An insurance broker is the ‘middleman’ in insurance-based transactions between insurance companies and individual or commercial customers.
Unlike captive agents, who are associated with specific providers or with specific insurance products, insurance brokers sell and manage insurance products across companies and risk types. However, a distinction may be drawn between personal versus commercial insurance products and clients.
Insurance brokers can be salaried or self-employed. In the case of the former, working for an established regional, national or multinational company is more advantageous in terms of income, benefits and career growth.
Setting-up your own brokerage consultancy is preferable when dealing with individual customers and small businesses – segments not tapped by large insurance intermediaries.
Typical work activities of an insurance broker include:
– Soliciting and signing-up new customers
– Business development and promotional activities
– Meeting customers to get an in-depth understanding of their insurance needs
– Liaising and building relationships with key personnel in insurance companies
– A fair bit of admin in preparing and maintaining documentation.
You can find current vacancies on our Jobs page in the Banking, Finance and Accountancy sector.
Salary & benefits
Salaried entry-level insurance brokers can earn between £16,000 and £30,000, increasing to £45,000 and upwards with experience and completion of professional credentials.
Remuneration packages also include attractive and comprehensive benefits, such as health, retirement, leisure and lifestyle.
Some salaried brokers may be paid a fixed, monthly salary and percentage-based commissions, structured as differential levels of achievements against fixed targets.
Self-employed brokers earn through commissions from insurance companies and/or consulting fees charged to customers.
Earnings for brokers handling commercial insurance products are higher compared to those handling personal insurance products.
Salaried brokers work regular nine-to-five schedules over a five-day week, especially in the commercial insurance market, while those in the private client sector may need to work during holidays and weekends, when most prospective customers are available.
Both salaried and self-employed brokers need to travel frequently, visiting customers at their convenience, while office-based brokers are engaged in soliciting new business over the telephone, or handling walk-in and a growing percentage of customers looking for insurance services via the internet.
Large insurance companies with in-house brokerage teams offer annual graduate-level entry programmes of 12 to 36 months’ duration, depending upon the size and business operations of the company.
You can get on to these grad programmes with a degree in any discipline, so long as you have excellent communication skills, logic and analytical thinking. All insurance brokers also need to complete professional credential requirements mandated by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates the insurance industry.
Professional qualifications are grouped into several levels, with specific training and experience requirements at each level.
Credentials offered by the CII are:
– Certificate in Insurance
– Diploma in Insurance (after two years of work experience)
– Advanced Diploma in Insurance (after two to five years of work experience)
– Chartered Insurance Broker (CIB) status (after five years of work experience).
Training & progression
Companies with graduate schemes provide structured training and development programmes through in-house resources or external training partners. Career progression depends upon a combination of performance and qualifications.
In terms of climbing the organisational ladder, one can choose to specialise in a particular product, market or function – retail or commercial, life, household or product liability, risk management, claims investigations or as professional assessors and valuation experts.