Skills for Insurance
I would describe the insurance industry as comprising three main operations. The first is determining the premium to set against the risk, and this requires very strong analytical aptitude. Then we have the middle ground, which involves the administration: requiring an aptitude for detail and an ability to perform repetitive tasks efficiently. The final stage is settlement or execution and this stage will involve more client interaction, particularly when there is a dispute involving a substantial payout. Resilience and determination are important here as many of these disputes involve protracted legal argument and court cases.
So in summation, the skills are highly analytical for premium determination, excellent administrative skills for policies and premium submission and debt collection and strong interpersonal skills for claims settlement. This skill variant will suit the Analyst, Supporter and Influencer personality types well.
The BP oil spill, ash clouds, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, natural catastrophes and political upheavals, professional indemnity, public and employer's liability, personal accident, life, car, house, laptops and mobiles – sound like a strange mixture of things and events to have any common denominator. And grouping this odd mixture helps to highlight the diversity of the insurance industry.
You can understand the range of premiums relevant for car insurance and the element of risk in relation to the insurance provider. Young, inexperienced drivers pay more. The more expensive the car, the greater the premium. But when you are insuring your house in an area, which is susceptible to flooding or subsidence, the amount you should pay becomes a more complicated calculation for the company who is agreeing to compensate you for the risk.
And when it comes to volcanoes, hurricanes, piracy and oil spills then it would appear impossible to charge a premium as the potential damage appears incalculable in relation to extent, time and frequency. Perhaps we could invoke our force majeure clause and classify it as an act of God: an event, which was the result of natural causes and not due to any human interference. The problem is that claimants may dispute the 'angry God' classification as an avoidance tactic and argue that the event though unforeseen, rare and nature-influenced, that nevertheless the possibility status means it should have been factored into the insurer's risk calculation.
Compensation claims for medical negligence and personal injury are on a dramatic increase and we hear stories of 'ambulance chasers' whereby the chasers are paid commission to encourage the injured party to claim against their disability, actual or potential. And the fact that lawyers will take cases on a 'no win no fee' basis increases the number of claims. These scenarios have a direct effect on the cost of premiums. If you are an insurer more claims mean more payouts.
Insurance policies can be very complicated documents. They specify the scope of the cover and will itemise the exclusions. Despite this detail and good intention to be very specific and transparent, claims will frequently involve argument, negotiation and arbitration.
Corruption in terms of false claims is on the increase and insurers must implement and constantly upgrade their monitoring systems. The insurance industry is very IT dependent. The calculations and estimations can be extremely complex incorporating many variables and this environment creates great scope for the development of bespoke applications.
The industry comprises generally large corporations, which cover the less complicated or volatile cases. Lloyd's of London is the world's leading insurance market, providing specialist insurance cover to businesses in over 200 countries. It covers some of the world's largest and most complex risks of which shipping plays a major part. Corporations may insure key personnel such as a director against sickness or injury through key person insurance, when they consider they play a vital role in an organization's performance.
In today's risk averse society insurance is a rapidly expanding industry and this dominance can offer challenging and diverse career opportunities.