Ranjan K Baruah
Though many of us consider that the insurance profession is very irritating or disturbing but the fact remains that it is one of the essential services at present even in the time of pandemic. It has engaged millions and there are more options than many others who want to be in this field. We should know that after the advent of financial sector reforms in the 1990s, the insurance industry was opened for private participation and foreign equity in India in early 2000. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is a statutory body formed in April, 2000 under an Act of Parliament by Government of India to protect the interests of the policyholders and to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance industry in India.
When we talk about insurance we should know that there is something called life insurance and the other one is general insurance. General insurance deals with health insurance or others apart from life which is exclusively covered by different life insurance companies in the country. There are many designations associated with this industry and we have published about them in our last editions. In this edition we shall focus more on how one can become agents in the insurance industries.
The sector is poised for an unprecedented growth in the coming years. Given the insurance training infrastructure in the form of Insurance Institute of India (III) offering various online courses, National Insurance Academy, Pune (NIA), Institute of Insurance and Risk Management (IIRM)and Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI) for specialised courses, several universities offering insurance as a subject of study and various training institutes for training insurance intermediaries; there is enough opportunity for the young to get qualified and employed in the insurance sector.
Anyone who has completed senior secondary may join the profession. Aspirants must appear and pass an examination conducted by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). IRDAI being the regulator of the insurance sector in the country also provides career opportunities for experienced insurance professionals. This is an online examination which is held in different cities of the country. One may take training before appearing the exams or they may approach different companies who would help them in the process and guide them how to appear and pass the examination. Questions are objective type and mostly consist of 50 questions and getting 17 or more is the passing score. Exams are held in different languages and aspirants may choose the language according to their comfort.
After passing the exams licenses are being issued to the individuals and they get associated with companies like LIC, Kotak Life, HDFC Life, SBI Life, etc. There are 24 companies in India associated with insurance. Aspirants may join in any of the company according to their choice if they fulfill the eligibility criteria. Like life insurance, a person may also join another general insurance company with the same licence. In simple terms, one may be associated with life insurance or general insurance and it can be seen that many individuals have been successful in this profession.
Some of the skills required to be a successful agent or advisors as they are called includes effective communication skills, empathy, patience, self motivation, self confidence, etc. It can be a good option for all those who are good in networking and also know the selling skills and convincing skills. Basic technological skills are also essential and things are done digitally whenever it is needed. In the present time of crisis this industry has digitised and most of the things are done online which means having technological skills means an added advantage. Being positive is another key to success for people in this industry.
(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor and skill trainer and can be reached at 8473943734 or [email protected]
for any career related queries)