Insurance brokers are regulated, independent intermediaries that provide the link between clients and insurance companies. They can work on behalf of clients as agents, arrange contracts or act as independent advisers who help clients to make informed choices in their best interests. For this, they need an in-depth knowledge of insurance and the products on offer. Insurance brokers differ from tied agents (working for a single insurance company) as they offer products from more than one insurer, and in this respect must remain impartial.
Brokers often advise clients on the most suitable companies and types of cover, and what would be a fair price. Complex cases can involve presenting reports to insurance underwriters, carrying out surveys and negotiating cover. They also advise clients on the claims process, and may specialise in this work and become claims brokers.
Depending on the nature of the business, insurance brokers may also be involved in various administrative duties. They could keep records, deal with correspondence and collect premiums. They may be involved in marketing, acquiring new business and liaising with insurance broker consultants from various insurance companies.
Large brokerage firms often specialise in one type of insurance, such as marine or aviation. In smaller firms, brokers advise on all types of insurance. Lloyd's brokers deal with the London Insurance Market and tend to deal with the more complicated risks, which can involve assets worth millions of pounds and be of an international nature.
Usual working hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
The work is mainly office based, but may involve travel to visit clients. A driving licence is useful. Brokers working for firms with business overseas may travel abroad and spend short periods of time away from home.
To be an insurance broker you should:
People looking to become an insurance broker normally start in a junior position and work their way up. starting professions can include insurance technician, junior account handler or trainee broker.
In terms of qualifications, GCSE's grades A* - C are usually required particularly in English and maths. There is also the possibility of getting this job through an apprenticeship.
Broking firms range in size from a small employer, with just a few staff, to large multinational brokers with many employees and offices abroad. Opportunities exist in all parts of the country.
There are opportunities for self-employment, and part-time work is possible.
Promotion to team leader, department manager and eventually director may be possible. Brokers may move into related areas of work, such as risk management or loss adjustment, training or marketing in large broking organisations.
If you would like to learn more about becoming an insurance broker that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC)
51 Gresham Street
Tel: 020 7216 7366
British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA)
14 Bevis Marks
Tel: 0870 950 1790
Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
Tel: 020 8989 8464
Institute of Financial Services (IFS)
4-9 Burgate Lane
Tel: 01227 818609
The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIOBS)
38b Drumsheugh Gardens
Tel: 0131 473 7777
Financial Services Authority (FSA)
25 The North Colonnade
Tel: 020 7066 1000