"Since the 17th century insurance agents , have been the foremost experts on risks".
- Charles Duhigo
The development of occupational standards and qualifications is one of the QCTO's main priorities in supporting learning for the workplace.
In accordance with the bill of rights, every citizen has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession freely. The QCTO's role is to ensure that there are occupational qualifications that respond to skills development priorities of the country. FRTC has been fortunate enough to be accredited to offer QCTO's prestigious qualification: Insurance Agent: Insurance Underwriter that requires a 70% pass mark.
FRTC's first role out was in 2019 and the success rate is as follows: Enrolled: 16; Wrote examination: 12; Passed: 6; Rewrite: 6.
FRTC is currently preparing the unsuccessful candidates to rewrite the examination in April with confidence. We wish them well in their academic endeavours.
These results are indicative of the fact that due care and diligence are imperative criteria during the selection process. Hence, it is necessary to have very high academic standard to select the most suitable candidates who will empathise with clients by providing the human touch to understand their insurance needs. This human touch will win the confidence of clients who will be encouraged to discuss their insurance needs without fear . These qualities will ensure that candidates selected are largely influenced by applying specialised technical theory to practice in the meetings with clients.
The contribution of under writers to the economy
The standards of this qualification is aimed at producing the best insurance underwriter candidates for the highly competitive and complex South African insurance industry that contributes approximately USD 42 billion of the total premiums in the global market.
Nadia Starr, CEO at INSETA, explains (INSETA:2019) "We are focused on training insurance underwriters in South Africa and growing the pool and quality of scarce and critical skills. In the past, many in the sector chose not to follow the career path as there were concerns that positions would be automated. But the truth is that while some aspects of underwriting can be digitised, a person with a finely tuned skillset is needed as there are so many variables. Underwriters assess financial risks without being an accountant, predict medical outcomes without being a doctor and defend a decision within the set parameters without being an attorney.
The importance of qualified under writers can be understood in context of the multi-dimensional roles the insurance industry plays in South Africa's socio-economic sector. For example the South African Insurance Annual Review 2019 reported, "SAIA has on behalf of the industry spent over R100 million of member contributions in the past 10 years in consumer education initiatives that have reached television and radio audiences, as well as school-going children through our long-standing partnership with the Department of Education. Coupled with this, is our drive through our member businesses to continually explore ways in which convenient, affordable, fair and trusted financial products can be availed to the emerging and low-income markets".
Insurance under writers have to also be prepared to embrace:
The above discussion provides some insight into the critical need to produce qualified insurance underwriters in South Africa. Remember , insurance is a safety net for unpredictable risks that makes your life go wrong therefore , investing in good insurance is like a mother that protects you and grants you peace of mind.
"Don't' sell life insurance.
Sell what life insurance can do”. Ben Feldman