Insurance risk surveyors assess the potential financial risk posed by offering insurance cover for items or sites and provide underwriters with information about how to reduce risk or whether insurance cover should be offered.
You’ll undertake commercial and personal surveys and prepare and present reports for insurance underwriters. These reports are used to determine whether insurance should be offered and provide advice on improvements that can be made to reduce the risk of future insurance claims.
Types of insurance risk surveyor
Insurance risk surveyors, also known as risk consultants, risk control surveyors and risk control advisers, work for general insurance companies, brokers or firms of specialist surveyors. They normally specialize in one of the following areas:
- accidents and liability – looking at possible risks to employees and customers
- burglary and theft – checking business premises for security and storage methods
- engineering insurance – covering mechanical and industrial plants
- fire – including plans, construction and fire protection systems.
- visiting sites alone or with underwriters
- assessing and evaluating risk to buildings, employees or customers by undertaking appropriate research
- carrying out detailed site surveys
- writing and proofreading reports for underwriters
- providing advice to clients and making recommendations about required improvements
- assigning quality grades after improvements have been made
- liaising with health and safety inspectors, clients, insurance brokers and underwriters
- collecting photographs as evidence
- maintaining awareness of changes in legislation and trading processes.
A degree is usually required for entry into the profession, though it is not absolutely essential to be a graduate. Qualifications in subjects such as business studies, law, management, insurance, mathematics, risk management, economics or engineering can be helpful. The following subjects may increase your chances:
- actuarial science
- building surveying
- business studies
- risk management.
- excellent interpersonal skills in order to develop a rapport with people from a variety of backgrounds and to communicate effectively with site workers, managing directors, insurance company colleagues and brokers
- negotiating and influencing skills with the ability to handle occasional conflict situations
- the ability to inspire confidence in clients and to persuade clients of the need to implement the advice given to reduce risk
- the aptitude to investigate and assess technical risks and to retain large amounts of technical knowledge
- an eye for detail
- strong organizational, planning and time management skills
- the ability to work alone and as part of a team
- the capacity to complete projects and keep to deadlines
- a motivated, results-driven approach
- the ability to use appropriate technical equipment, e.g. survey templates and digital photographic equipment
- a flexible approach for dealing with changes in working methods and techniques
- report writing and presentation skills
- IT skills.