Over the last few weeks I have noted that the insurance law sector in Australia offers many more options in terms of employers and  promotion opportunities compared to the much smaller market in New Zealand.  Below offers some further knowledge and insight into how the insurance law sector in Australia is structured.

In Australia alone there are over 27 International legal insurance firms with multi-city office spaces. With hundreds of other nationally recognised firms from boutique to top tier, between claimant and defendant. This shows the high possibility of employment and career progression.

Find out the key attributes are needed to succeed in the insurance industry.

Insurance law sector opportunities

With work life balance almost outweighing financial gain, I have seen candidates willing to explore opportunities. Such as small town roles with a relaxed and nurturing lifestyle to concrete jungle and fast paced working environments. I guess it really does come down to what you know and what makes you comfortable. 

The insurance law industry in Australia has such a varied and broad range with anything from commercial and corporate to personal injury. While there is the commercial side of insurance, Professional indemnity etc. There is also the more sensitive and highly rewarding side of Abuse and Class Action. Here we will take a look at some of those key areas within the legal insurance sector, what they involve.

Personal Injury 

Personal injury insurance has always been a consistent market for lawyers. But in New Zealand I have seen a shortage in this practice. In its definition, personal injury pertains to anything from public to business, in which the individual has been injured through no fault of their own. Many lawyers differ in which they tend to be either partial towards plaintiff/claimant or defendant. Personal injury has such a list of matters:

  • At work.
  • Public/private property. 
  • On the road.
  • Asbestos exposure. (This has become an exponentially growing area for Australia over the past few years especially).
  • Medical negligence. 
  • Government employees around commonwealth exposure and benefits.

It is also rare to find many PI lawyers in NZ due to the ACC method of those injured claiming treatment is mainly funded by the Government. Although those NZ Qualified lawyers with expertise in health, medical or technical commercial Litigation tend to fit well within this space. Claimant firms also look for those who have managed highly stressful situations, many files and are able to manage in some cases emotive clients. Therefore lawyers with family experience switch well into this side of insurance law.

Road & Transport Insurance

Road and transport insurance will always be a huge industry in both Australia and New Zealand, with those keywords around this area of practice being negligent, compensation, entitlement and benefits. Many of these accidents can vary from either small claims in civilian cases or in terms of transport issues revolving around business transport or road working companies. 

Such cases that you may find yourself representing a plaintiff in are:

  • Spinal injury
  • Fractures, soft tissue injuries.
  • Physiological or other physical injuries.
  • Compensation whether you were injured on public transport.

For the defendant this could vary from other factors being a cause for the accident such as third party intervention and claimant negligence due to road maintenance or public transport liability. 

Abuse Law

This area of insurance can be stressful and harrowing for both plaintiff and defendant. Hence why both sides of the line have a very similar outlook on how they approach these cases. By researching and gathering all necessary evidence in these sensitive files so that the best course of action will prevail. Although this type of work requires mental strength and capacity, it is highly rewarding, whilst also bringing you closer to the surrounding community. Firms who are looking for candidates in these roles, always have the best interest of the client at hand but also have multiple support measures in place for the successful candidate. Firms are also sensitive to the level of stress that can be present to the lawyers driving these files so often will have a split market of 50% Abuse and 50% being another area of insurance.

Class Actions

Class Actions are court proceedings bought on behalf of a larger group of people who suffered harm or losses in similar circumstances. Disputes involving large numbers of people can be resolved in one single mass case, hence reducing time, cost and risk involved


View from Plaintiff

I see with many of our clients and our candidate that these large scale cases will sometimes be processed through mediation to save cost and time. From investors who have lost money due to poor corporate investments or practices, homes affected by environmental issues, Class Actions is a very open yet interesting form of Law. From this perspective the appeal of representing a range of public to private individual clients, is seen as a great incentive for exposure to court as well as experience in a desired field of practice. 

View from defendant 

In terms of the defendant’s perspective, you could be representing contractors, firms, suppliers, consultants, insurers and the self insured. A variety of employers that are subjugated from low-high value cases. Being the defendant can be quite a difficult case as often it requires extensive research and investigation into whether it is the claimants’ wrongdoing or down to a third party interference. 

Maritime Insurance

Maritime insurance is one of the most unique and rapidly growing facets of the Australian legal insurance industry. This is a complex, high value and sensitive multi-jurisdictional dispute area of insurance. Experience is always a bonus is what they say, but I have found that firms are open to a candidate that shows passion and desire matched with an eagerness to take the leap into maritime law. Here are some of the core responsibilities you can expect in maritime:

  • Policy drafting and coverage.
  • Charter party litigation and negotiation – significant litigation and non litigated insurance matters.
  • Ship arrests, cargo and casualty crisis management.
  • Sales contracts and world trade sanctions issues.
  • Cross border transactions and general maritime law around land based vessels under trade, transport and other traditional disputes. 

Maritime includes an extensive range of issues but all tailored towards an excellent opportunity for Kiwi and Aussie lawyers to learn and get valuable experience in a unique area of practice. 

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Indemnity Insurance is definitely the most common practice I have seen and with more vacancies becoming available everyday with the lowest being 2+Years PAE(Australia) and 2+ years PQE(New Zealand). An indemnity normally correlates in the form of a contract signed by two parties to hold one at no risk or liability for damages or loss. In corporate and commercial this normally relates to a contract that binds two parties together, holding one without risk or any wrongdoing in the case of future cases. Indemnity can range from corporate and commercial to healthcare and representation of the clause between employee and employers. Litigation in insurance, handling contract disputes and drafting are always seen as strong and key attributes in this field of practice. 

One very interesting point around Professional Indemnity coverage that I could include in construction insurance below, is the mitigating factors that influence the range of work when working in this sector of insurance law. After a decline in recent time it has started its dramatic rise due to the reduction of average rates. Definitely a very popular line to explore in Australia and New Zealand as the Salary and vacancies are in full swing.   

Construction Insurance

Construction has always been at the forefront of my thinking when writing this and I said to myself save the best for last. With the period we are in around 2023, post covid and inflation in raw materials, really microeconomics now more than ever is a global climate in itself. Construction insurance considers both the insured and insurer for construction risk, development of procurement strategies and negotiating documentation.

Clients can range from international global scale infrastructure insurance or individual disputes around employers, contractors, developers, funders on contractual risk & insurance issues. With opportunities available at both front and back end construction insurance now is the time to put your swimming cap on and dive into these vacancies below. 

Many firms offer different billing structures to those of a traditional firm, within the same team you might have  “no win, no fee”, fixed fee or time billed approach. Many of these teams often also have a very strong ratio of support staff to qualified lawyers due to wanting to resolve matters quickly. 

Insurance law sector New Zealand

I know what it looks like, what about New Zealand? Trust me I titled this article as Insurance legal industry Australia but of course I cannot forget about New Zealand. We have seen the demand for insurance vacancies popup on the market everyday. All we are waiting on is the candidates to APPLY!! Insurance presently in New Zealand has similarities with Australia. It offers just as many benefits and experience as Australia. The insurance area around commercial and corporate being of particular interest. From what I have seen, personal injury is not common in New Zealand due to the ACC funded cover being available. In New Zealand a constant area of law within insurance law in particular is family law. Much like the aforementioned Abuse law, it is a growing and predominant area of practice. It can provide lawyers with a strong background for litigation. It can also provide incredible experience in one of the most sensitive areas of law. 

Insurance law sector Salaries

Since we here at Tyler Wren have published our last salary guide, salaries have seen an increase in Australia. But with increased salary comes greater responsibility and PQE or PAE in Australia. For insurance roles across Australia, candidates can expect to see salaries range from $100,000 – $145,000 Plus for PQE of 3-5 Years. 

This is of course depending on experience and other decisive factors. For a PQE greater than that in such cases as the senior litigator role I have below, salary and benefits could be greater than $145,000 plus, with Super included.

Insurance law sector Vacancies

See below a flavor of roles that the Tyler Wren team is actively recruiting for. If you don’t find anything here that’s right for you, please get in touch for a confidential chat about other opportunities we can offer you.


New Zealand