Career in Insurance Sector

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Insurance is a growing business in the country. The sector has witnessed substantial change ever since the opening of the sector to private sector investment. Liberalization has sparked off competition, resulting in the introduction of new products, improved customer service, deepening of the market for both life and non-life products, superior packaging of products and services, and, most importantly, tremendous employment opportunities even for graduates who wish to take up commercial employment immediately.

Industry prospects

An industry report in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group has projected that premium income in the insurance sector in India will touch US$ 400 billion by the year 2020;
India would rank in the top three in life insurance and top fifteen in non-life products globally by the year 2020;
Insurance business is poised to grow dramatically on the back of increased household income, growth of the housing and automobile market, liberalized policies, spread of insurance into the hinterland and the semi-urban markets.


Options after graduation

A graduate in any discipline can make a career in marketing and sales of insurance products. Graduates and post-graduates who have scored at least 55% marks in Mathematics or Statistics (or any related subject such as Applied Statistics / Econometrics / Computer Science / Mathematical Statistics) are eligible to apply for a course in actuarial science. Any engineering graduate, Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant, Company Secretary, MBA (Finance), Chartered Financial Analyst, or Fellow of Insurance Institute of India (having passed with the elective Mathematical Basis of Insurance and Statistics) is eligible for the course in actuarial science.

The Actuarial Society of India conducts the examinations at the Certificate, Associate and Fellow level. Candidates who successfully complete these examinations become registered actuaries and can use the appellation AASI after their names.

Courses Available/Name of College/Institute

B.Sc. (Actuarial Science)
i.DS Actuarial Education Services, Mumbai
MBA (Actuarial Science)
I.Haryana Engineering College, Jagadhri;
II.Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai

M.Sc Actuarial Science)

I.Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu;
II.DS Actuarial Education Services, Mumbai;
III.Amity School of Insurance and Actuarial Science, NOIDA;
IV.BS Abdur Rahman University, Chennai;
V.Christ College, Bengaluru

Post-Graduate Diploma in Actuarial Science
I.Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu;
II.DS Actuarial Education Services, Mumbai;
III.International School of Actuarial Sciences, Hyderabad;
IV.THR College of Arts and Science, Perambalur

Certificate Courses
Industry players such as HDFC Standard Life have their own Certificate Courses usually of three months duration in collaboration with recognized educational institutions. On successful completion of the programmes, the candidates are offered appointment as Sales Development Officers.

Leading institutes and colleges

i.Institute of Insurance and Risk Management, Hyderabad;
ii.Amity School of Insurance and Actuarial Science, New Delhi;
iii.International School of Actuarial Sciences, Hyderabad;
iv.National Insurance Academy, Pune;
v.The ICFAI School of Finance and Management, Hyderabad;
vi.Actuarial Society of Mumbai, Mumbai;
vii.International Institute for Insurance and Finance, Hyderabad;
viii.College of Insurance, Mumbai;
ix.Birla Institute of Management and Technology, New Delhi

Distance Learning Programs
i.Institute of Actuaries of India;
ii.Alagappa University;
iii.Annamalai University;
iv.Institute of Certified Risk and Insurance Managers;
v.International Institute for Insurance and Finance

Job Profile

Entry level positions would be as Insurance Analyst, Business Analyst, Actuarial Analyst, Management Trainee, or Executive Trainee. Posting could be in sales and marketing, operations, investment, underwriting, or actuarial. The nature of the employment is, by and large, office oriented except for sales and marketing, and operations (insurance surveyors) which are field level appointments.

Employment Skills

Excellent communication skills
Numerical aptitude
Knowledge of sales techniques
Computer friendly attitude and knowledge of basic software
Enthusiasm, self-confidence, disciplined working style

The percentages would vary in the case of those in the actuarial and survey departments for which knowledge of mathematics and statistics is far more important.

Prospective Employers

Employment opportunities are available with insurance and reinsurance companies and brokers, actuarial companies, banks and financial institutions, and, micro-finance companies

Leading Employers

Life Insurance
i.Life Insurance Corporation of India;
ii.TATA AIG Life insurance Company Limited;
iii.ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited;
iv.HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited;
v.Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Company Limited;
vi.SBI Life Insurance Company Limited;
vii.Met Life Insurance Company Limited;
viii.ING Vysya Life Insurance Company Limited;
ix.Aviva Life Insurance Company Limited;
x.Max New York Life Insurance Company Limited

General Insurance
i.New India Assurance Company Limited;
ii.Oriental Insurance;
iii.United India Insurance;
iv.National Insurance Corporation;
v.Royal Sundaram General Insurance Company Limited;
vi.ICICI Lombard General insurance Company Limited;
vii.IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Company Limited;
viii.Cholamandalam General Insurance Company Limited;
ix.HDFC Chubb General Insurance Company Limited;
x.TATA AIG General Insurance Company Limited

Compensation Packages

The monthly compensation package for entry level posts could be anywhere between Rs.10,000/- and Rs.15,000/- depending upon the nature of the appointment and the size of the company. Posts in the actuarial, operations and investment areas command higher pay packages. The monthly stipend for a trainee in the actuarial department could be in the range of Rs.20,000/- to Rs.25,000/-.
Employees in the sales and marketing side are paid commission in addition to the fixed salary component (which is usually not very attractive). The idea is to encourage the employee to focus on effecting maximum sales.

Pluses and minuses

I. Actuarial, Investment and Operations Departments enjoy good remuneration;
II. Commission percentages are generally good and hard work can translate to good income

I. A large part of a career in insurance is sales which is not everybody’s cup of tea;
II. Fulfilling of agreed target is mandatory and can result in stress situations;
III. Monthly income is substantially dependent on inflow of commissions

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