Young Insurance Professionals (YIPs) recently opened a new group in Wellington aiming to ‘attract and retain young and talented professionals in the insurance industry,’ and to provide a platform to develop business relationships.
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.
Crombie Lockwood insurance broker and YIPs member Steven Bridges talked to Insurance Business about the benefits of the group, and the rewards of being a young person in the insurance industry.
“The whole idea is to form a group of young professionals within insurance – lawyers, insurers, brokers, etc. - create some opportunities for networking and allow them to make some connections within their specific region,” Bridges explains. “We now have three groups; one in Auckland, one in Wellington and one in Christchurch. It’s really a mix of networking and education – we have regular speakers, from heads of groups such as Aon, who come to talk about progression within the insurance industry, what you can expect from the profession and how you might go about getting ahead.”
Graduates don’t often come out of university with the intent of pursuing a career in insurance, says Bridges, but the rewards of working within the industry are numerous.
“Insurance broking is seen as a very professional service,” he says. “We network among the likes of lawyers, accountants and bankers, and we consider ourselves to be on that same level. In that sense, it’s also great for personal development and gaining an all-round understanding of what insurance is.”
According to 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. Networking among a broad mix of industry professionals will help equip a broker with the knowledge required to navigate the insurance landscape and have a good, all-round view of the industry.
Relationship building is also an essential skill, he says, and is a large part of what makes an insurance broker successful.
“Sales and marketing is a big part of what we do, so relationships are very important,” Bridges continued. “Getting into insurance at a young age 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.”
Young Insurance Professionals has branches across New Zealand and Australia, and is currently in the process of building similar organisations across the UK, Canada and Singapore.