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Insurance is a process whereby people pay into a shared fund that covers their losses in event of injury, damage or loss. The sector covers areas like life and pensions, property, accident and motor insurance as well as reinsurance.

Reinsurance takes place when a risk is too great for one company to cover. Therefore, it takes out a policy on the risk with another insurer to reduce financial exposure. Ireland has a very strong reinsurance sector.


The University of Limerick offers International Insurance and European Studies. Students learn a European language as well as insurance and risk management. UCD offers Actuarial and Financial Studies and DCU has a Financial Actuarial Mathematics course. In addition, a number of colleges offer Level 5 courses.

The Work

There are many different positions in the sector. Insurance agents sell packages and often have a background in sales. They visit clients at homes or work, and may also work over the phone. The agent also collects premiums, and deals with enquiries regarding packages.

Brokers find the best possible insurance policies for a client’s needs, and usually deals with the underwriter. The underwriter decides the extent of a risk and how much of a premium the client needs to pay to make the risk financially acceptable.

The surveyor provides technical reports on the various risks the company are asked to cover. Therefore they help underwriters. Claims assessors investigate claims made by a policyholder.

Loss adjusters investigate the damage or loss on behalf of the customer, and act as an intermediary between the company and policyholder in complex claims.

Actuaries use complex mathematics to calculate long-term statistical probabilities in insurance, investments and pensions.

Anyone working in this sector needs an affinity for figures, an eye for detail and good organisational skills.

Did you know?

In March 2009, Lloyd’s insured the tongue of Gennaro Pelliccia, a master taster for Costa Coffee in the UK.

Further Resources

Professional Insurance Brokers Association is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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