It is said that each person will have at least three different careers in their life. So far I’ve been in hospitality, retail, social media and now, insurance. I’ve always enjoyed learning about the inner workings of different industries. What truly goes on in the kitchen of a fast food joint, what is in the mythical back room of your favourite clothing store and what kind of data do social networks mine from their users. The answers to these questions give further insight into the timeline of different chains of production – the length of cooking and preparing a meal or how long it takes for stock to be turned over, what seem so long when you are waiting, are usually done as fast as possible.
So when I got the chance to work in, what I see as one of the more closed off sectors of the economy, insurance, I jumped at it. Insurance permeates every part of the economy, nearly every adult and every business has, or will get insurance, or come into contact with insurers. As an international relations major, I knew insurance affects every economy globally, with the financial sector going beyond political borders, nations and ideologies – insurance is everywhere.
So what is insurance exactly?
Essentially, insurance is a guarantee you buy in case something were to go wrong in your life. Whether that is an accident, injury or loss to your car, business, employee, nearly anyone or anything, there is probably insurance out there covering it. So basically, you transfer the risk of incidents happening by buying a policy that says they’ll cover the financial costs if an incident did occur. By law, you need to have insurance for your car, your business and even your home in some cases. This means that once you’ve been officially employed, you’ve been covered by insurance.
So with something this ubiquitous, how has it remained so obscure in relation to its machinations? It seems like the industry purposefully makes it difficult to understand with its policy wording and contractual jargon. It seems that so many people have negative experiences when going through insurance claims. I wanted to understand the process that occurs during a claim, why can they take so long. During my renewals, when gathering quotes for clients, I have checked different claims and their trajectory, something that I am keen to get more experience in during my next rotation.
During my first few days, I learned the process of renewing a policy which showed me the significance of attention to detail. I felt like I had to ensure every document and invoice was perfect before finalisation. As insurance brokers, we work well ahead of renewal dates so that if the client wants to change a policy, we can easily amend it. We are trusted to be giving the right amount of cover so that our client doesn’t need to be stressing like I was.
Insurance brokers exist to be a voice of relief and support to people when a claim occurs as well. Building a relationship requires being able to explain complex insurance policies and terms in language easily understood. We become experts in different areas and are continuously developing our knowledge because so much changes so quickly.
Insurance during COVID-19
Learning in the current climate of COVID19 has really revealed to me how swiftly the sector has to respond to new economic, political and health crises and changes. Being able to be on the forefront of such unusual times is giving me valuable experience in the way that different companies handle unprecedented crises.
During the interview process I was told about the vast landscape that insurance covers, meaning that the possibilities were endless for what you could get involved with. So far this has proven true and it has been a fascinating experience. Each sector seems to be an infinite well of information to explore and this is something I look forward to doing in the extraordinary times.