What You Should Know for a Graduate Job in Insurance
Working in insurance mostly involves protecting an individual or organisation against any potential financial risks. The insurance industry can be divided into different categories of life insurance which includes term life insurance, disability income insurance and superannuation investment packages; general insurance which covers liability insurance including automotive insurance, public liability, business insurance and workers compensation as well as property insurance such as home owner insurance, travel insurance and motor vehicle protection; and health insurance. Many companies specialise in only one type of insurance, however companies are starting to adopt and offer multiple insurances as well as financial services.
Requirements of the degree vary according to the employer. Employers often have a preference of someone in a numerate (e.g. maths or engineering), or business or management degree, however most roles in insurance which include broking, product management and claims management are open to graduates of all degrees.
A few personal skills that are required in the insurance industry include1:
- Ability to react quickly
- Strong customer service and communication skills
- Attentive to details and policy terms
- Analytical skills
- Empathetic to customer and clients concerns or losses
- Highly organised
- Understanding of insurance policies and limits of coverage
What to Expect
Graduates are able to choose from an array of job titles in the insurance industry with the main graduate job roles including2:
- Graduate underwriter You will be responsible in deciding whether to grant a policy to a potential client, if conditions should be attached and how much the client should pay in premiums. Underwriters and actuaries work closely together to negotiate with insurance brokers
- Claims management trainee This job would involve you to handle and progress matters when claims are made on a policy and to deal with the claimant and assess whether it is valid. You can expect duties such as arranging any tasks to be competed and loss adjusting activities
- Trainee loss adjuster Involves activities such as assessing the extent of loss sustained by the policy holder, checking if the claim is valid as well as investigating how the loss was caused if the case of disputed claims. Independent from the insurance company, loss adjusters would mostly be working for specialist practices and within the insurance company, the tasks of a loss adjuster duties would be completed by claims managers
- Business development, business finance and sales graduate roles These roles vary, however all of them involve tasks in promoting services to potential clients, identifying and pursuing new business opportunities, and making sure that the business’ financial level is successful
- Graduate insurance broker Insurance brokers typically work at an insurance brokerage, helping clients in selecting and obtaining the best insurance products from insurance companies for the best premiums
- Trainee actuary Duties would include completing financial forecasts and managing funds
- Graduate product manager Product managers create, test and launch new insurance products to various markets. Typical tasks include completing sales forecasting and ensuring the products abide the requirements of the regulator
- Operations management You will be responsible for managing and motivation customer service departments
- Support functions Support functions include technology specialists, risk managers, and marketing and HR professionals
Graduate jobs are not only limited to the titles listed above. The insurance industry has a huge range of job roles that you can apply for and vary according to the employers.
A full time job in the insurance industry could earn you a median base salary of $68,500 with the upper quartile $89,500 and the lower quartile of $54,000 per annum3. The type of employers that hire graduates include:
- Insurance companies Using the method of a price-comparison website or an insurance broker, provide insurance products and services to clients
- Retail banks/supermarkets Offer insurance services, particularly personal insurance and increasingly becoming competition to traditional insurance companies
- Insurance brokers Independent brokers between the insurance company and the customer who help clients obtain the best insurance products for their needs and have expanded their functions over the past years
- Specialist consultancies Specialist consultancies carry out a small number of insurance functions (e.g. handling claims). You can also find loss adjusters and specialist actuarial consultancies who specialise in life assurance and pensions
Leading employers including AAMI, AMP Limited, Allianz, Australian Super, Insurance Australia (AIG), QBE Insurance, UniSuper, Sunsuper and many more.
1 Open Universities Australia, Insurance and Superannuation Industry careers, 2015
2 Targetjobs, Insurance: graduate area of work, 2015
3 LiveSalary, Insurance, 2015