Job as an insurance risk manager

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Robert Jones is a project manager for a risk and insurance services firm in Glasgow. He looks at a company's activities and assesses the effects that any future events may have on its finances.

What is your main role an insurance risk manager?

Insurance is very expensive, so companies often need specialist advice on how to spend their money wisely. My responsibility is to assess the risks and advise companies on taking out insurance against events happening. Undesirable events might be a crash of the computer system, a fire or flood, or a serious accident in a factory. Insurance policies might be reduced if a company takes steps to avoid future mishaps.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities as an insurance risk manager?

I have to look at each business with a fresh pair of eyes. Rather than being a specialist, I coordinate all the resources and help plan the strategy. I bring in the right experts and hold the client's hand through the process. Once a plan is agreed and a strategy is in place, I sort out the timelines, checking a project is running on time and to budget, and produce reports to summarise progress and results.

What hours do you work?

My basic hours are 9am to 5pm, but I tend to start at 8am to get a head start. Travelling to clients' offices can absorb a lot of hours, but we often use the train, so I catch up on paperwork and make calls on the way.

What type of risks do you assess during a company check?

At the simplest level, it may be a hazard that causes injury to employees or customers, for instance a fire, contamination or pollution. An organisation that undertakes hazardous activities on a daily basis may become accustomed to the risks, whereas external visitors to the site may be exposed to danger.We look at ways of ensuring that all individuals on site are suitably protected.

How does this help clients make money?

Failure to meet legislative requirements could result in a company being prosecuted. Avoiding risk helps maintain profits which might otherwise be wasted – for example, paying out for damage or injury. Consequently, companies need to protect themselves with insurance to pay out any claims that might arise.

Who do you work with?

There are ten people in our regional team sharing the load, and there's a whole array of people we involve in each project. Being a global company, we can access resources from anywhere in the world. I regularly work alongside sales people, risk consultants, investment teams, employee benefits experts and global insurance specialists.

What skills are important for a job as an insurance risk manager?

More than anything, a project manager needs good interpersonal skills. You need to show people within the team respect and appreciation, as well as making sure deadlines are met.

What do you like most about your job as an insurance risk manager?

I like the variety, the travelling and working on a different project almost every day. I get a lot of satisfaction from knowing I've done a good job and that it's been of value to a client.

Robert's route to his job as an insurance risk manager

  • Degree in Risk Management.
  • Entered company graduate scheme.
  • Joined regional project management team in Glasgow.

Robert's insurance risk manager tips

  • Studying for a degree gives you an added step up to higher pay scales and greater responsibility.
  • In the financial sector, the emphasis is on service. It's a people business – it's not just about numbers.

Insurance risk manager related jobs

  • Ergonomist
  • Health and safety adviser
  • Health and safety inspector
  • Insurance loss adjuster
  • Insurance surveyor
  • Insurance underwriter

Salary of an insurance risk manager

  • The salary for risk managers depends on qualifications, knowledge, experience and job requirements.
  • New entrants usually earn between £15,000 and £18,000, with graduates earning between £22,500 and £24,000.
  • This can rise to £70,000 with experience.
  • Many companies offer a company car, an expense account, private medical insurance, a pension and other benefits.

Getting a job as an insurance risk manager

  • A background in insurance, such as account or claims handling or underwriting is useful before moving into risk management. Alternatively, engineering experience within a sector such as manufacturing or leisure is helpful.
  • The NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) General Certificate provides a good foundation and awareness of health and safety subject areas. The course lasts for two weeks and is followed by an examination.
  • Many universities provide courses in occupational health and safety and risk management. Employers may offer sponsorship for further study.
  • Training organisations around the UK provide specific accredited training in a variety of subject areas, including the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and the Institute of Risk Management.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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