Tyler Wren explores insurance pathways and two of the insurance industry’s key functions, a case of pick your corner?

Like The Brock and The Undertaker, there’s more to the Broker/Underwriter relationship than meets the eye… 

Well, without upsetting too many wrestling fans, that analogy is about as dubious as the sporting credibility of the WWE, but it’s an OK excuse to discuss two of the most prominent avenues available to insurance professionals.

Understanding insurance pathways

There are many career directions one can take in the insurance sector, and every role is made up of a balance of common elements, but the choice between working in a capacity as the underwriter (insurer) or the broker is a big one. Let’s say you work for one of the notable insurance companies, maybe you’re an insurance agent, or perhaps you’re working in claims. When you are just setting out on any journey, it can be very hard to see the insurance pathway ahead, you just know you’re looking for a new challenge! The difficulty is knowing which door to open

What to expect in each role

Working for an insurer, placing cover, you’ll be highly risk focussed, assessing risk on a case by case basis to begin with, and as time goes on on a more data-driven strategical level. As you progress further, you’ll have the chance to build your technical knowledge of the risks in your speciality areas. If you take on an underwriting role, you’ll certainly interface with brokers and other stakeholders, but as a general rule, the direct customer facing role elements are less prominent than in a broking role.

Working for a broker, you’ll be all about the customer. A broker’s role is all about building a relationship of trust and understanding with your customers. You’ll develop your relationships with the underwriters in your market, negotiating the best pricing for your customers and building a strong understanding of the covers they offer. As a broker, you’d better love dealing with people, because you’ll be doing a lot of it!

Speaking with candidates, I’ve noticed a series of shared traits across the industry; but the two most prominent are Humanity – helping people when the chips are down, and Curiosity – a desire to discover, learn and explore new areas. The cool thing about the insurance industry is that you don’t necessarily have to choose between those two…

If you’re considering your next step in insurance, do drop us a line!