Insurance policies work as a way to protect policyholders from financial loss. It is a sort of contingency plan in case of an emergency. Being insured is also a way to manage risks. Insurance policies can protect people in the form of a health insurance, which partially or completely covers the expenses of medical treatments; life insurance, that will provide a pre-established amount of money to a designated person in case the insured person passes away; moreover, there are also insurance policies that cover property or vehicles should any damage come to them.
Insurance companies sell their policies through their own Insurance Agents or through Brokers. The former works as part of the company staff, while the latter sells policies independently on behalf of several companies in exchange for a commission. The insured receives and signs a contract which stipulates the full coverage of their policy and to what extent the company is accountable for losses.
Insurance professionals are usually responsible for the following:
- Interviewing new clients to assess risks.
- Inspecting properties or vehicles to assess damages.
- Customizing or creating special coverage packages for clients.
- Calculating payment plans, methods, and premiums.
- Evaluating the risks of an insurance policy agreement.
- Evaluating possible losses in case of a natural disaster.
- Ensuring all policy requirements are met and regulations are followed.
- Selling different types of insurance policies.
- Granting or declining insurance policies.
- Handling insurance claims.
- Investigating suspicious claims.
All professionals working in the Insurance field usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Possessing outstanding customer service and sales skills.
- Having exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.
- Possessing outstanding mathematical, statistical, and numerical skills.
- Having strong analytical skills.
- Having good computer skills.
- Having excellent time management and organizational skills.
- Possessing problem-solving and decision-making skills.
- Having an adaptive personality with the ability to learn and apply new sales strategies quickly.
- Being resourceful, energetic, driven, structured, and displaying a strong desire to take initiative.
The educational requirements for most jobs within this field are quite similar. Insurance Companies and Brokerage Firms look for applicants with a bachelor or associate’s degree in Business Administration, Economics, Risk Management, Mathematics, or Statistics. However, what employers in this field care the most about is experience. Applicants with at least 2 years of previous work experience in Sales, Retail, or Customer Service will often have an advantage during the selection process.
Moreover, all Canadian Insurance professionals are required by law to be properly licensed to work. The Canadian Superintendent of Insurance is in charge of issuing these licences. Each province and territory has its own office of the governing body and all professionals need to possess the necessary paperwork to practice their job where they reside.
Insurance professionals need to possess above all things talent and a good disposition for customer service and sales. The nature of their job puts them in regular contact with clients and people outside of the company. Friendly attitudes and a can-do attitude are great assets for people working in Insurance.