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Considering a career in insurance, what can I expect?

  • 28-04-2021 7:40pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 171 ✭✭ ifeelabreeze


    I'm looking at the insurance apprenticeship.
    Main two areas are claims and underwriting.

    Underwriting sounds appealing but it's based in Dublin and I don't know if I could afford to live in Dublin on the ~ €21k a year starting salary.

    Claims does also appeal to me and it'd be a far more manageable.
    I also think it'd suit me better.

    What can I expect day to day?
    I'm guessing with claims it's going to be a call centre type job, answering emails, on the phone, running customers through the process and what not.
    Is it a stressful job?
    What's the career progression like?

    I just want to get some more info on the actual job, I've read plenty into why the apprenticeship is good but there's not as much mentioned about what it is you'll actually be doing, where it can lead you and what not.

    Would you recommend it?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 999 ✭✭✭ IrishGrimReaper


    I have completed that apprenticeship and have nothing but good things to say, there are good career progression routes across most of the industry if you have the right mind for it. Personally, I wouldn't have any interest in claims, some people love it but most do not. To me, it appears that this is where the highest turnover of staff is.

    I did broking for one of the largest commercial brokers in Ireland for nearly 4 years and they were an excellent company, all the people were wonderful and they will be my friends for life - my advice is to find a commercial based role and stay away from personal lines (car and home insurance) as the money is usually better in commercial and you're usually dealing with business-minded customers who are nicer to deal with instead of someone giving out over a €30 car insurance increase.

    Commercial type insurance roles would be fleet insurance, travel, public and employers liability + contents and more and also Financial Lines products which include Professional Indemnity, Cyber Insurance, Management Liability (which is Directors and officers, Employment practices liability, Pension trustee Liability, and Crime insurance).

    I'm now in Underwriting Financial lines and it's definitely more technical than my previous role but it's in an interesting area and I'm happy I made the switch. It would also open up the opportunity to work in other countries more easily than a broking role. In a broking role if I was to move to Canada for example I'd have to take additional insurance exams over there before I could deal with consumers, you would get some credits for the exams you've completed in Ireland but not many and I think it's at least another year of exams over there to get Canadian Insurance Certifications. Australia does it differently which is good.

    The insurance market (financial lines) is in a very hardened state which means premiums have been skyrocketing for over a year now and this will continue for the next 12-18 months at least so in a broking role prepare to be delivering bad news regularly. It wasn't uncommon for me to quote 100-300% premium increases for a worse policy than they had last year. I was never once berated by a client.

    If I hadn't done the apprenticeship I'd still be working a minimum wage job or on the dole.

    Just remember that you're not going to be expected to know what you are doing, you won't have a clue what you are doing for months and this is ok. The larger companies understand this and most of them have been part of the program for 5 years now.

    Avoid Aviva like the plauge. They burn through staff at a crazy rate so the culture in there must be dreadful.

    Zurich are recruiting at the minute so that would be my first port of call and they are based in Wexford. I don't know if they fund the exams for you though. Some employees will pay for your exams and deduct it from your wages over time which is a crap thing to do. I know Marsh will pay all your exam and educational expenses so you'll never be out of pocket for your learning with them but I don't know if they'll recruit this year.

    If you do go for it and you get an interview make sure to say this "I know there will be things that I do not know, but I'm always willing to learn". Managers love hearing that :o


  • Registered Users Posts: 93 ✭✭ Itainire


    I have completed that apprenticeship and have nothing but good things to say, there are good career progression routes across most of the industry if you have the right mind for it. Personally, I wouldn't have any interest in claims, some people love it but most do not. To me, it appears that this is where the highest turnover of staff is.

    I did broking for one of the largest commercial brokers in Ireland for nearly 4 years and they were an excellent company, all the people were wonderful and they will be my friends for life - my advice is to find a commercial based role and stay away from personal lines (car and home insurance) as the money is usually better in commercial and you're usually dealing with business-minded customers who are nicer to deal with instead of someone giving out over a €30 car insurance increase.

    Commercial type insurance roles would be fleet insurance, travel, public and employers liability + contents and more and also Financial Lines products which include Professional Indemnity, Cyber Insurance, Management Liability (which is Directors and officers, Employment practices liability, Pension trustee Liability, and Crime insurance).

    I'm now in Underwriting Financial lines and it's definitely more technical than my previous role but it's in an interesting area and I'm happy I made the switch. It would also open up the opportunity to work in other countries more easily than a broking role. In a broking role if I was to move to Canada for example I'd have to take additional insurance exams over there before I could deal with consumers, you would get some credits for the exams you've completed in Ireland but not many and I think it's at least another year of exams over there to get Canadian Insurance Certifications. Australia does it differently which is good.

    The insurance market (financial lines) is in a very hardened state which means premiums have been skyrocketing for over a year now and this will continue for the next 12-18 months at least so in a broking role prepare to be delivering bad news regularly. It wasn't uncommon for me to quote 100-300% premium increases for a worse policy than they had last year. I was never once berated by a client.

    If I hadn't done the apprenticeship I'd still be working a minimum wage job or on the dole.

    Just remember that you're not going to be expected to know what you are doing, you won't have a clue what you are doing for months and this is ok. The larger companies understand this and most of them have been part of the program for 5 years now.

    Avoid Aviva like the plauge. They burn through staff at a crazy rate so the culture in there must be dreadful.

    Zurich are recruiting at the minute so that would be my first port of call and they are based in Wexford. I don't know if they fund the exams for you though. Some employees will pay for your exams and deduct it from your wages over time which is a crap thing to do. I know Marsh will pay all your exam and educational expenses so you'll never be out of pocket for your learning with them but I don't know if they'll recruit this year.

    If you do go for it and you get an interview make sure to say this "I know there will be things that I do not know, but I'm always willing to learn". Managers love hearing that :o


    I was reading everything all interested then I arrived to "avoid Aviva like the plague" I am pretty sure this person is thinking in applying for Aviva lol


  • Registered Users Posts: 93 ✭✭ Itainire


    This might be a serious silly question but do apprentices pay taxes?? I looked everywhere and I can't find anything as regards taxes and apprenticeships.. who can afford to live for 3years at 21k?!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 171 ✭✭ ifeelabreeze


    Itainire wrote: »
    I was reading everything all interested then I arrived to "avoid Aviva like the plague" I am pretty sure this person is thinking in applying for Aviva lol

    It was Aviva, there’s Murray and Spelman too in Galway who are looking to take on apprentices.


  • Registered Users Posts: 999 ✭✭✭ IrishGrimReaper


    I was thinking it was going to be Aviva too lol and that's why I said it. Don't do it, buddy. I also think they don't pay your exams. I'd have hesitations about Murray and Spellman too, they were acquired by Arachas and I do recall an MD based in Galway known for being the biggest bollox you could ever meet.

    It's still early for employers to start advertising but keep checking the earn and learn site regularly as Marsh may advertise a role yet - they have an office out in Spiddal and they are fantastic people.

    Apprentices do pay taxes, it may be an apprentice title but it's a full-time job like any other but with 1 day a week used for online lectures.


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