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What Actuaries have to do in Insurance Sector?

Updated on March 19, 2013

Insurance and risk management is one of the fastest growing service industries in the UK. The insurance company offers protection on personal and commercial products. The insurance coverage includes health, life, property, auto, casualties, reinsurance and mortgages. These products protect individuals and businesses from losses that may happen because of accidents, medical needs, theft, natural disasters, legal actions and various other dangers.

Since insurance is a vast area, it is not possible for an individual to manage all kinds of risks. An individual needs to focus on a particular sector. The most common job titles within this field are that of -

  • Actuaries
  • Claim adjuster
  • Corporate insurance manager
  • Insurance sales agent
  • Financial analyst
  • Risk manager
  • Investigators
  • Appraiser

Actuaries seem to play one of the most crucial roles in the insurance sector. Have you ever thought how insurance companies determine the prices of their myriad policies and manage frequent rate changes? The pricing of these policies are not arbitrary. It is definitely decided after careful analysis, which involves hard work. This tough job is done by actuaries.

Actuaries analyse complex risks and assess the probable financial outcome of those risks. The actuaries perform crucial responsibilities and their decision may affect many people. Most of the actuaries work in insurance companies. In the insurance sector, actuaries are responsible to determine the premium rates and at the same time see to it that there are sufficient funds to meet the insurance claims. The actuaries also have the legislative and advisory responsibilities. They mange other staffs and report the financial forecasts to top management.

Actuaries working with the insurance companies specialise in any of the following areas

  • Health
  • Life
  • Casualty
  • Properties

The integral role of actuaries in any company stems from their ability to assess risks. They carry out research that helps them determine possible risks and how such risks may affect the company. For instance, an actuary specialising in properties or casualties may find out the number of potential claims the company may face because of a car accident. Weighing different factors they have to design a premium cover that is competitive in relation to offering of other insurance companies.

The actuaries play significant role in a company and it is a rewarding career. However, the path to become an actuary is not that simple. An insurance actuary has to gain a bachelor’s degree in any of the subjects

  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Actuarial science
  • Finance
  • Business
  • Economics

Employers prefer candidates with good academic achievement and internship experience. Students have to pass a range of exams before they granted membership of the Institute of Actuaries or Faculty of Actuaries. In order to become a fellow, three years of on the job training and specialized studies and exams are essential.

Skills that are required

The qualification is of lengthy nature, an insurance actuary has to appear in several examinations in order to progress in career. Therefore, employers search for candidates who have an intent interest in this field. Those who are confident and self-motivated may achieve their desired career goals. The skills that are valued for those positions are

  • Analytical mind
  • Problem solving capacity
  • In-depth knowledge of economics and legislation related to financial services
  • Self-assessment ability
  • Attention to details
  • Computer proficiency
  • Technical aptitude
  • Excellent communication skills

Salary and Career Progression

These insurance risk management jobs offer a highly rewarding career. Actuaries who are yet to complete their degrees usually earn around £31,000 per annum. While the salary of qualified professionals’ ranges from £43,000 to £185,000 per year depending on experience and locations. Most positions are available throughout the UK and there are international opportunities as well. If interested, actuaries can start their own businesses also. However, before that they need to acquire sufficient experience.


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