Insurance careers: striking the right balance between barriers and rewards

Insurance careers: striking the right balance between barriers and rewards | Insurance Business

Insurance careers: striking the right balance between barriers and rewards

New starters in the world of insurance now have a higher barrier to entry than they used to, and that has been widely accepted as a positive move - however, in an industry that struggles to attract new entrants, one leader says there needs to be a good balance between barriers to entry and rewards.

AIA’s chief partnership insurance officer Sam Tremethick says getting people to join insurance in New Zealand is a “challenge,” and the way to do it is to let them know that they can make a living out of the industry. He says that in places like Australia, where the barriers have risen and the rewards have been quickly disintegrating, the challenge has become even bigger - and it’s up to financial services bodies to ensure that the right balance is struck.

“Once people feel that they can make a genuine living out of insurance and the education standards increase, the part timers will become full timers and professionals,” Tremethick said.

“One-man bands will become larger, corporatised offices, etc. - it’s a natural progression, and it’s happening in each market around the world. Locally in New Zealand, I think there’s a real challenge in encouraging people to join the industry.”

“It’s about striking that balance between a high barrier of entry,” he explained.

“That is, you need to have a base of knowledge, but then it also needs to continue to be rewarding. In the Australian market, you now have a very high barrier to entry, but the rewards side is diminishing in knots, especially for new starters.”

Tremethick says that groups of advisers within New Zealand should help promote a balanced approach to regulating insurance, and this will help make it an attractive career option for graduates, and for those looking for a different path.

“I think as an industry, we need to continue to promote a balanced approach from a regulatory perspective to ensure that people can ultimately still make a living,” he said.

“I think getting that balance is up to us, and it’s up to FSC and the various bodies to really shape that dialogue.”