Insurance Agent

   Banking, Finance & Insurance

Menu


Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

 

Clerical or OrganisingService or PersuadingSkill Level 3Skill Level 4


Insurance officers carry out clerical and other functions associated with insurance transactions. There are two broad types of insurance: life insurance, which can provide investment and/or life and disability protection; and general insurance, which can cover property in a variety of events (such as fire, water damage, theft of goods and property, marine cover, illness, accident and liability cover).

Insurance agents sell life, home, car and other insurance policies to individuals and organisations. Insurance agents are employees of an insurance provider and sell that company's policies. Insurance agents contact potential clients to arrange interviews so that they can discuss the Future Growth Static client's needs and suggest an appropriate insurance policy. When discussing insurance policies with potential clients the insurance agent outlines the risks that the policy covers, the rates the client will have to pay and the how much they can expect to be paid if they make a claim.

Some insurance agents are also licensed financial planners and/or investment advisers.

ANZSCO ID: 6112

Alternative names: Authorised Representative

Specialisations: Insurance Underwriter, Life Assurance Representative, Insurance Officer,

  • Claims Officer - arranges settlement of claims made by clients through their policies. They assess the validity of claims by interviewing clients or their representatives and obtaining evidence.

  • Life Insurance Assessor - assesses death, disability, illness and trauma claims on life and health insurance policies.

  • Re-insurance Officer - is involved in the administration and assessment of insurance claims and policies taken out by insurance companies as a form of risk management.

  • Insurance Inspector - is responsible for assessing the value and condition of property or events to make recommendations about insurance prior to purchase. They may also inspect the extent of damages that have been claimed by a client.

  • Insurance Surveyor - inspects all kinds of properties to check for hazards and the efficiency of protection devices, advises policy holders about risk improvement and provides inspection services to agents. They also prepare reports that influence insurers' decisions on risk acceptance and premiums. Insurance surveyors normally have an engineering, scientific or related qualification.

  • Investment Officer - invests revenue (income) from clients' premiums in government, commercial and stock market operations on behalf of their company and assists in the financial management of properties owned by the company.

  • Loss Assessor/Adjuster - investigates and assesses losses for individuals and companies.

  • Marine Underwriter - is responsible for the acceptance or rejection of insurance proposals to cover cargo transported by ships, trucks, trains or aircraft.

  • Superannuation Fund Administrator - is responsible for the administration of employer/industry-based superannuation funds. This involves the day-to-day processing of new members, benefit payments and contributions, and the annual review of each plan to update member information and benefits.

  • Underwriter - assesses risks and the premiums that should be charged in particular circumstances. Most of these positions are located in head offices in Melbourne and Sydney.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

To become an insurance agent, you would need:

  • good spoken and written communication skills

  • strong sales and negotiation skills

  • drive and motivation to meet sales targets

  • the ability to develop new business

  • organisation and attention to detail.

 

Day in Life of Insurance Agent
(Source: the balance)

Duties and Tasks

  • interviewing clients to identify their insurance needs
  • explaining to clients details of insurance and conditions, risk coverage, premiums and benefits
  • assisting clients to determine the type and level of coverage required
  • calculating premiums and establishing method of payment
  • reviewing clients' circumstances to ensure that the level and coverage of insurance is still appropriate
  • settling and monitoring insurance claims to ensure that both client and insurer are satisfied with the outcome
  • recording information about clients and their policies
  • identifying and drawing up lists of potential clients from a variety of sources and contacting them to arrange interviews
  • keeping up-to-date with changes in the insurance industry and informing clients of new developments
  • sell insurance policies to businesses and individuals on behalf of insurance companies
  • discuss clients’ personal and financial circumstances, insurance needs and existing policies
  • determine the physical condition of the person or property to be insured and recommend appropriate cover
  • ensure that policy requirements are fulfilled, including any necessary medical examinations and the completion of appropriate forms
  • look for and develop opportunities to grow your client base.

Working conditions

Most insurance agents in Australia work in offices in the metropolitan regions, though there are work opportunities throughout the States and Territories. They typically spend long periods on the phone, attracting new clients and maintaining relationships with existing clients. Some travel to client's homes or workplaces may also be required. Some insurance agents may sell policies to clients in a particular industry, so may have to regularly visit industrial sites. For example, selling agricultural insurance may require farm visits.

Tools and technologies

Insurance agents use standard office equipment, such as computers, telephones, printers and fax machines. They may also use calculators and/or computer programs to compare the costs and pay-outs of different insurance policies as well as the premiums clients will have to pay. They may also need a driver's licence so that they can travel to clients' homes or workplaces.

Insurance Agent with clients
(Source: Good Universities Guide)

Education and training/entrance requirements


It is possible to work as an insurance agent without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in insurance or financial services. The education and training requirements for this occupation are undergoing a formal review. This may or may not lead to changes in the requirements.

The Certificate III and IV in Financial Services are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.

You can also undertake a traineeship in insurance (level 3 or level 4) or financial services (level 3 or level 4). The traineeships usually take 12 to 18 months to complete. The financial services (level 3) traineeship is available as a school-based traineeship.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

Employment Opportunities

Insurance agents usually represent a particular insurance company. They may work in either city or country areas.

Most insurance agents work on a commission basis, with the level of business dependent upon the level of general economic activity. However, earnings and continued employment in this occupation depend on both ability and experience.

Did You Know?

Drones are used in Insurance

Residential Damage
(Source: Daily Fintech)

Drones are a simple, flexible and low cost option to get at, and into, places that a mere mortal would struggle to do. And with the quality of 4k imagery hanging off a gimbal on the underside of a drone, this tech enables insurance carriers to do much more than they can today using conventional methods.

From underwriting through to claims, drone technology can improve the end-to-end insurance process.

The traditional way of underwriting a property would have involved (the cost and time of) a manual inspection. And a reliance on documents such as out of date plans and historical structural surveys.

With Fluttrbox [Fluttrbox provide drone services to property insurance carriers (in USA and Canada). Using drones to survey the outside of a building, Fluttrbox use the images and data collected by the drone to build detailed Maps. These models are uploaded to the underwriters and used for assessing and pricing the risk], the underwriters have an up to date and detailed model from which to assess the risk. And the beauty of this solution is that the data is accessible from wherever the underwriter is on whatever technology they want to use.

And at policy renewal time, it is relatively low cost to repeat the survey and modeling process. Which means that now, in the policy data, there will be two maps to record of any changes or “wear and tear” to the property over the policy term. (Source: Daily Fintech)


Drone
Read: How drone technology is impacting the insurance industry
(Source: Resilium)

Insurance Agent

Bank Officer

Actuary

Auditor

Accountant

Valuer

Accounts Clerk

Bookkeeper

Insurance Consultant

Bank Officer

Actuary

Auditor

Accountant

Insurance Agent

Valuer

Accounts Clerk

Bookkeeper

Insurance Consultant

Bank Officer

Actuary

Auditor

Accountant

Insurance Agent

Valuer

Accounts Clerk

Bookkeeper

Insurance Consultant

Bank Officer

Actuary

Auditor

Accountant

Insurance Agent

Valuer

Accounts Clerk

Bookkeeper

Insurance Consultant

Bank Officer

Actuary

Auditor

Accountant

Insurance Agent

Valuer

Accounts Clerk

Bookkeeper

Insurance Consultant

Bank Officer

Actuary

Auditor

Accountant

Insurance Agent

Valuer

Accounts Clerk

Bookkeeper

Insurance Consultant

Bank Officer

Actuary

Auditor

Accountant

Insurance Agent

Valuer

Accounts Clerk

Bookkeeper

Insurance Consultant