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4 December 2018
Being an insurance broker is all about contributing to your community.
Brokers are both trusted advisors and the conduit between corporations and individuals. Relationship building is an essential skill and a large part of what makes a successful insurance broker.
If you're an excellent communicator, have an interest in financial services and are skilled at building relationships, Crombie Lockwood insurance broker and YIPs (Young Insurance Professionals) member, Steven Bridges, suggests getting into insurance at a young age. The role is very much based upon relationship building with colleagues, clients and insurers from all over the world and the maintenance of those relationships. It’s a very social industry and you’ll meet someone new every week; no day is the same.
Graduates don’t often come out of university with the intent of pursuing a career in insurance, but the rewards of working as a broker are numerous.
Bridges believes starting young “is quite helpful, because you can develop the relationships that you want, in the way that you want. In the end it’s all down to personal preference, and that’s why you see some clients staying with their broker for 40-50 years – because they have a good relationship. It’s really about differentiating yourself as best as you can.”
As an insurance broker, you'll act as an intermediary between your clients, who can either be individuals, businesses or organisations, and insurance companies. Your job is to ensure that your clients get the best deal. You'll develop an in-depth knowledge of risks and the insurance market to find and arrange suitable insurance policies and cover for your clients.
According to Steven Bridges, a lot of clients have very little understanding of their insurance needs, what they should be paying and what kind of covers they need, and this is where the value of networking for young insurance brokers comes to the fore.
Networking among a broad mix of industry professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, bankers and other brokers, will help equip a young broker with the knowledge needed to navigate the insurance landscape and gain a good, all-round view of the industry. It also provides an opportunity to talk about progression within the insurance industry, what you can expect from the profession and how you might go about getting ahead.
Young Insurance Professionals has branches across New Zealand and Australia and is in the process of building similar organisations across the UK, Canada and Singapore. The group creates networking opportunities so young people in the insurance industry can make connections within their specific region. The group’s members include a mix of professionals, such as underwriters, brokers and insurance lawyers, and membership is open to professionals around the 20-30 age bracket.
The get togethers are a mix of networking and education with regular speakers to provide a platform to develop business relationships.