Insurance broker

What they do

Insurance brokers sell life, home, car and other insurance policies to individuals and organisations. Insurance brokers are independent agents and sell policies from a range of providers according to their client's individual requirements. Insurance brokers contact potential clients to arrange interviews so that they can discuss the client's needs and suggest an appropriate insurance policy. When discussing insurance policies with potential clients the insurance broker outlines the risks covered by a policy, the rates the client will have to pay and the how much they can expect to be paid if they make a claim.

Working conditions

Most insurance brokers in Western Australia work in offices in the Perth metropolitan region, though there are work opportunities throughout the State. They typically spend long periods on the phone, attracting new clients and maintaining relationships with existing clients. Some travel to clients’ homes or workplaces may also be required. Some insurance brokers may sell policies to clients in a particular industry and so may have to regularly visit specific types of worksites. For example, selling agricultural insurance may require farm visits.

Tools and technologies

Insurance brokers use standard office equipment, such as computers, telephones, printers and fax machines. They may also use calculators and/or computer programs to compare the costs and pay-outs of different insurance policies and the premiums clients will have to pay. They may also need a driver's licence so that they can travel to clients' homes or workplaces.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an insurance broker you usually need to study a degree in business or commerce, majoring in finance and financial planning.

Insurance brokers who provide personal advice to retail clients about life insurance products, such as life insurance, funeral insurance, or income protection insurance need to adhere to the professional standards for financial advisers introduced by the Australian Government on 1 January 2019*.

The Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance and Financial Planning at Curtin University is currently the only undergraduate degree in Western Australia approved under these standards by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority.

The list of approved and relevant courses available in Western Australia may change over time. Contact the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority for more information.

Following your studies, you will be required to undertake a professional year, which includes 100 hours of training, and pass the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority exam.

From 1 January 2019 changes to the Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017 mandate that every person entering the profession of financial planning (i.e. financial advisers) must complete a minimum Bachelor degree approved by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority. VET graduates may potentially have modified employment outcomes as they will no longer meet the licensing requirements to be employed as a financial planner, financial adviser or any occupation that directly provides financial planning/advisory advice to retail clients.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as an insurance broker in Western Australia, you may need to obtain an Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licence from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission