The insurance industry has a wide range of job opportunities for those
who want to make insurance their career. There are lots of scope and
opportunities for new entrants to the industry to use their skills,
knowledge and intellectual and creative abilities, to achieve job satisfaction
and career development. At the same time, working in the insurance industry
will provide opportunities for people to find fulfilment in helping
others through the benefits that insurance services bring to individuals,
businesses and society as a whole.
Click on the sub headings below for more description.
Main Professions in the
An employee of an insurance company will have the opportunity to work
in the following common divisions within an insurance company:-
- Information Technology
- General Administration
- Company Secretary
A brief description of the typical job functions within these broad
divisions in an insurance company and the association professions is
outlined below :-
Marketing involves looking into the insurance
needs of clients for which market research may have to be done
from time to time. As insurance is a service which is more often
sold than bought, insurers require a strong and effective marketing
force. Personnel in this department must understand and have an
affinity to meeting and satisfying the demands of the customers.
As customers become more demanding and sophisticated in their
insurance needs, so too, the marketing personnel must be able
to adapt to the changing environment.
A marketing officer may also have to supervise
and motivate the agency force of the insurance company. He or
she will be required to provide them assistance, guidance and
training and ensure that they achieve their business targets,
and provide efficient after-sales services to the clients.
||The underwriter's job is to assess
the risks involved in the insurance proposals made to the company
and decide whether to accept or reject the proposal. If the underwriter
decides to accept the proposal, he also decides on the terms and
conditions of the insurance contract depending on the degree of
the risk. He may decide to pass on a part of the risk to another
insurer. This is known as reinsurance.
As an insurance company is required to insure
many different types of risks, one can imagine that the underwriter
must have a multitude of skills and knowledge in order to understand
the risks before he can decide on how to insure the risks. In
the past, it was possible for a handful of underwriters to serve
all the needs of an insurance company. However, in today's complex
world, the role of an underwriter has become even more diverse
and essential for an insurance company. There are also many specialist
underwriters who are experts in certain fields and classes of
insurance only e.g. in insurance of space-crafts, aviation or
oil and gas platforms, etc. This is because some risks are so
large and complex that only specialist underwriters have mastered
||Reinsurance is an insurance bought
by the insurers. Handling reinsurance is a specialized job. In many
insurance companies reinsurance is handled by a separate department.
The reinsurance manager has to plan the reinsurance program of the
company, negotiate the terms of the reinsurance contract with the
reinsurers and supervise the administration and accounting of the
A person specializing in reinsurance work has
job opportunities in specialized reinsurance companies too. In
Malaysia there are ten professional reinsurance companies but
because reinsurance is such a global business, there is demand
for good reinsurers from all corners of the world.
||A claims manager's job is to process
and settle the claims made on the insurance company under insurance
contracts. Before settling the claims, he ensures that :
a) the loss has taken place
b) the loss is covered under the terms of the insurance policy
To do this, he needs enough knowledge and evidence
of the causes that led to the loss and the extent of the loss.
In view that the world today is so complex and the types of insurable
losses so numerous, the need for skilled and knowledgeable people
with integrity and professionalism has become a vital part of
any claims department.
||After collecting the premiums, the
insurers make use of the premiums to make payments towards commissions,
administrative expenses and claims but there is a difference in
time between receipt of the premiums and payments to be made. During
this time lag the insurers are in possession of large sums which
they invest carefully keeping in view the security of the investment
as well as the income on their investments. The investment department's
personnel have to use their expertise to achieve a balance between
secure investment and high returns.
The investment manager also has to ensure that
the company is financially strong so that the company is able
to settle all claims. The investments are spread out in government
securities, shares and debentures of companies, fixed deposits
with banks and finance companies, investment in land and buildings,
There are times when the insurers may not make
much profit from the underwriting (i.e. the surplus of premiums
over commissions, administrative expenses and claims). Sometimes
they may even suffer underwriting loss. But they may earn enough
income from investment which may outweigh the loss suffered in
underwriting. Therefore, investment by an insurance company is
of considerable importance.
||The accountant's job in an insurance
company is to record all business transactions according to the
principles and practice of accounting followed in the insurance
industry, with the object of showing the results of the business
(profit or loss) and also to show the true financial position (assets
and liabilities) of the company. The accounting must be in compliance
with various laws such as the Companies Act, Insurance Act, Income
Tax Act, etc.
The accountant needs to be qualified and must
have experienced in this specialized field. Almost all insurance
companies use computers for their accounting and therefore most
personnel in the accounting division are required to possess sufficient
and good working knowledge of computer operations in relation
||Computers are widely used in the insurance
industry not only for accounting and policy production but also
for obtaining and collating all information required by the management.
Most management decisions are based on the data or information obtained
through computers. The efficiency of the management of an insurance
company depends to a large extent on how effectively the computer
is programmed bearing in mind the needs of the management. The person
in-charge of computing must possess sufficient knowledge and skills
required for programming and be fully aware of the needs of the
This is a specialized field and only persons
qualified in computer programming are employed.
or Human Resource
||Personnel or human resource management
is one of the important branches of management in an insurance company.
This includes manpower planning, selection of the right persons
for employment in the company, their training, placement, salary,
administration, promotions, transfers, disciplinary actions, employee
counselling and other aspects of human resource management.
The personnel or human resource manager must
be highly skilled in human relations. He should know how to solve
workers' problems and get the best out of them in order to benefit
the company and also the employees through job satisfaction, etc.
The personnel or human resource manager must
possess adequate knowledge of the laws concerning employment of
This job may involve administration of office
operations such as printing and stationery, building administration,
furniture and fixtures, compliance with local municipal laws and
rules, fire department rules, etc.
||This is a specialized job which involves
maintenance of minutes of board of directors' meeting, shareholders'
meetings, maintenance of all records and filing of various returns
required under the Company Law and other relevant legislation. The
company secretary is responsible for organisation of directors'
meetings, annual and general meetings of the company.
A person employed as a company secretary must
be qualified before he or she can be appointed as such.
in the Insurance Industry
Alternatively, one might choose to seek employment in the other associated
professions in the insurance industry such as:-
- Insurance Broking
- Insurance Loss Adjusting
- General Insurance Agents
- Life Insurance Agents
||An actuary is a professional who uses
mathematical skills to define, analyze and solve financial and social
problems. In dealing with such problems, actuaries create and manage
programs which reduce the financial loss due to the expected and
unexpected events that happen to people, like illnesses, accidents,
unemployment, or early death. People buy insurance and participate
in pension plans to protect themselves financially from these events.
The actuary helps design plans and evaluates
the financial risks a company takes when it sells an insurance
policy or offers a pension program. Actuaries have many responsibilities.
First, an actuary must make sure that there is enough cash on
hand to pay benefits when people make claims on their insurance
policies or draw income from their pension plans. Secondly, the
actuary must also see to it that the price charged to participants
of an insurance or pension plan is fair. Actuaries are often found
in highly responsible management positions and frequently work
as vice-presidents and presidents of insurance companies or as
senior partners on actuarial consulting firms.
In Malaysia, an actuary appointed by an insurance
company must be a fellow of:-
i) the Institute of Actuaries in England;
ii) the Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland;
iii) the Society of Actuaries in the United States of America;
iv) the Canadian Institute of Actuaries; or
v) the Australian Institute of Actuaries; or
vi) he/she must hold such other qualifications as may be specified
by the insurance regulator.
in Broking Firms
Insurance brokers are full-time professional intermediaries whose job
is to place the insurance business of their clients with any of the
insurance companies. They are expected to know the various insurance
coverages and rates of premium offered by the insurance companies.
They represent their clients who want to buy insurance coverage. The
brokers have to study the insurance needs of their clients and place
their insurance after negotiating terms with the appropriate insurers.
They also help their clients in presenting claims to the insurance companies
and in getting their claims settled. The brokers are paid a brokerage
by the insurance companies. Insurance brokers require a license from
the insurance regulator and a professional indemnity policy before they
can commence business.
in Loss Adjusting Firms
Loss adjusters/assessors are independent professionals who are appointed
by the insurance companies to survey a loss due to fire, motor accident,
Their job is to investigate the causes of the loss and determine the
extent of loss and report their findings to the insurance company. Based
on the reports, the claims are settled. They are paid by way of fees
by the insurers. They need to possess not only knowledge of insurance
coverage but also know-how different kinds of losses take place and
be able to determine the extent of loss or damage. They also advise
on loss prevention/minimization measures in the light of their experiences.
Loss adjusters require a license from the insurance regulator.
in Insurance Agencies
Insurance Agent - The job of an insurance agent is to act on behalf
of an insurance company to acquire insurance business from the customers
or prospective customers of the insurance company. Unlike the insurance
broker who represents the buyer of insurance, the insurance agents represent
the insurance company essentially to sell insurance policies.
Insurance agents can act on behalf of not more than two general insurance
companies and one life insurance company at a time. To be a general
insurance agent, one must sit for and pass the Pre-Contract Examination
For Insurance Agents (PCEIA) , Part A & Part B, and to be a life
insurance agent, one must pass Part A & Part C of the PCEIA. The
examination is conducted by The Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII).
The PCEIA assures that any person who becomes an insurance agent has
the necessary basic knowledge to promote and sell insurance to the general
public on behalf of the insurance company which they represent.
After passing these examinations, the general agent will have to register
himself/herself with the Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM), and the
life agent with Life Association of Malaysia (LIAM) before he can transact
any insurance business. Upon registration by PIAM, general insurance
agents are required to comply with a set of rules known as the General
Insurance Agents Registration Regulations (GIARR) and a code of ethics
for general insurance agents.
An Insurance agency can be operated either on a part-time basis or
on a full-time basis. However, in today's very competitive environment,
more and more agents have become professionals who operate their agency
business on a full time basis. This enable them to concentrate on the
business and provide the best services to their customers. Traditionally,
insurance agents are paid by the insurance companies they work for by
way of commissions on sales.
Training and Qualifications
in the Insurance Industry
Training is normally provided by the companies and new entrants to
the insurance industry can obtain professional qualifications through
the examinations of either the Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII) or
other recognized institutions.
Qualifications from MII
- Diploma in Insurance and Risk Management (DMII Full Time)
- Diploma of the Malaysian Insurance Institute (DMII Distance Learning)
- Diploma in Insurance and Risk Management for International Student
- Associateship of the Malaysian Insurance Institute (AMII)
- Fellowship of the Malaysian Insurance Institute (FMII)
- Chartered Life Underwriter/Chartered Financial Consultant (CLU/ChFC)
- MII-CLIM Certificate
- MII-LUTC Certificate
- MII-LUTC Diploma
- MII-LUTC Fellowship
- Basic Agency Management Course Certificate
- Agency Management Training Council Certificate
- Certificate in Pre-Contract Examination For Insurance Agents
- Investment Link Examination
- Diploma Personal Financial Planning
- Certificate in Loss Adjusting
- Certificate in Broking
External Examination Facilitated By MII
- Associate in Risk Management (ARM)
- Life Office Management Association (LOMA, US)
- The American Institute of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters
(CPCU)/Insurance Institute of America (IIA)
- The Associateship of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM, UK)
- The Australian Insurance Institute (AII)
- The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS, UK)
- The Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA, UK)
- The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII, UK) - Financial Planning
& Advocate Financial Planning Certificates Examinations
- The Insurance Institute of New Zealand (IINZ)
- The Society of Actuaries (SOA, US)
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