The UK is the fourth-largest insurance market in the world. Insurance contributes nearly £30 billion to the UK economy and employs around 300,000 people across the country.

Reassured plays a small part in a massive industry that covers everything from cars and pets to lives and buildings.

To inspire anyone thinking of a career in this exciting industry, we have researched seven key job roles. Between them, they cover all aspects of the insurance process, from the initial policy sale to a claim.

Read on to find out what you need to start your career in insurance...

Insurance Underwriter

Insurance underwriters decide whether to accept applications for insurance cover.

They evaluate the likelihood of a claim being made to decide if it’s profitable for the insurance company.

Underwriters also establish the terms and conditions of insurance policies, such as the premium charged in exchange for cover.

Insurance underwriter


Salary: £24,000 - £100,000

Entry Requirements

  • Relevant degree - business, management, economics, maths or law
  • For most graduate schemes, a 2:1 degree or above is expected
  • Entry without a degree is possible through trainee or apprenticeship schemes

Typical Tasks

  • Studying insurance proposals and evaluating the risk involved
  • Deciding premium amounts based on the risk
  • Drafting and writing policies
  • Negotiating terms and drafting contracts

Career Progression

  • Most underwriters specialise in one area of insurance
    - General insurance - such as car, home, pet or travel
    - Commercial insurance - for companies and businesses
    - Life insurance
  • Start as a trainee underwriter
  • Then progress to qualified underwriter
  • Can progress further to senior or lead underwriter

Insurance Loss Adjuster

Insurance loss adjusters (sometimes also known as claims adjusters) investigate complicated claims on behalf of insurance companies. For example, a large home insurance claim due to a fire or flood.

They establish the cause of a loss and whether it is covered by the original policy.

They also determine the value of the loss – this can be greater or less than the original claim.

Loss adjuster


Salary: £20,000 - £80,000

Entry Requirements

  • Relevant degree – business, maths, finance, law, economics, construction or surveying
  • Apprenticeships are also available for entry without a degree

Typical Tasks

  • Visiting claimants to interview them and assess the damage
  • Checking that claimants are covered and are claiming a reasonable amount
  • Organising repairs and clean-up
  • Reporting back to the insurers and providing recommendations

Career Progression

  • Start as a junior loss adjuster
  • Specialise in one type of claim:
    - Property (buildings and their contents)
    - Business interruption (loss of business income after a disaster)
    - Liability (claims brought by third parties)
    - Claimant (dealing with and advising policyholders)
    - Subsidence (damage caused by subsidence, landslip or heave)
    - Fraud investigation (investigating claims which may be fraudulent)
  • Progress to a management role
  • Self-employment and freelance work possible

Actuary

Actuaries measure and manage risk and uncertainty.

They use maths, economics and statistics to calculate how likely future events are and their potential financial impact.

Actuaries use their knowledge to advise on commercial, strategic and financial issues.

Actuary


Salary: £30,000 - £200,000

Entry Requirements

  • Degree in a numerate subject – maths, statistics, economics, business, engineering or science
  • Minimum grade B in A-Level maths and at least a C in another subject
  • Postgraduate qualifications in actuarial science may allow faster qualification
  • HND entry highly unlikely

Typical Tasks

  • Analysing statistics and forecasting finances
  • Presenting reports to managers, directors and clients
  • Advising on risk limitation
  • Creating mathematical models to assess risks and probabilities

Career Progression

  • Start as a trainee actuary
  • Progress to associate member of the profession after 3-6 years of study alongside work
  • Advanced progression to fellowship after another 3-6 years of further specialist exams
  • Promotion to management positions
  • Possibility to progress to board level positions such as Chief Risk Officer

Insurance Broker

Insurance brokers are intermediaries between clients and insurance companies.

They use their extensive knowledge of the insurance industry to find suitable policies and arrange cover for clients. These clients can be businesses or individuals.

Insurance broker


Salary: £16,000 - £100,000

Entry Requirements

  • No specific degree requirements, although degrees in related subjects (accounting, business, economics or maths) may be an advantage
  • Entry without a degree possible through junior or trainee roles
  • Apprenticeships are also available

Typical Tasks

  • Gathering information from clients to assess their requirements and risk profile
  • Negotiating the best deals with providers
  • Building relationships with both clients and providers
  • Liaising with other insurance professionals such as underwriters and surveyors

Career Progression

  • Start as a trainee or graduate broker
  • Gain general experience before progressing to a more specialist role
  • Progression to management as a senior broker, or account or client director
  • Possibility for movement to other insurance roles such as underwriting or loss adjusting

Insurance Risk Surveyor

Insurance risk surveyors analyse items or sites that need to be insured.

They survey the risk posed by covering these items or sites. They offer advice to underwriters about how to reduce the risk or if cover should even be offered.

Claims handler


Salary: £14,000 - £50,000

Entry Requirements

  • All degrees considered, but relevant degrees such as accounting, finance, business, economics, law or maths may give an advantage
  • Entry without a degree possible through trainee schemes and apprenticeships

Typical Tasks

  • Advising customers on the process of making a claim
  • Analysing if a claim satisfies the policy terms and conditions
  • Investigating potential claim fraud
  • Ensure claims are settled correctly
  • Dealing with any complaints about the procedure

Career Progression

  • Start as a junior claims handler
  • Progress to team leader
  • Further progression to claims manager and claims director
  • Possibility to move into other areas such as loss adjusting and risk surveying

Insurance Risk Surveyor

Insurance risk surveyors analyse items or sites that need to be insured.

They survey the risk posed by covering these items or sites. They offer advice to underwriters about how to reduce the risk or if cover should even be offered.

Risk surveyor


Salary: £22,000 - £100,000

Entry Requirements

  • Degree not essential, though certain related degrees may be an advantage. For example, actuarial science, business, law, finance, surveying, economics or maths
  • Qualifications from related areas such as surveying, health and safety or engineering can also be useful
  • Apprenticeships are available at different levels (intermediate to degree-level)

Typical Tasks

  • Visiting sites to assess risk information
  • Evaluating risks to businesses and individuals
  • Preparing and presenting reports to underwriters
  • Advising clients on how to reduce their risk profile
  • Liaising with other insurance professionals such as brokers and underwriters, and other professionals like health and safety officers

Career Progression

  • Begin as trainee risk surveyor
  • Progress to senior surveyor
  • Further progression to risk manager, senior risk manager and corporate risk manager
  • Possibility to start your own consultancy or transition to work in-house for an engineering firm

Insurance Sales Agent

Insurance sales agents contact customers to sell one or more types of insurance.

They explain the different policies available and may help customers decide which is right for them. Sales agents work either for brokerages, selling multiple providers’ policies or for individual providers.

Insurance sales agent


Salary: £15,000 - £50,000

(commissions and bonuses may also be available for meeting sales targets)

Entry Requirements

  • Degree not essential, although certain subjects, such as business, economics, maths or marketing can be an advantage
  • Entry without a degree possible through apprenticeship schemes

Typical Tasks

  • Meeting sales targets set by management
  • Answering customer queries quickly and efficiently
  • Upselling customers to use added-value services
  • Keeping on top of new and existing products
  • Liaising with colleagues in other areas of the insurance industry

Career Progression

  • Start as a trainee sales agent
  • Progress to senior sales agent
  • Further progression to sales management
  • Possibility to transition into insurance broker or financial advisor roles