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Insurance brokers are responsible for identifying and organising suitable insurance cover for commercial organisations and private clients.

There are in excess of 2,000 insurance brokerages registered in the UK.

What does an insurance broker do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Insurance brokers liaise between clients and insurance companies, finding the client the best deal for insurance cover. Responsibilities of the job vary according to the size and type of employer: smaller companies offer less opportunity for specialisation than larger firms. You could work in retail insurance, providing general cover in areas such as property, travel, motor and pet insurance, or in commercial insurance, dealing with more complex, high value areas such as marine, aviation and oil and gas. Typical duties include:

  • building and maintaining business relationships with clients
  • scheduling and attending meetings
  • discussing and assessing clients' current and future insurance needs
  • researching insurance policies and products
  • negotiating policy terms and costs with insurance providers
  • arranging insurance cover for clients with the insurance provider
  • collecting insurance premiums
  • keeping detailed computer records
  • preparing reports for insurance underwriters
  • advising clients on making claims on their policies
  • renewing or amending existing policies for clients
  • undertaking general administrative duties
  • marketing services.

Typical employers of insurance brokers

  • Large and small brokerages
  • Financial advice companies
  • Insurance or reinsurance companies
  • Insurance risk management departments

Vacancies are advertised by recruitment agencies and careers services, in local and national newspapers, in publications such as TARGETjobs Finance, The Financial Times and the Insurance Times, plus their online equivalents. Many national insurance brokers operate structured graduate training schemes – for these early applications are essential.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into a career as an insurance broker for both university graduates and school leavers. For graduates, a degree in any subject is acceptable, although business/management-related degrees or numerical degrees (such as economics or maths) may be beneficial. Having a degree means you have the opportunity to join the graduate scheme of a large insurance broking firm, although these are often very competitive. Postgraduate insurance and risk management qualifications can be advantageous.

School leavers are taken on as trainees in insurance technician or trainee broker roles, and work their way up by gaining insurance qualifications and experience. Some firms also offer apprenticeships in insurance. For more information, see the finance sector of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers, and in particular our article on how to get into a career in finance.

Relevant banking and/or insurance experience gained via internships and work experience placements can be useful.

Employees often undertake a professional qualification with the Chartered Insurance Institute, which will aid career prospects.

Key skills for insurance brokers

  • Confident negotiation skills
  • Reliability and honesty
  • Excellent time management
  • Decision-making
  • Analytical skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills

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