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Career in Insurance

Published On: 03 Feb 2010 | Last Updated On: 04 Jul 2012

A career as an Actuary offers challenges and rewards and gives high professional status with substantial job satisfaction.Actuarial science or Insurance is a subject that applies mathematical principles to assess risks of insurance and premium. An actuary is a professional who, using probability theory and mathematical, statistical and financial techniques, analyzes the financial consequences of risk to enable businesses to make better-informed decisions. They assess the financial impact of uncertain future events by methodically analyzing the past, modelling the future and quantifying the likely range of financial outcomes from different future events.

Eligibility: -

A degree in math, statistics, economics, business or finance is all good starting points for a career in actuarial science. You could even do your B.A. in actuarial science or a postgraduate certificate /diploma in insurance. To become an actuary you need to take the entrance exam conducted by the Actuarial Society of India. These are held twice a year and consists of one paper each in English and mathematics. Engineers in any discipline and those who have completed CA / CS / CWA / MBA (Finance) / MCA are also eligible to get admission into a course in Actuarial Science.

Fully qualified members of the professional bodies like ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India); ICWAI (Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India); IFAI (Institute of Financial Analysis of India); and the Insurance Institute of India passing with the subject of Mathematical Basis of Insurance and Statistics are also eligible for studying Actuarial Science.

Skills and Aptitude: -

The skills of an actuary will be used in areas such as insurance, pensions and investments. Other applications include census studies, forecasting, banking and finance. You will analyze statistical data, such as mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates and construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits.

Using these statistics you will ascertain premium rates and cash reserves necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.As an actuary, you will apply mathematical models to problems of insurance and finance, thus improving upon the financial decision making process.

You need to have: -

  • Good mathematical and analytical skills
  • Ability to think clearly and logically
  • Keen, analytical, project management and problem solving skills
  • Good business sense
  • Knowledge of finance, accounting, economics 
  • Good communication skills
  • Strong computer skills including statistical analysis, database manipulation, etc.

To achieve success in this career you ought to be good at mathematics. This is a number game and you should be able to master it. You must possess sound analytical and logical skills.

Career Prospects: -

You will be spending long hours at your table pouring over sheets and sheets of data. Patience and perseverance is therefore essential. The opening up of the insurance sector in India has brought about a host of job opportunities for professionals of Actuarial Science. Previously, Actuaries and Actuarial Science students were primarily employed by the LIC (Life Insurance Corporation) of India. Now, insurance companies with foreign tie-ups are being set up by corporate groups, which has created a huge demand for Actuaries.

Actuarial Science is a promising field and just after clearing 3 to 4 papers, students are absorbed as trainees in the insurance and other Actuarial Science application companies. According to IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority), every life insurance company should have a full-time appointed Actuary. The LIC may require 200 more Actuaries in the future while private life insurance companies would require around 220 Actuaries. In the long run, at least six Actuaries will be required by every player in the private sector.

Remuneration: -

Actuaries can draw a huge salary which may start from Rs 14,000-16,000 and can go above depending on the organization. Along the basic pay given above, allowances amount is about more than 200 percent of the basic pay. In private sector, starting salaries of management graduates are in the range of Rs15,000 to Rs 25,000 per month.

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