The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) is calling for insurance professional qualification requirements after its latest report found that there exists a knowledge gap in the profession which must be addressed.
The new report, produced by CII’s New Generation Insurance Broking Group for 2021, is based on an online survey of 84 insurance customers. Of that 84, 45% indicated that the knowledge of staff was the most important factor when choosing an insurance broker. A good 70% of respondents also believe that a professional insurance qualification was the minimum requirement already in place for any insurance broker, and another 41% said that accredited qualifications relevant to insurance are the most important measurement of staff knowledge.
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“Customer-facing broking staff who join the sector generally enter in at the deep end and are required to provide detailed advice to customers, with little to no academic grounding in insurance. This presents many issues from a professional indemnity aspect as well as reducing the quality of service that customers receive,” said CII New Generation Insurance Broking Group for 2021 member and Sense Risk Solutions director Emily Kenna.
“If we truly want to put the customer first, we must make our sector a profession by introducing mandatory qualification requirements and attracting the best talent.”
The lack of qualification requirements is not just hurting consumer bases, the CII found, but also drives new graduates away from pursuing a career in insurance. The industry body took a look at another report by the London Market Group, which found that 58% of respondents to the LMG’s survey consider insurance as a profession that is “just as prestigious” as law or accountancy. Some 49% indicated that mandatory qualification requirements would have made them more likely to join the insurance sector. Notably, 54% said that the perceived time commitments to completing mandatory qualifications were the biggest hurdle to applying for an insurance professional role.
“Nothing beats experience, but qualifications should be the basis for building that experience. Certificate-level qualifications as a minimum for all staff would be my recommendation. It would improve the image and professionalism of the sector hugely, added CII president and Aston Lark CEO Peter Blanc.
“We will end up with better quality of staff if everyone has to attain a basic level of qualification in order to be able to help customers.”