read our in-depth guide to insurance and risk management graduate salary expectations to find out how much you could earn from entry-level, all the way up to senior level.
Where can you go to learn more?
There’s so much more to discover and learn about this exciting sector. If you’re interested in insurance, visit the Chartered Institute Institute (CII) website, or if risk management is more your thing, take a look at the Institute of Risk Management to discover the latest news and information about the sector.
And, don’t forget Bright Network’s handy career path guide specifically focused on insurance and risk management for all the key information you need.
Browse risk management and insurance graduate opportunities
If you’re ready to take the first leap into this sector, use our trusty application deadline list for all the latest risk management and insurance graduate schemes.