Insurance officers carry out clerical and other functions associated with insurance transactions.
You can work as an insurance officer without formal qualifications, but most employers prefer you to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in general insurance, life insurance, personal injury management, loss adjusting or insurance broking. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become an insurance officer through a traineeship in General Insurance, Financial Services, Life Insurance or a related area. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
There are two broad types of insurance: life insurance, which can provide investment and/or life and disability protection; and general insurance, which can cover property in a variety of events (such as fire, water damage, theft of goods and property, marine cover, illness, accident and liability cover).
Insurance officers are employed by insurance and finance companies. They may sell insurance and usually work for wages rather than commission, making competition for available positions strong. Prospects for promotion are better for those prepared to undertake further study in fields such as commerce, economics, law, computer science and mathematics. An entrant to an insurance company generally starts as a clerk and can progress through various departments to positions such as inspector, claims officer, re-insurance officer, loss adjuster, marine underwriter or manager.
A claims officer arranges settlement of claims made by clients through their policies. They assess the validity of claims by interviewing clients or their representatives and obtaining evidence.
An insurance inspector is responsible for assessing the value and condition of property or events to make recommendations about insurance prior to purchase. They may also inspect the extent of damages that have been claimed by a client.
An insurance surveyor inspects all kinds of properties to check for hazards and the efficiency of protection devices, advises policy holders about risk improvement and provides inspection services to agents. They also prepare reports that influence insurers' decisions on risk acceptance and premiums. Insurance surveyors normally have an engineering, scientific or related qualification.
An investment officer invests revenue (income) from clients' premiums in government, commercial and stock market operations on behalf of their company and assists in the financial management of properties owned by the company.
A life insurance assessor assesses death, disability, illness and trauma claims on life and health insurance policies.
A loss assessor/adjuster investigates and assesses losses for individuals and companies.
A marine underwriter is responsible for the acceptance or rejection of insurance proposals to cover cargo transported by ships, trucks, trains or aircraft.
A re-insurance officer is involved in the administration and assessment of insurance claims and policies taken out by insurance companies as a form of risk management.
A superannuation fund administrator is responsible for the administration of employer/industry-based superannuation funds. This involves the day-to-day processing of new members, benefit payments and contributions, and the annual review of each plan to update member information and benefits.
An underwriter assesses risks and the premiums that should be charged in particular circumstances. Most of these positions are located in head offices in Melbourne and Sydney.