Wednesday, October 4, 2006


Ensure a career in insurance
R.R. Grover

Photo by Pradeep TewariIn the earlier days, the word ‘insurance’ was primarily linked to the concept of life insurance (involving the proposition of death). It evoked in the mind an image of a not-so-welcome agent.

Though the awareness level has undergone a sea change since then, a career in insurance still associated with the job of an insurance agent. This is far from the truth, notwithstanding the fact that an agent is still the most important link in the insurance chain.

Today, insurance is perceived as an important tool for financial planning and risk management, irrespective of the type of risk. In the present competitive environment, the companies are vying with one another in providing innovative products and excellent customer service with the help of the latest technology. Private insurance companies have now consolidated their position and are in an expansion mode and need trained manpower to take up positions at different levels.

Worth the risk

At the entry level, these companies have been taking MBA students as Management Trainees and diploma students as Executive Trainees. Their services are utilised in marketing, underwriting, claims and customer care functional areas.

Insurance is one of the sunrise sectors which, since its opening up, has seen an explosive growth in job opportunities and this sort of growth is likely to continue. It is, in fact ,an industry that attracts students from all disciplines, such as arts, science, engineering, commerce, computer science and even medicine.

Engineers are required for project evaluation, risk identification, risk minimisation and risk assessment, while the services of doctors are utilised for underwriting of life and health proposals as well as claims. Similarly, insurance professionals with a computer background are picked up by software companies engaged in the development of insurance-related software for global use.

Training talk

Some of the institutions offering training in this field are:

  • LIC Training Center, Janpath, Delhi

  • Amity School of Insurance and Actuarial Sciences, Noida

  • Narsee Munje Institute of Management, Mumbai

  • Rai University, New Delhi

  • Birla Institute of Management and Technology, New Delhi

  • Asia Pacific Institute of Management, Delhi

  • Kurukshetra University, Haryana

(The list of courses is not exhaustive)

Eligibility

There are a number of opportunities in the insurance industry. A person can opt to become an insurance consultant, development officer (DO), assistant administrative officer (AAO) or surveyor. The minimum qualification to get selected for these jobs is graduation with some experience in marketing. Students can become insurance agents after plus two also.

Future scenario

There are already 30 insurance companies in the country, including the public sector LIC and four general insurance companies. There are several others looking for the right opportunity to enter the Indian market. Some of these are Bharti with Axa of France, Allahabad Bank with Sumpo of Japan and the like.

Besides, the pension and health sectors are likely to ride this wave of opening up of the insurance sector. The re-insurance market in the country is likely to mature sooner than later. The sector has yet to make its impact felt through a thrust on micro insurance, which in itself has tremendous growth potential. The sector, together with the insurance broking companies, provides a huge job market with a lot of potential for growth.

Yet, the students have shied away from this goldmine notwithstanding the fact that those who joined the industry earlier are well placed today, financially as well as professionally.

It is thus high time that students looking for admission to professional courses shed their inhibitions and look at insurance as a career option.