Insurance brokers are responsible for identifying and organizing suitable insurance cover for commercial organizations and private clients. As an insurance broker you will use your in-depth knowledge of risks and the insurance market to find and arrange suitable insurance policies and arrange cover for your clients.
You will act as an intermediary between your clients, who can either be individuals, commercial businesses and organizations, and insurance companies, and will offer products from more than one insurer to ensure that your clients get the best deal.
Types of insurance broker
- Retail insurance brokers – usually arrange insurance policies for individuals or companies and deal directly with them. Retail insurance brokers also deal with employer’s liability and public and products liability insurance.
- Commercial insurance brokers – deal with high-value and more complex insurance cover in areas such as oil and gas and financial risks.
Employers of insurance brokers
- Large and small brokerages
- Financial advice companies
- Insurance or reinsurance companies
- Insurance risk management departments
- gather information from your clients, assessing their insurance needs and risk profile;
- research insurance companies’ policies and negotiate with underwriters to find the most suitable insurance for your clients at the best price;
- ensure that your clients understand the terms and the extent of the cover provided in line with industry regulations;
- foresee your clients’ insurance needs, such as policy renewals or amendments;
- advise your clients on whether and when they need to make a claim on their policies;
- arrange specialist types of insurance cover in complex cases; this may involve preparing reports for insurance underwriters and surveyors and negotiating with insurers;
- advise your clients on risk management and help to devise new ways to mitigate risks, for example, by adding security measures such as fencing, surveillance cameras or lighting to commercial properties to reduce the likelihood of a break-in;
- build and maintain ongoing relationships with your clients;
- acquire new clients and win accounts against competitors;
- keep detailed records and complete administrative tasks such as paperwork and correspondence;
- develop relationships with underwriters, surveyors, photographers, structural engineers and other professionals;
- keep up with changes in the insurance market and in your clients’ industries;
- collect insurance premiums and process accounts.
There are routes into a career as an insurance broker for both university graduates and school leavers. For graduates, a degree in any subject is acceptable, although business/management-related or numerical degrees, such as economics or maths, may be beneficial.
Although employers usually provide training in insurance-related legal issues, you’ll need to have a good understanding of the insurance industry. Make sure you research the company you’re interested in working for thoroughly and read the specialist press.
- excellent written and verbal communication skills;
- the confidence to advise and negotiate with clients and underwriters;
- the ability to build, manage and develop relationships;
- numerical skills;
- business acumen and commercial awareness;
- the ability to plan and manage your time and to work on a number of projects concurrently;
- strong problem-solving and analytical skills;
- the ability to work well in a team;
- a flexible approach to work;
- an understanding of client confidentiality and how to be discreet;
- administrative and IT skills.