The insurance sector is the fastest growing among all the financial services sectors in the country and with the insurance penetration of 3.69 per cent for the FY2018, it has a lot of growth for potential in the years to come (Insurance Penetration is defined as the share of insurance premium in the Gross Domestic Product of the country). With growth, more manpower will also be required in this sector. It is high time that this industry is considered as a potential employer by the youths of the country. The main issue with this industry is that most of the people are not aware of this sector and everybody is only aware of one Insurance company in India – The Life Insurance Corporation of India whereas there are other life insurance companies, general insurance companies, reinsurance companies and also health insurance firms operating in India apart from LIC. All of them are growing and need human resource in the years to come in various cadres.
Insurance Sector in India: An Overview
Insurance sector in India can be classified into various components as per their areas of expertise and functioning:
- Life Insurance Companies
- General Insurance Companies
- Standalone Health Insurance Companies
- Reinsurance Firms
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Life Insurance Firms: These organizations are mainly involved in insuring lives of human beings in India. Even health insurance policies and personal accident insurance policies are not issued by Life Insurance companies in India. At present, there are 24 life insurers in India among which only LIC is the public sector company whereas others are private ones.
General Insurance Companies: General Insurance companies issued policies related to motor, health, travel, professional indemnity, personal accident, fire and engineering etc. There are 30 general insurance companies in India of which five are standalone health insurance companies. Six companies are in the public sector whereas the rest are the private sector ones. This sector is going to see phenomenal growth in the years to come.
Standalone Health Insurance Companies: There are five standalone health insurance companies in the country that only issue health insurance policies. They do not undertake any other line of business and they are registered accordingly with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.
Reinsurance Firms: There is one national reinsurer in the country – General Insurance Corporation of India. However, the government has now allowed foreign reinsurers to function in India.
Apart from the insurance companies, there are many organizations active in the field of insurance in India.
- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India: It is the regulator of the insurance sector in India. It is tasked with framing policy guidelines and also giving licenses to new companies starting business in the country.
- Insurance Institute of India: It is engaged in imparting training and education to the insurance professionals as well as the students in various insurance disciplines. It is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It awards Diploma degrees in insurance.
- National Insurance Academy: It is an organization engaged in providing quality education and training in the insurance sector. It is based in Pune, Maharashtra. It has many Post-Graduate diploma courses in insurance management.
What Jobs are there in Insurance Sector in India?
Well, now that we are aware of the insurance sector in India, let us look into the various career opportunities in this sector:
- Agents or Insurance Advisors: They are the first line of contact in selling the insurance policies. They are generally paid on commission basis for the business they generate. All the insurance companies have insurance agents in their rolls and also depend on them to sell policies. You need to pass exam from Insurance Institute of India to become an agent.
- Insurance Brokers firm: If you are interested in insurance sector, you can join a brokers’ firm as a consultant or insurance advisor. These brokers are generally interested in undertaking corporate business. You need a certificate from the Insurance Institute of India to function as an insurance advisor.
- Insurance Surveyors and Loss Assessors: They are responsible for carrying out insurance surveys for assessment of loss after any accident such as fire or motor own damage claim etc. However, one needs to have technical degree and certification from III to start as insurance surveyors in India.
- Third Party Administrators: They are mainly associated to the health insurance claims in the country. They are responsible for settling such claims on behalf of the insurance company. You can get employed with such a firm as well for operations and management of such claims.
- Assistants in Public Sector Insurance Companies: Public Sector companies are hiring assistants on regular basis in order to manage the underwriting and claim processing duties of the company. With decent pay scales and perks, this job is a good one with good work-life balance. There are regular open competitive exams to recruit assistants in these companies.
- Administrative Officer / Assistant Administrative Officer: It is the entry level of administrative cadre in any public sector insurance company. You are in charge of administration of underwriting and agents as well as claims management for the company. With many retirements coming up in the sector, the chances of growth are very bright in the companies in the year to come. You need to become a graduate and then clear the competitive examination to join as an AO or AAO in the insurance companies.
- Insurance Executives: Well, that are they called in the private companies but they are mainly interested in getting things done with minimal cost so that the operational costs are not that much and they can make profits. They are responsible for underwriting and claims management though a lot of underwriting takes place online only for private companies with tailor-made software.
- Policy Web Aggregators: There are many marketing organizations selling insurance policies and web aggregators are responsible for this. You can land up a job with them in roles such as technical, administrative, customer support etc.
- Development Officers: They are the main business development force in any insurance company. They are monitoring the agents working under them. Most of the public sector companies hire development officers to grow the business and manage the agents to function effectively.
- Actuaries: It is a specialized profession for insurance firms as actuaries are responsible for determining the financial aspects of any insurance product. However, you should have proper qualification from the Institute of Actuaries in India and start practicing in the country.
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Insurance companies in India are looking forward to hiring right talent from the market since it is required to have the right person at the right place to implement the expansion plans. The sector opened for private companies in 2000 but the job opportunities in this sector are opening up recently with a boom and lot of potential to accommodate a lot of people to take care of the unprecedented growth this sector has seen in the last few years. If you are interested, just choose the role you want to get into and prepare accordingly from now onwards. It is going to be great and rewarding being an insurance professional in a growing economy like India.