As the main players in the Insurance market continue to hire aggressively, the jobs market is becoming increasingly candidate driven. As a result, experienced Insurance professionals now have ample options open to them and early career Insurance professionals/recent graduates can now plan and take control their career in Insurance.
As an expert in Insurance careers, I am constantly fielding questions about underwriting, claims and broking. I thought it might be useful to discuss each of these briefly and share some of my insights on careers in these fields. Our first insight was on Underwriting Careers & Market Trends. Next up – Broking.
BROKING CAREER PATHS
Brokering is a career path that is sometimes overlooked but definitely warrants real consideration by any ambitions insurance professional.
If you start your broking career in Dublin you should consider targeting the Top 4 Brokers in Ireland (Marsh, Willis, Aon, JLT) as a first port of call. It’s always easier to move from big to small rather than the other way around. Starting with a reasonable sized broker will usually open more options for you in the future. (Bigger firms typically deal with larger corporates – B2B- and as such have higher expectations set on them by external stakeholders versus smaller firms which tend to deal with individuals – B2C – on motor, home and similar insurance areas.)
You will typically have to undertake a professional qualification during your traineeship from the Insurance Institute of Ireland (III). It should be noted that the University of Limerick has a specific business course with an insurance major that will give the graduate a lot of exemptions with these exams.
After completing your training at a large brokerage, you will typically rack up a few years’ general experience (your job title will be ‘account handler’ or ‘commercial broker’ etc…) before moving into a specialist area of insurance. As with in claims, the better jobs tend to be in niche areas of insurance where your clients are big corporations with challenging insurance needs. If you make it that far you will likely be titled ‘senior broker’, ‘Client executive’ or similar. Some insurance brokers progress their careers to a management level by staying within the Top 4, while others move to smaller firms where they might shape their own teams and targets.
In general, the longer you are in broking the harder it is to move to another area of insurance, such as underwriting, given your widening technical experience gap and the hit on wages that will naturally come in reskilling for a new area. Experienced brokers often carve out strong, well paid, careers within the broking space as a result.
CURRENT MARKET TRENDS
The broker market continues to boom – over demand and under supply of talent –, especially in the corporate & commercial space, enabling professionals from other areas, such as underwriting, to move into corporate & commercial broking.
This talent shortage has created more opportunities for good graduates to move more easily into broking in the Top 4.
Contrary to popular belief most brokers are making as much or perhaps more than their underwriting counterparts.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Stephen McManus is VP Manager for BRUIN Financial (Ireland) and specialises in FS Careers in Dublin.
Having trained in Insurance himself, Stephen brings a unique perspective to building a career in the Insurance area.