Much like other industries, a graduate program in insurance will vary from employer to employer. That being said, because the insurance industry is generally broken up into three key areas (underwriting, broking and claims), many insurance graduate programs will provide exposure to all three on a rotational basis.
If you think you can just walk into your first choice employer though, think again. In 2018, there were on average 43 applications for each graduate position in the banking, financial and insurance industries. That’s 10 more than the average across all graduate industries.
When it comes to pay, the starting salary for graduate positions in banking, finance and insurance is sitting around an average of $66,000. This is basically on par with the average for graduate positions across all industries.
One unique approach to insurance graduate programs is Future Insure’s program. Developed by Fuse Recruitment, successful applicants have the opportunity to meet with 12 market-leading insurance companies before being offered a graduate position with one.
It can be difficult for students to know exactly how to set their career on a path towards the insurance industry because there’s no specific degree related to it. Rather than this being a blocker, it actually means students from all sorts of degrees can pursue a career in insurance.
Most insurance firms will hire from a range of degrees, such as:
The beauty of insurance graduate programs is that you’ll be given exposure across a variety of areas and also be provided with training and the chance to gain formal insurance qualifications. So regardless of your background, there could be a rewarding career waiting for you in the insurance industry.
The roles within the insurance industry are quite diverse, which is why most graduate programs will give you exposure to as many different jobs as possible. This gives you a chance to see where your skills and interests are best suited.
The truth is, the insurance industry offers a far more varied career path than many people think. There’s a diverse array of positions that keep the insurance industry running, so the chances are high that the perfect job’s out there waiting for you!
One of the key positions in the underwriting area is that of an actuary. Actuaries are responsible for developing and pricing different insurance policies - a role which is integral to the success of any insurance business. An actuary will draw on a high level of data and statistical analysis skills to determine policy prices that are attractive to customers while still ensuring the financial viability of the company.
Underwriters use many of the same skills, but their role is more specifically geared towards deciding whether or not to approve individual insurance policies.
The product and underwriting areas of an insurance company aren’t just all about the numbers though. There’s a client-focused aspect to it as well, dealing with portfolio management and compliance.
Insurance brokers provide an important link in the chain between clients and insurers. They work on behalf of the clients, rather than insurance companies, however, their negotiation skills need to ensure both parties achieve a satisfactory outcome.
To explain it a different way, think about popular comparison websites like Compare The Market or iSelect. In effect, these are a brokerage service, analysing the market and finding the best products for their clients. Insurance brokers do the same thing, however, they take a much more personalised approach. It’s a broker’s job to work closely with their clients and insurers to identify opportunities, analyse data and assess risk. The ultimate goal is to find the best insurance policies for an individual client’s needs.
Brokers also assist their clients by preparing policy quotes and renewals and providing support with claims management. While their main focus is on their clients, in-depth knowledge of the entire insurance industry is required to be successful.
The claims area of the insurance industry is perhaps the most customer-focused of all. Ideally, people working directly with insurance claims are looking to provide customers with the most efficient and timely service possible.
Within that, however, there’s certainly plenty of opportunity for job variety. Managing claims also require a compliance component, ensuring that claims are legitimate and within the scope of a customer’s particular insurance policy. This could even mean you’re out on the road assessing motor vehicle claims.
It’s also not just about processing piles and piles of health insurance claims, for example. You might find yourself managing a portfolio of claims that require investigation and analysis. This type of work can even cross into insurance broking, with many brokerage firms having specific teams who analyse and assist with claims lodgement.
As we touched on before, the insurance industry has an extremely diverse range of degrees it will hire from. This means that no matter what your current area of study is, you always have an opportunity to steer yourself towards a career in insurance.
One of the best ways to see if insurance is the industry for you is to complete an internship. Internships are a great way to gain exposure to a specific industry and see if you can picture yourself working there long term. Internships range anywhere from two weeks to three months, and often result in future job offers should you make a good impression.
Career days at your university are also a great source of gathering information. Almost half of all graduate employers will visit up to four universities as part of the recruitment. Of all face-to-face presentation methods when hiring, university career fairs are the most popular with 62% of employers saying it’s an effective method of finding talent. With numbers like that, you’re going to want to visit those insurance employers at your next university careers fair.
Keep in mind that most graduate programs and positions will come with strict academic requirements. While the insurance industry hires from a broad range of degrees, you’ll still need to have certain graduation scores to be eligible to apply. So most of all, keep those grades up while exploring a grad career in insurance!
To find out more about graduate insurance programs or positions, visit Grad Australia’s job search page to start applying now. It’s also a great place to find available internships if you’re keen to see for yourself what working in the insurance industry is like. For specific information on the Future Insure Graduate Program, visit their profile here to find out more.