Direct Line Group

Why choose a career in insurance?

Posted by Direct Line Group at 03:08 PM

Finding a career that you love, one that fulfils you in multiple ways beyond a pay cheque, is a desire many of us share. After all, over the course of a 50-year working life you’ll spend about a third of your waking hours at work (assuming you work a 40-hour week and manage to squeeze in eight hours of sleep each night), and who wants to be bored or miserable for that time?
But are careers in insurance the kinds that offer the rewards and fulfilment we all yearn for? You might think not, but you’d be surprised.

Find a career
Many of us find ourselves at a crossroads at various points in our lives. Perhaps you’re about to graduate with a degree that’s going to see some top recruiters circling. Perhaps your sixth-form days are flying by and you’re in a quandary over what to do next. Or maybe you’ve already started a career that’s not quite challenging you in the way you’d hoped.
If any of these sound like your situation, how can you go about finding the right career for you?

Finding the right career
There’s no silver bullet that will help you find a career that you’ll love, but there are a variety of steps you can take to guide you along the way.

  • Do what you are, not what you love. This might seem contradictory to what was said earlier, but sometimes doing what you love might not be the best route to take. Firstly, doing something day in day out and dealing with the realities of a job, and not just the fantasy, can quickly take the shine off it. Secondly, you might have a passion for something but not actually be that skilled at it. Take a hard look at your personality and what you’re good at, then aim for a career that will put your talents to good work.
  • Get a mentor. If you’re not sure which path to take then finding a mentor can help. There are different ways to tackle this. You could go to a life coach to help uncover your skills and get some focus. An alternative approach is to speak to somebody in the industry you’re interested in, and see if they are prepared to offer advice. 
  • Volunteer or try an internship. Voluntary work or internships can be a way to dip your toe into an industry and see what it might be like. Financial restrictions or personal commitments can make this difficult, but even if you just volunteer a few hours a month somewhere it can inform your decision making.
The insurance industry

Why pick a career in the insurance industry then? Well from a purely practical perspective, here are some statistics from the Association of British Insurers
  • The UK insurance industry is the third largest in the world
  • In 2012 the insurance industry contributed 29 billion pounds to the UK’s GDP
  • It employs around 334,000 people in a huge variety of roles
  • There are 379 authorised life insurance companies and 903 authorised general insurance companies operating in the UK

So if career growth, stability and progression are important to you, it’s fair to say that the UK insurance industry has plenty to offer. Insurance firms also have a reputation for investing in their employees, offering training and personal development schemes and many people find that they enjoy a long and varied career in insurance because of this.

Insurance careers
Because of the scope of the insurance industry, there are a variety of jobs available. Some of which include:
  • Insurance broker. Brokers arrange insurance for clients, and they will work with an individual or organisation to assess their requirements, calculate risk and then recommend the correct insurance. This role requires an analytical mind set, and a facility with numbers as well as attention to detail.
  • Actuary. The work of an actuary is highly specialised. They have to work out the level of risk on a policy and predict the finances that would be needed to cover a claim were one to be made. In most cases, becoming an actuary requires a degree in a numerate subject, advanced mathematical skills and the completion of a professional qualification.
  • Underwriter. Underwriters use data, predictive analysis and other information to decide whether the risk on an insurance application should be accepted or rejected.
  • Claims handler. Working in claims means you’re dealing with the public a lot, and often in stressful situations. However, claims handlers are vital to the success of an insurance firm because they are the face of the business. Claims handlers will assess claims and balance the needs of customers with the demands of the business.
Aside from all this, the insurance industry also employees vast numbers of people in support roles including IT, marketing, procurement, HR, and legal.

Graduate insurance jobs
Ambitious recent graduates are always appealing to employers in the insurance industry. Graduates with degrees in maths, statistics and sciences are often sought after to be trained into actuarial or underwriter roles. However you don’t have to be a maths wizard to take advantage of these schemes, as there are also routes into claims, management and IT.
Even if a company doesn’t offer specific graduate insurance jobs they will still be looking for graduates to fill entry-level positions with an eye to developing their skills further. 
Why an insurance job is a great first job
A good first job is one that offers you the opportunity to learn, develop and progress. Careers in insurance tick all those boxes, so if you’re wondering what to do next, why not start your career at DLG, and view our vacancies?

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