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About the Insurance Sector

About the Insurance Sector

Please give an overview of your sector?

Insurance is about delivering peace of mind. Insurance companies offer financial protection and security to individuals and businesses, allowing them to take the risks necessary to grow and expand.

Insurance employs over 28,000 people in Ireland ...

There are a wide range of insurance products available that offer protection for personal insurance such as motor, life, home, private medical, pets and electronic gadgets. There is also a range of commercial insurance policies offering tailored protection for businesses of all sizes.

Other insurance policies provide benefits such as income protection, investments, savings and pension products. Insurers also offer event insurance protecting against unforeseen circumstances for one-off personal events such as weddings and large scale events like music concerts or even the Olympics.

There are also a range of specialist products offering protection to celebrities and professional athletes:

  • Sports teams insure their star players against picking up injuries that could impact on both the player’s career and the club’s commercial success.
  • Singers, dancers and actors insure their most famous assets, whether that’s their voice, their legs, their smile, or even their looks!
  • Musicians use insurance to protect both their musical equipment and their hands, as loss or injury could mean loss of income.

Insurance companies in Ireland have just under €200 billion of policyholder assets. Of this, around €46 billion is invested in Ireland.

The Irish insurance sector contributes over 4% of total net tax receipts, with insurance companies paying a range of taxes and levies, including corporation tax, taxes on income of employees, VAT and insurance and pension levies. The total tax contribution to the Irish exchequer by the insurance sector is estimated at €1.6bn.

What is the size and scope of the sector?

The insurance sector is a major source of employment in Ireland, employing approximately 28,000 people in total. Of these, 14,000 are employed directly by insurance companies, with the remaining 13,000 employed by companies providing services to the industry such as intermediaries, financial advisers and consultants.

The sector supplies the Irish market with a wide variety of insurance products including motor, life, property, liability, pension and private medical cover. Most of the insurance companies operating in Ireland are owned by multi-nationals.

Within each insurance organisation, career disciplines range from traditional careers in underwriting, claims, actuarial and finance, to opportunities in marketing, sales, customer service, legal, compliance and public relations.

All of which provide various opportunities to develop a broad range of skillsets as a person’s career progresses within the insurance sector. Ireland also has a strong track record in attracting international firms to establish centres of excellence in this country, which then provide insurance services to other territories.

Examples of such ‘centre of excellence’ activities include:

  • Risk analytics
  • Actuarial modelling
  • IT management and cyber security
  • Insurance software development
  • Products with investment guarantees (Variable Annuities)

What are the current issues affecting this sector?

While the financial crisis in Ireland had a severe impact on the profitability of the domestic insurance market, increasing economic stability has resulted in a change in the industry. More and more companies are increasing their recruitment efforts as they return to profit.

Now is an exciting time to join the insurance industry, with developments in technology allowing for more interesting and dynamic roles across the board, from claims and pensions through to risk management and fraud prevention.

What changes are anticipated over the next 5 years

Ireland’s insurance sector has clear advantages relative to competing jurisdictions, including the quality of our people, the business friendly environment, a low and stable onshore tax regime, the robust regulatory environment and an improved competitive cost base.

Insurance Ireland has a clear and realistic ambition to add 3,000 high quality new jobs in the insurance sector over the next five years.

Be the first to hear about the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship 2017 - click here to register your interest.


Do you have any statistics relevant to the sector?

The insurance sector employs approximately 28,000 people in Ireland. Of these, 14,000 are employed directly by insurance companies, with the remainder employed by companies providing services to the industry such as intermediaries, financial advisers and consultants.

The sector has broadly equal representation from both genders across its workforce. The majority of employees in this sector are Dublin based, where the large insurers and global brokers typically have their head offices.

In addition to this, there are a number of regional customer service centres based in areas such as Cork, Galway, Wexford, Kilkenny, Limerick and Cavan. There is also a broker presence in most towns and cities across the country where expert advice is given on a face-to-face basis to the local community.

Employees working in the insurance sector tend to be office-based professionals working full-time serving both the domestic and international insurance sector. There are a number of roles that require an element of travel.

For the domestic insurance market, these roles are typically in the broker business development area or in loss adjusting. International insurers often require their staff across various disciplines to travel on a regular basis to markets outside of Ireland which they serve.

As such, having a foreign language is a major asset for those working in insurance companies based in Ireland serving foreign markets.

Are there any areas in your sector currently experiencing skills shortages?

In general, insurance companies operating in Ireland are able to access staff without too much difficulty. There are some gaps in finding people with the right skill set in modern technology development and application development, as well as those with actuarial and traditional underwriting experience.

There are also some difficulties finding people with the right experience in the Quantitative/Business Analyst space. Having a foreign language is an advantage for the international insurance sector, with companies based in Ireland serving both the European markets and beyond.

These are clear opportunities for people seeking rewarding, high-skilled careers in one of Ireland’s strongest performing financial services sectors.

Be the first to hear about the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship 2017 - click here to register your interest.