How to become an Insurance Broker. Read through our comprehensive job guide to learn more about this career.
What does an insurance broker do?
As an insurance broker or agent, you would act as the link between insurance companies and customers. You would use your knowledge of the insurance market to find the most suitable policies for individual or business clients.
Your typical tasks would include:
- gathering information from clients to assess their insurance needs
- researching policies from a number of insurance companies
- arranging insurance cover for clients
- negotiating with insurers for policies at the best terms
- renewing or changing existing policies
- collecting insurance premiums and processing accounts
- advising people making a claim on their insurance policy
- inputting data to a computer system, sending letters and keeping detailed records
- preparing reports for insurance underwriters and surveyors, in complex cases.
You might advise on all types of insurance, or you could specialise in one main area, such as motor insurance. You would offer products from more than one insurance provider, so your advice must be impartial.
In a full-time job you would typically work standard office hours Monday to Friday, although some high street brokers may open on Saturdays. Part-time work is possible.
You would be mainly office-based, although in some jobs you may visit client companies. If you work for a company with overseas business, you may occasionally travel abroad.
How much does an Insurance Broker earn?
Salary and pay information:
- Starting salaries can be between £21,000 and £28,000 a year.
- Experienced brokers usually earn between £25,000 and £45,000.
- Salaries at senior level can be £60,000 to £105,000 a year.
Earnings may include commission and bonuses. A salary package may also include a company car, insurance and pension benefits.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
You would often start as an insurance technician, junior account handler or trainee broker, and work your way up to broker as you gain experience and insurance industry qualifications.
Entry requirements can vary between employers in the insurance industry. Companies often prefer you to have minimum qualifications of GCSEs (A-C) in English and maths. You may need a minimum of A levels or equivalent qualifications to get onto a management training scheme.
If you have a degree, you could join a large insurance broking firm’s graduate training scheme. Most degree subjects are accepted, but you may have an advantage with a good degree (class 2:2 or above) in a business or maths-related subject.
Whatever your qualifications, you will find it useful to have experience in office work, sales or financial customer service.
You may be able to get into the insurance industry through an Apprenticeship scheme. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. For more information, visit the Apprenticeships website.
Training and Development
Your training would be a mixture of on-the-job learning and study for insurance industry qualifications, possibly through a company’s structured training scheme.
Many insurance brokers study for qualifications from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). The CII provides a clear career structure from trainee to professional level, with qualifications as follows:
- CII Certificate in Insurance – for trainee brokers
- CII Diploma in Insurance
- CII Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII).
If you deal with complex and specialist risks in the London Insurance Market (sometimes known as being a ‘Lloyd’s broker’), you should pass the CII’s Lloyd’s and London Market Introductory Test (LLMIT).
You can achieve Chartered Insurance Broker status when you hold ACII and have at least five years’ experience in the industry. See the CII’s website for more details on their qualifications and membership.
Some employers offer other entry-level insurance qualifications as part of their in-house training, such as the ifs School of Finance Certificate of Regulated General Insurance (CeRGI).
If you advised clients on life assurance, health insurance or pensions, you must by law hold ACII or you would need to take an extra qualification in financial advice (these are known as ‘appropriate exams’, qualifications which meet industry regulatory standards to prove you are competent in giving financial advice). Contact the Financial Service Skills Council for more information.
You should keep up to date with new products and financial regulations throughout your career. The CII and the British Insurance Brokers’ Association both run a range of short courses at training centres throughout the UK.
Skills and Knowledge
- good spoken and written communication skills
- confident negotiating skills
- honesty and integrity
- an organised approach
- accuracy and attention to detail
- report writing skills
- the ability to gather and analyse information
- good business sense
- computer and mathematical skills.
You could work for firms ranging in size from small local brokers to large multinational companies. Jobs may be advertised in the local, national and insurance industry press, and by financial services recruitment agencies.
With experience, you could move into account handling, claims broking or new business, or choose to specialise in one area of insurance. You could also progress into management, or into other types of insurance work such as loss adjusting, underwriting or compliance.