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4 myths you've heard about working in insurance (and why they're completely untrue)

14-Dec-2015 10:29:39 / by The Insurance Institute

The Insurance Institute

The insurance industry has fallen victim to a number of myths over the years, particularly when it comes to careers. This means that it might have fallen below the radar for many who are researching career paths – which ultimately results in people missing out on the variety of benefits working in insurance can offer.

Here, we're going to bust some of those myths.

 

Myth #1: Insurance is boring.

It’s no secret that insurance has a reputation for being quite a dull business. Outdated perceptions of old men in grey suits selling complicated insurance policies door to door still plague the industry – even today, when the vast majority of insurance sales are completed online.

The facts:

There's never been a more exciting time to join the insurance industry, with advancements in technology allowing for more interesting, dynamic and specialist roles, such as cyber risk, fraud prevention and data protection.

Even the traditional insurance roles – like brokers, claims handlers, underwriters and loss adjusters – are primarily people-facing, with different customer needs and scenarios arising on a daily basis, making the industry an exciting and fascinating place to work no matter what your job title is.

 

Myth #2: You need to be a Maths genius to work in insurance.

Insurance is perceived as being a numbers game. Many people dismiss a career in insurance due to horror flashbacks of Leaving Cert trigonometry.

The facts:

While some insurance professionals do need to be mathematically-minded – such as actuaries – there’s a diverse range of roles to suit people of all talents. One of the key soft skills that employers look for is communication. Insurance is an industry about people, so the ability to communicate effectively is hugely important.

Aside from roles like claims investigators, loss adjusters and underwriters, a whole host of other opportunities exist within the industry for those who aren’t maths geniuses; for example, in marketing, HR and business development.

 

Myth #3: Insurance companies only hire people with business degrees.

Specifically finance, accounting or insurance degrees.

The facts:

Insurance companies hire candidates from across all disciplines, so it is not necessary to hold a specific business or insurance degree to get a job in the industry. Internships and traineeships are available in some companies, which allow school leavers and college graduates to gain experience of working in the industry.

Some entry level training programmes involve companies sponsoring new entrants to the industry to sit insurance exams and earn the Accredited Product Adviser (APA) or Certified Insurance Practitioner (CIP) – even without a third level degree.

In addition, the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is a new entry route into the industry, which allows apprentices to earn an honours degree in Insurance Practice while they work.

 

Myth #4: Insurance is all about sales.

A close relative of the ‘insurance is boring’ myth, there’s a common misconception that if you work in insurance, you’re responsible for selling insurance policies.

The facts:

Sales is an important function in any insurance business, but there are so many other departments that make up a successful company and there are plenty of roles to suit a variety of skills and talents. Underwriting, claims, IT, marketing, accounting and risk management are just some of the areas you could join into if sales doesn’t appeal to you.