Anne Roberts, Marketing Manager, Insurance Institute of Ireland
What’s your name, job title and employer?
I’m Anne Roberts, I'm a marketing manager and I work at the insurance institute
What is insurance?
Insurance is a hugely important industry, insurance is everywhere and to put it simply, it's actually about providing peace of mind and to both individuals and organizations should the worst happen.
What are the main groups in the market?
The insurance market consists of four main groups. There are insurance buyers which are people like you or I who are looking to buy a product or service. There are insurance organisations who are those who provide those products and services to us. There are the distribution channels which are the means through which customers buy the insurance products and there’s re-insurers. Re-insures is a niche market and they're basically the people who provide insurance to insurance companies.
How large is the Irish insurance market?
In Ireland the insurance market employs between 15,000 to 28,000 people. At the Insurance Institute we have circa twenty thousand members across the country working in both the general insurance market as well as dual members who cover other markets within the sector.
What are the core industry roles?
From a career perspective there are three core roles really within the industry. They are claims, they are direct customer support and then there is also underwriting. With the advancement of technology there is a huge range of roles that have now opened up to graduates and this could be anything from those dealing with cyber risk, it could be data analysts, or it could just be diversifying things such as underwriting. If you want to head over to earnandlearn.ie you will find a huge amount of information about the traditional roles as well as more of the ancillary services such as IT, HR and even marketing.
What qualifications do you need to work in insurance?
Due to the regulatory nature of the industry everybody working in a direct customer facing role must have a designation qualification recognised by the Central Bank of Ireland. One of those is our accredited product advisor which is the APA and you can do that in a number of different ways either once you get into the industry or actually before you get into the industry to set yourself apart from the crowd. If you don't already have a degree, it's not something that should put you off coming into the industry. For those of you who maybe are looking in to changing the course, they may be thinking about dropping out of college altogether but they're just a bit reluctant to do that, you could actually come in and do the insurance practitioner apprenticeship.
What is the insurance practitioner apprenticeship?
The apprenticeship is an earn and learn model. This basically means that you're working full-time, earning a full-time salary and studying one day a week from the comfort of your office. What this means is at the end of the 3-year program you will end up with a level a BA Honours in insurance practice all while so having earned a full-time salary on the way.
Why do you like working in insurance?
Insurance has so many misconceptions about it as a career choice. A lot of people see it as stuffy, boring, old men grey suits and it couldn't be further from the truth. Insurance is changing and is one of the most dynamic industries that there is. The customer and technology are at the heart of everything that we do within insurance so for anybody who's interested in giving back to society or is looking for something to test themselves, insurance is definitely a career choice for you.
The reason that I love working in the insurance industry is because you never get two days which are the same. You're always being presented with a new challenge, you're always being presented with an opportunity to learn, to develop, to grow, your existing talents and for anybody who's interested in lifelong learning I would definitely recommend it