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 of 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, followed by Broking Careers & Market Trends careers. Next up… Claims Careers & Market Trends.
Claims Career Paths
Many claims roles are open to non-degree holders and some claims employees begin their career through laterally moving across from customer service, often call centre-based positions within large insurers. That said, insurance firms (Zurich, Allianz, etc…) also run graduate traineeships for their claims departments. A graduate traineeship doesn’t just focus on the basic administration of insurance claims, it gives a good grounding in some more challenging areas such as fraud detection and liability investigation. Similarly, to underwriting most claims professionals start off in motor and then progress on to other specialist areas, including employer’s liability, public liability, professional indemnity, etc…, while completing the relevant exams as required in general insurance. For personal lines claims you must be APA qualified in personal lines & similarly for commercial claims you will need to obtain the APA in commercial claims. Without the relevant APA you can’t give advice on the relevant area. It is worth noting that higher salaries, as well as higher job satisfaction, tends to be experienced within the area of complex personal injury claims, rather than material damage. Better again if you can progress toward dealing with litigated files within the Circuit Court /High Court.
In more senior claims jobs (which usually come with ‘manager’ or ‘director’ titles) you could find yourself managing a team of claims handlers or investigators or perhaps dealing with ‘major loss’ or catastrophic cases. Rising to the upper ranks in claims also requires you to forge strong relationships with a range of external experts such as lawyers, forensic engineers and accountants as well as loss adjusters. An option to move into loss adjusting is also on the cards when you have the right experience. This can be an extremely lucrative profession also, and a strong knowledge of liability claims handling will be central to your success.
Current Market Trends
Traditionally Claims professionals tend to stay within claims but recently we have seen a number of people move across into broking, mainly due to a severe candidate shortage in that space. This has resulted in additional demand for claims professionals, especially for those with 3+ years’ experience. Increased demand has slightly inflated base salaries for claims professionals in recent years, with companies needing to go that extra mile to attract the best in the profession.
It is worth noting that digitalization and new technologies are reducing a great deal of the administration that comes with claims handling. These effects will likely reduce headcount and salaries for low value/high volume transactional claims, particularly within the area of personal lines material damage. How do I ensure my career in claims is safe, long and rewarding?
My advice would be to make a plan that will ensure you are handling personal injury claims within 1-2 years from the outset of your claims career. In order to do this, you should aim to be CIP qualified within that time frame also. Once you are successfully handling full life cycle Personal Injury files you should be benefitting from decent earning potential. More importantly however, you can progress to liability, professional indemnity, and from there to major loss, catastrophe or managerial roles.
To discuss your underwriting career and what directions you can take, drop Phelim Murray an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and Phelim will take it from there. Easy.
(Phelim is Snr Associate with Barden and specialises in Insurance Careers in Dublin. Having trained in Insurance himself, Phelim brings a unique perspective to building a career in the Insurance area.)
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