The Insurance Industry: Jobs, Skills, Trends and Job Outlook
The Insurance industry encompasses a wide variety of insurance types - such as life and health insurance, motor insurance, property insurance and many others besides - as well as a broad range of different insurance-related professions, including insurance agents and brokers, actuaries, underwriters, insurance company workers, consultants and loss adjusters.
All of these professions play a role in the various phases and activities involved in the sale and administration of life and non-life insurance policies (such as risk assessment and claims management), as well as in the production of key insurance documentation such as policy schedules, contracts and rates charts etc.
The biggest area of the insurance industry in terms of people employed (although telephone, app and online insurance sales are accounting for a growing market share) is insurance mediation, which consists of independent and exclusive insurance agents, sub-agents and brokers, who sell and administer insurance policies on behalf of insurance companies. A significant portion of the workforce at insurance agencies perform back office administrative tasks related to the creation and cancellation of policies, collection of premiums and the management of settlements, in accordance with the applicable sector regulations.
Actuaries and underwriters meanwhile work directly for insurance companies. Their task is to ensure that their employers make a profit from their insurance and reinsurance activities.
Typically, some form of academic training in economics or finance, statistics, actuarial sciences, law or another related field is seen as an advantage when applying for jobs in the Insurance industry.
What types of businesses operate in the Insurance industry?
The principal insurance market players include national and international insurance companies, insurance agencies and insurance brokerage firms.
In addition, a number of banks, financial institutions and social security institutions also offer their customers insurance services.
Other employers in the sector include loss adjustment firms, who are responsible for assessing the damage and overall loss that is reported when a claim is made, and insurance and financial consultancy firms, who offer a wide range of services to insurance companies.
Companies hiring in the Insurance industry:
Insurance Industry - Trends and Job Outlook
The insurance industry - as well as the people who work in it - are currently undergoing a radical transformation as a result of digitalization. Today’s aspiring insurance industry professionals in fact require solid maths and IT skills to land some of the most coveted jobs, which include technical positions such as risk manager, big data specialist and blockchain developer.
Promising career opportunities are also available in Insurtech, another area experiencing strong growth, which essentially consists of technology applied to the insurance industry. Investing in new technology is set to be a key factor for both traditional and online insurance agencies and companies, bringing a range of benefits, such as the ability to carry out automatic customer profiling, to propose the most suitable coverage based on customer requirements and to assess risks and losses in real time using dedicated software.
A further aspect of the industry that is changing as a result of digitalization is customer relations. Whether it’s a life, non-life, third party motor or financial insurance policy they are looking for, customers want to be able to purchase insurance quickly and easily - when they need it and for just the time they need it - while enjoying the benefits of an efficient and highly available customer service team.
Finally, brokers, agents and sub-agents will continue to play an important role in the insurance industry, with employment prospects remaining positive. The focus of their work is, however, shifting increasingly towards a sales and consultancy role - a change that is reflected in the large number of agencies, brokers and companies looking to recruit sales executives or account executives capable of managing and growing insurance portfolios and providing personalized support and guidance, with a view to achieving full customer satisfaction.
What skills are required in the Insurance industry?
Insurance is a highly complex and varied sector. Aspiring insurance industry professionals therefore need to be skilled at dealing with challenging problems and situations and have the ability to work as part of a team. In addition, they are likely to require some or all of the following skills:
Pretty much every important decision in the insurance industry - e.g. risk assessments, the acceptance of a policy application, setting policy premiums or the calculating a payout - is based on numbers and the accurate analysis of data. Consequently, candidates for any of the four key industry professions - actuaries, underwriters, agents and claims handlers - need to have excellent data analysis and processing skills, together with a strong grounding in economics and statistics.
In-depth knowledge of insurance products
One skill that all insurance intermediaries (whether they are a broker, agent or sub-agent), financial advisors and promoters need is a comprehensive knowledge - including of all relevant financial and regulatory aspects - of the insurance products available on the market. This will not only enable them to provide their customers with the most suitable type of insurance coverage but also help them navigate their way through the myriad of administrative and technical complexities that make up an insurance policy.
Negotiation and sales skills
In addition to energy, self-confidence and a natural aptitude for sales, insurance agents and brokers also need the ability to build up and maintain a network of clients over time, to explain complex issues and information to clients using clear, precise language, to skillfully negotiate and agree policy terms and - of course - to successfully close sales.