As safety of life and assets become more and more unpredictable by the day, people are falling back on insurances as a security measure, thus making a career in this field a lucrative one.
On April 1, 2008, India had two primary players in the insurance industry: Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and General Insurance Corporation (GIC), both of which were state owned. GIC originally had four subsidiary companies – The Oriental Insurance Company Limited, The New India Assurance Company Limited, National Insurance Company Limited and United India Insurance Company Limited which were de-linked from the parent company in December 2000. While GIC became a national re-insurer, it could be said that the history of the insurance industry in India has been re-written from the turn of the century.
In India, the insurance business is divided into four classes: life insurance, fire insurance, marine insurance, and general and miscellaneous insurance.
The year 2000-01 saw 16 new entrants. With more players entering the market, India has more than 20 life insurers and general insurers as listed on the IRDA website.
The insurance industry has grown tremendously in the past few years. If offers a variety of career opportunities for everyone, from school drop-outs to university graduates, as well as professionals, including actuaries, accountants, MBAs, marketing and sales personnel, risk managers, engineers, lawyers, human resources managers, IT specialists and customer service officers, among others.
Graduates from a diverse range of disciplines like business, commerce, arts, law and IT, have skills that are transferable to the insurance industry. Needless to say, candidates with an academic background in insurance have a greater demand.
Insurance professionals are recruited by insurance and reinsurance brokers, reinsurance companies, actuarial forms, health insurance firms, consulting firms, banks and financial institutions, microfinance companies, information technology companies managing underwriting claims processing etc.
Entry level placements include management trainees, executive trainees, business analysts, business development manager, actuarial analysts, insurance analysts etc depending on the type of company and level of qualification.
Graduates and postgraduates, eligible to take up actuarial examinations, arte typically recruited by actuarial employers and placed as actuarial trainers.
With the de-tariffing of the general insurance industry as on January 1, 2007, Insurance companies now have the liberty to change the premium rates (for the tariff risks, which were earlier governed by the Tariff Advisory Committee), according to their taking capabilities and their risk management process for their businesses.
The industry will become increasingly competitive and will require professionals to manage the underwriting and actuarial work,; so as to create rates, which are viable and also stress more on the underwriting process. Marketing will emerge as the key since companies will be selling differentiated products (policies)
The impetus for increase in life insurance penetration is due to the active role, played by IRDA in licensing private players and taking positive steps in increasing insurance awareness among people. The penetration rate of health and other non-life insurance in India is well below the international level, which just demonstrates the immense growth potential of the insurance sector.
Popular Areas of Work
1) Insurance agents are sales professionals, who contact individuals and business firms on behalf of insurance companies, collect premium, and meet sales targets on a commission basis. As insurance is a service, which is more often sold than bought; insures require a strong an effective marketing force.
2) The marketing manager has to supervise and motivate the agency force of the insurance company, and ensure that they achieve their business targets, and provide efficient after sales services to clients.
3) Underwriters are decision makers assess proposals and determine terms and costs of an insurance policy, before deciding whether to insure a customer. They may decide to pass on a part of the risk to another insurer. This is known as reinsurance.
4) Reinsurance is an insurance bought by the insurers. Re-insurers insure the insurance companies against payment on customer claims.
5) A claim manager’s job is to process and settle he claims made on the insurance company under insurance contracts.
6) Loss adjusters / surveyors investigate claims for losses caused by incidents like fires, car accidents, burglaries etc. They work out the loss covered by an insurance policy, and report the details and circumstances to the insurer.
7) Actuaries are a crucial part of insurance process since they use statistical and mathematical analysts to determine the risk of providing coverage.