Paperwork and admin can take up a lot of time in any job, but particularly in the insurance industry. From dealing with claims to analysing financial risks, reports and research can take up a lot of the day.
There's actually too much to do, so general insurance technicians are there to take some of the admin shaped pressure off.
So, what will I actually be doing?
Working for a range of insurance professionals (although mostly for underwriters and brokers), insurance technicians provide important administrative support.
Far from being mundane or repetitive, no day is the same in this job. From doing general admin for an insurance broker, to helping with policy renewals and quoting premiums, you’ll be working on a range of insurance issues.
There are also a lot of customer service duties throughout this role. You’ll be giving clients advice about suitable insurance cover, gathering information when they claim, and even arranging payments for the more simple and straightforward cases.
Your daily duties may also include:
- Reviewing insurance applications
- Checking proposal forms
- Taking claim details
- Checking policies to ensure it covers the claim
- Ensuring premiums are paid
- Updating records
- Sending letters (you’d forgotten it was admin based hadn’t you)
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The finer details...
Although you’ll be working the regular 35 to 40 hour weeks in an office, your working schedule will change depending where you’re based.
If you’re working in an insurance office, you’ll be at your desk between the expected hours of 9-5 on weekdays. If you choose to work in a contact centre (which is perfect for those looking for shift work), you may have to work evenings and weekends.
A lot of an insurance technician’s day is spent on the phone or in front of the computer, although you’ll occasionally leave the office to visit clients and meet with underwriters.
Because you’re doing a range of jobs that cover a lot of the insurance sector, you’ll learn lots of transferable skills that will enable you to eventually specialise in a particular area or even move into other areas of insurance such as broking, account management or loss adjusting.
Money, money, money
Your yearly salary will change depending on the size of the company you work for, your level of experience and your location.
When you first start as an insurance newbie, you’re looking at earning between £11,000 and £15,000 every year.
As you grow in experience and responsibility, this rises to around £16,000 and £20,000.
Gain some extra qualifications and reach the high heights of a senior technician or specialist and you could be looking at a salary of up to £40,000.
As well as a good salary, you could also get insurance and pension benefits, as well as bonuses based on company performance.
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The good points...
You’re performing a crucial role within the team, as without you the insurance world would struggle to function. Is there anything better than being appreciated at work?
...and the bad
Anyone that has ever worked in customer service will know not everyone you deal with will be pleasant, friendly or well mannered. Expect phone calls from unhappy customers who just want to complain and rant, despite the fact you didn’t cause their problems.
Is there study involved?
Employer expectations will vary between companies, which is nice and confusing. Some companies like to see some GCSEs (including maths and English), while others don’t care what you learnt at school and prefer you to have previous experience in customer service and administration roles.
Even if you’ve got qualifications filling up two pages of a CV, it’s still incredibly useful to get some work experience, particularly in a relevant administrative role.
If you’re a graduate looking to jump straight into a management role, there are training schemes and apprenticeships available which will teach you all the necessary skills.
But the learning doesn’t stop once you’ve found employment, many companies will continue your training on the job and encourage you to study for official insurance qualifications such as:
- CII Certificate in Insurance
- CII Diploma in Insurance
- CII Advanced Diploma in Insurance, leading to Associate membership of the CII (ACII status)
- IFS School of Finance Certificate of Regulated General Insurance (CeRGI)
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
First and foremost, having good communication skills (both written and verbal) are a must in this job, as not only will you be liaising with a lot of insurance professionals, but you’ll also be talking to customers and answering their enquiries.
As you’d expect, a good knowledge of the insurance world is also a must-have, but other handy skills include:
- Excellent customer service skills
- Attention to detail
- Ability to use initiative and work in a team
- Assertiveness (not all customers will agree with you)
- Ability to work calmly under pressure