Why Insurance jobs could be right for you
The insurance industry in South Africa offers a number of great career options. If you are comprehensive, have good communication skills and the drive to become the best, insurance jobs might be right for you. From Short Term Insurance jobs to underwriting jobs, there are a number of career options to choose from.
Types of Insurance Jobs in South Africa
The insurance industry itself is a large sector using the skills from a variety of trained professionals – from an Insurance Broker to an Underwriter. Professionals active within the insurance industry have a good financial knowledge and are always up to date with the newest laws (that affect their work, such as tax laws when it comes to investments) and products available to clients.
Some of the interesting types of insurance jobs in South Africa you can go into include:
Liaising with clients, an Insurance Broker sells different kinds of insurance to both individuals as well as companies. From life and medical insurance, to Short Term Insurance, your broker is responsible for creating the best possible portfolio.
A Financial Adviser or Planner is a skilled professional who sits down with his or her clients to create a financial package that will help clients meet their financial objectives. Simply put, this type of broker will help you create long term financial plans.
There are different types of insurance (or long term insurance) a Financial Adviser will be able to help you with. These include medical insurance, life insurance, retirement packages, disability, financial investments as well as saving for your child’s education, to name but a few examples.
Short term insurance jobs on the other hand involve the financial cover of your assets – like a vehicle, your home or even your laptop. A Short Term Insurance Broker will help you insure your valuables for the correct amount, ensuring that, if something should happen to it (like a car being stolen or a house burning down), it can be replaced.
Short Term Insurance Brokers are also involved in insuring the assets of a business – from a store’s stock to a freight company’s trucks. As a broker in this field, you will be expected to work with clients and have an in-depth knowledge of the products you are selling.
Insurance Brokers are usually very good communicators and have good negotiation skills. With a strong financial knowledge as well as a knowledge of the newest laws and products, brokers should be extremely reliable as well as observant.
According to PayScale, Insurance Brokers earn an average yearly income of R 188 380.
An actuary uses financial theory, statistics and maths to study and try and predict uncertain future events – like seen in pension programmes. Insurance companies employ actuaries to determine the risk of a person (or item) being insured. In life insurance for example, an actuary will evaluate your application along with your medical records and history in order to determine how big of a risk you are.
An unhealthy person with medical problems will be a higher risk for an insurance company compared to a young and healthy adult who has little to no medical problems. An actuary is used in order to assess this risk to the insurer.
If you would like to learn more about Actuarial Science jobs and the education needed to pursue this career, be sure to read our blog: How to become an Actuary in South Africa.
Actuaries are usually analytical thinkers that have a strong knowledge in mathematics. Described as determined, these professionals are usually good communicators and sometimes work under pressure. Depending on the field they are working in, actuaries will have a knowledge of everything from economics and computer science, to social issues and the law.
An actuary in South Africa, according to PayScale, earns an average yearly salary of R 618 538.
When it comes to insurance jobs, an Underwriter is a financial professional that is in charge of evaluating risks. This risk evaluation is then used in order to determine the pricing of insurance. Within the insurance industry, Underwriters are employed in order to help put a price to different types of insurance – including health insurance, life insurance and even property insurance, to name but a few examples.
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Using actuarial data and advanced computer programmes, Underwriters will for example determine the likelihood as well as the pay out of a life insurance policy. The higher risk the individual receiving the cover, the higher the monthly premiums (or price).
Underwriting jobs involve excellent analytical skills, a background in finance as well as a keen eye for detail. According to PayScale, an insurance Underwriter earns a yearly average salary of R 143 811.
Also sometimes called a valuer, an appraiser is responsible for evaluating and determining the price (or financial worth) of things that a client wants to insure – everything from a car and antiques to property and jewellery.
Once a value has been estimated, the item (or property) can be insured for that value. Do note that premiums for insurance are affected by a number of different factors which include the risk associated with the property.
Appraisers are usually good at mathematics and very detail oriented. Reliable, professionals in this particular field have an inquisitive nature, good communication skills and are observant.
Adjusters within the insurance industry are responsible for determining whether a claim is valid and to what extent the insurance company will accept liability. Shortly put, adjusters are employed to assess the damage and reach a fair settlement between the client and the insurance company.
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The adjuster will determine how much it will cost to repair (damaged property) or replace (stolen property) what was insured by the client.
In South Africa, an insurance claim adjuster according to PayScale, earns an average salary of R 219 751 per annum.
Training and Skills for Insurance Jobs
If you want to pursue insurance jobs, there are a number of study options available to you in South Africa. Do note that an Insurance Broker must be registered with the Financial Services Board (FSB) in order to be registered as a licensed adviser or broker. Depending on the field or category you are working in, you will need a specific number of credits and pass a Regulatory Exam (as part of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services – FAIS – Act which came into effect in September of 2004).
For more information on the Financial Services Board and the qualifications, work experience and the modules credits that can be earned, please visit the FSB website.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a financial planner, you can study towards a BCom in Financial Sciences. A three year programme, this qualification is great if you are interested in becoming a financial adviser, business analyst or even a financial manager. This programme is offered by a number of tertiary institutions in South Africa including the University of Pretoria and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Depending on your field of specialisation, you can also go into the field of investment management with a BCom in Investment Management or a BCom in Accounting Sciences.
The University of Johannesburg also offer a BCom in Finance, opening the door to a number of careers in the insurance industry. Some job titles attainable with this qualification range to include certified financial planner, financial manager, financial planner and wealth manager, to name but a few examples.
UNISA also offers a Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Management. An NQF 7 qualification (360 credits), this programme has a maximum completion time of eight years.
If you are looking to pursue a career in retirement fund management or Short Term Insurance jobs, UNISA also offers a number of study programmes. Within its Centre for Business Management (CB) you will find a Course in the Fundamentals of Insurance, a short course in Retirement Fund Management and a study programme for Short Term Insurance for Associateship. Do note that these programmes from UNISA do require prior learning and NQF level 4 and 5 credits.
You can also enrol for a Higher Certificate in Insurance at UNISA. An NQF Level 5 (120 credits) programme, this programmes has a maximum completion time if three years.
Another option available for those wishing to either gain NQF Credits or wishing to pursue Short Term Insurance jobs, is an FET Certificate: Short Term Insurance from Damelin. In its School of Banking and Insurance, this NQF Level 4 (150 credits) programme opens up career opportunities that extend to underwriting jobs, consultants and Short Term Insurance intermediaries.
Insurance Jobs on Job Mail
Job Mail features a range of vacancies within the insurance industry, including:
Pinnacle 9 – which is an accredited Old Mutual franchise – is looking to fill the position of a part-time financial adviser in Klerksdorp. This company requires at least one year’s experience within the industry.
A company based in the Western Cape is looking for a Claims Administrator with excellent language skills (verbal and spoken English and French). You will be responsible for handling, recording and following up on clients’ claims.
New Business Consultant
Profmed is looking for a full time new business consultant with industry experience. Some requirements include either a BCom degree or an industry specific FAIS qualification and Regulatory Exam (declared fit and proper).
Are you an Insurance Broker looking for insurance jobs in your area? With a number of vacancies on Job Mail – from Short Term Insurance jobs to Underwriting jobs – you are sure to find a vacancy that requires your skills and expertise. Register your CV today!