Insurance career pathways
There are many diverse roles across the Australian insurance industry, offering fulfilling, challenging and ever-changing opportunities to talented graduates. Here we outline some of the most common insurance roles available.
The advisers and enablers of the insurance world, insurance brokers are qualified specialists in insurance and risk management, who acts as an intermediary between insurance companies and insurance buyers.
Brokers don’t work for insurance companies – they act on behalf of their clients and provide insurance and risk advice in the interests of those clients. Brokers can be particularly valuable to their clients in the event of a claim, helping them through the process and negotiating the best settlement with the insurer.
The vast majority of businesses in Australia place their insurance through brokers, while some individuals also use a broker for their personal insurance needs rather than purchasing directly from insurers.
The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) is the peak body of the insurance broking profession in Australia, representing an estimated 90% of brokers. You can read more about our history and purpose here.
Underwriters are essentially the decision-makers of the insurance industry. They decide which risks they are willing to cover for insurance purposes, and what the terms of that cover will. The higher the risk of a claim, the higher the insurance premium is likely to be.
Underwriters work closely with insurance brokers to ensure their products and services match the needs of the market as much as possible while remaining competitive in pricing.
Underwriters can work for major multi-national insurers, such as Zurich, QBE and Allianz, right through to small boutique providers who specialise in niche areas of insurance, which could be anything from alpacas and drones to luxury yachts and caravan parks.
The private investigators of the insurance world, loss adjustors come in to assess the damage in the aftermath of an insurance claim or loss.
Whether an insurance loss is caused by fire, flood, earthquake, burglary or even plane crash, loss adjustors investigate the details and make recommendations to the insurer to make sure the person suffering the loss receives the right level of claims pay-out.
Loss adjustors may also help combat insurance fraud by identifying anything out of the ordinary at the scene of the loss and as such play an important role in helping keep insurance premiums competitive.
Risk managers work across all levels of organisations to identify, assess and manage a wide range of strategic, technical and operational risks. They assess the probability of something going wrong in a business and then develop plans to avoid or mitigate that risk, and strategies to ensure businesses are able to swiftly recover from worst-case scenarios. Part of the risk management process is deciding which risks need to be insured.
A hands-on role, risk managers are routinely required to survey and visit business sites to determine the best course of action for specific business environments. Liaising with company management, underwriters and brokers is also part and parcel of the job. Many insurance brokers also have risk management expertise.
Actuaries are the futurists of the insurance world. They apply their knowledge of mathematics and probability theory to real-life problems involving the predictability of future events.
Actuaries also come up with creative ways to reduce the likelihood of undesirable events and decrease the impact of undesirable events that do occur. They require strong analytical skills, business knowledge, and understanding of human behaviour and their work impacts on every aspect of insurance business.
And of course, all the companies that provide the above career opportunities also need talent in other areas, such as accounting, marketing, HR, business development, insurance law and IT – more reasons why insurance is such a relevant and diverse sector to seek a career in.
For further information about the many brilliant career opportunities insurance has to offer, visit the Careers in Insurance website.