A Career as an Insurance Broker
An Insurance Broker liaises directly with clients to advise them on the most appropriate insurance products according to their specific requirements. They generally have access to the products offered by many insurers so are able to find the best deal for their clients while providing impartial advice. Their product knowledge must not just consist of price information but also details of the specific contracts offered by the various insurance companies.
The role of an Insurance Broker can also include dealing with documentation and correspondence, updating client records, collecting insurance premiums and generating new business. Depending on the size of the company they work for, Insurance Brokers may be required to specialise in one particular type of insurance, for example aviation or motor, or may need to be able to advise on the complete range of products.
General attributes required for the role are the ability to liaise effectively and professionally with clients and insurance companies and to ensure the accuracy of all information they produce. They ultimately work for their clients although the commission they receive comes from the insurance companies.
An Insurance Broker is required to operate in accordance with Financial Services Authority (FSA) guidelines and, unless they deal only with non-investment insurance contracts, they are required to complete an approved financial qualification. Entry into the industry is relatively simple with basic academic qualifications required for Broker Technician roles which enable progression to the role of Insurance Broker upon completion of the necessary training. Courses are available through the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), and the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) offers qualifications at certificate, diploma and advanced diploma level. It is also possible to achieve Chartered Insurance Broker status with evidence of training, competence and experience.
There are many insurance brokerage firms across the country with most of the major organisations being based in London. Lloyd’s of London is one of the leading firms which deals with more complicated risks and international contracts and they have their own entrance examination which must be passed before it is possible to qualify as a Lloyd’s Broker.
As well as gaining promotion to more senior broker positions up to manager or director level, it is also possible to choose to specialise in a related area such as loss adjustment. The salary, even for new entrants, is very reasonable with commission payable based on performance. It is possible to work in the industry in a self-employed capacity and many of the larger brokerage firms have overseas opportunities for those with sufficient experience and knowledge of foreign languages.
Author: James Innes