Youth movement on the rise in Canada’s insurance industry

Toronto, ON (Nov. 25, 2013) – Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry is getting younger.

The nation’s P&C industry is younger and more aligned with the age structure of Canada’s workforce than it was in 2007, according a 2012 demographic study sponsored by the Insurance Institute’s Career Connections division.

You can see this trend in the numbers for the industry’s Echo cohort, an age group of people between 12 and 27 years old in 2007 and between 17 to 32 years of age in 2012. The Echo cohort in Canada’s P&C insurance industry increased from 12 per cent to 27 per cent between 2007 and 2012.

A representative sample shows 20 insurance companies increased their workforce by 40 per cent on average in the five years leading up to 2012. In pure numbers, these companies increased their number of employees by approximately 5,500 – nearly 4,00o of these new recruits were in the Echo cohort (aged 17 to 32).

How did this happen?

The Career Connections program has worked with youth and full-time college insurance programs across Canada over the past five years to make a significant contribution to this result. In that time, the program has connected with more than 800,000 students, including half a million high school students and 300,000 university and college students. The intention is to ensure a growing pool of potential candidates will renew the nation’s property and casualty insurance industry.

As more young people enter the insurance industry, the Insurance Institute’s role in providing professional education and career development is highlighted.

The Institute provides the technical knowledge that underwriters use to write insurance policies; that brokers use to provide advice to their clients about insurance coverage; and that claims adjusters use to help consumers clean up the damage and replace their lost belongings.

Canadians want their insurance professionals to be qualified and educated, according to a Leger Marketing poll that the Institute released this year. A vast majority of Canadians in the poll agreed that insurance professionals who have received an education in their field are more likely to give a comprehensive and qualified quote for an insurance policy.

The Insurance Institute is helping insurance professionals develop their technical skills through its Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) Program. It is also preparing future industry leaders for the challenges ahead through its Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) Program, which focuses on strategic leadership and advanced management techniques.

Both programs are designed to ensure that Canadian communities continue to receive relevant, ethical and knowledgeable insurance advice. Obtaining this advice is particularly relevant based on the recent increase in weather-related insurance claims.

Special to the Globe and Mail 2013 Insurance Trends report; republished with permission.