How to Become An Insurance Broker

Insurance is playing an increasingly important role in people’s everyday lives, with cover often required for houses, vehicles, pets, travel and commercial assets. Due to its expanding nature, financial services recruitment places a strong focus on the sector and many insurance companies are constantly on the lookout for new prospects.

Essentially, insurance brokers serve as mediators between insurance companies and customers. They are trained to utilise their expertise to find the best level of insurance coverage, at the best available price, and the role combines elements of administration and sales. So how does someone actually become an insurance broker?

Minimum Qualifications and Requirements

In general, insurance broker jobs are open to a vast number of different people, from all different backgrounds. Nevertheless, there are certain minimum requirements, which must be met in order to begin a career in this field. In particular, employers are looking for evidence of:

  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong numerical abilities
  • A reasonable knowledge of IT packages
  • Excellent customer service standards
  • A working knowledge of the financial sector

For this reason, GCSEs in Maths and English are essential, with a minimum grade C. In many cases, A-Levels will also be extremely advantageous, especially in related fields, such as accounting, business or ICT. Many employers in the sector may also request previous experience in customer service or sales related roles.

University Graduates

Some large insurance broking firms offer graduate training schemes, which are available to those who have an undergraduate degree. Degrees can be in just about any subject, although courses related to accounting and finance, business, mathematics or economics will increase the chances of getting onto a programme.

Generally, a 2:2 at undergraduate level should be sufficient to earn a place on one of these schemes. However, some are extremely competitive and in this event, the firm may desire at least a 2:1, or at least a prediction that a 2:1 can be achieved. In most cases, university graduates will receive on-the-job training as trainee brokers.

Non-Graduates and Apprenticeships

For those who do not possess a university degree, there are various entry routes into a career as an insurance broker, although this will usually require a candidate to start in either an administrative or support position. From there, they will be able to work their way up internally, through on-the-job training, and by earning an industry qualification, such as a Chartered Insurance Institute Certificate in Insurance.

Occasionally, non-graduates who have previous experience in related fields may be able to join a firm as a trainee broker, skipping the entry level position. To be afforded this opportunity, candidates will usually need to have previous work experience in either sales, admin or customer service within the financial sector itself.

Depending on availability and a candidate’s location, there may be an opportunity to get a foot in the door by gaining an Apprenticeship in Providing Financial Services and selecting the insurance pathway. Again, this will usually train a candidate as an insurance broking administrator, with the possibility for progression to full broker status afterwards. With that said, at advanced level, apprenticeships may be offered to trainee brokers outright.

Finally, smaller firms in the sector may be willing to offer unpaid work placements, which can help lesser qualified candidates to gain the relevant skills, knowledge and experience needed for a career as an insurance broker. In such instances, these firms will need to be contacted directly and places will be allocated at their discretion.

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