We surveyed insurance salaries throughout the UK in collaboration with insurance recruitment firm IDEX Consulting

How much do you earn? How much do your colleagues earn? How does your salary compare with your peers? 


Now’s your chance to find out. 

Commercial lines broking managers with one to three years experience working in the City and Lloyd’s markets, for example, can expect to earn between £37,000 and £42,000 a year, rising to between £57,000 and £62,000 for those who have been in the industry for four to eight years, and £80,000 plus for those with over eight years’ experience.

In the Home Counties, the East and West Midlands and the North, meanwhile, the starting salary for a similar role stands at just £30,000. In the South West, that same starting salary drops to £25,000.

On the insurer side, underwriters in the capital with one to three years experience could expect to earn between £28,000 and £37,000, while in other regions this starting salary could be as low as £18,000.

But while London remains the biggest draw for the larger salaries and the number of job opportunities available, IDEX managing director David Carr says regional hubs are starting to benefit from the movement of certain back office operations out of the City.

“There is still a demand for a number of positions across the industry, but the main focus area is the London Market. Birmingham and Manchester are also very busy,” he says. “There is definitely demand for the mid-range individuals that are out there. Some of the big London businesses have moved back office operations out of the capital.”

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“These moves into the regions don’t seem to be slowing down,” he adds.

Carr points to the example of JLT as just one broker that has moved a sizeable number of staff to Birmingham from the capital and adds that several insurers have moved big teams up to Manchester as well as down to Bristol.

“The cost of running a business in those locations is simply a lot cheaper than in the City, and they are also far enough away from London to avoid the magnet of London salaries,” he says. “I know a number of businesses that have moved out to Chelmsford, but it is only half an hour on the train into the City, and an account manager in Chelmsford could be earning £25,000 to £30,000 but could be earning £40,000 to £45,000 in London just by getting on a train for half an hour.”

Consolidators fuelling growth

As well as a push into the regions increasing the availability of jobs outside of London, the continued rise of consolidators in the broking world is also adding to the fluidity of the job market and creating new opportunities for those looking to take the next step in their insurance careers.

“The rise of UK independent businesses has had a big effect [on the recruitment market] and some of the consolidators have had a phenomenal growth in headcount,” Carr says. “The people that we’ve put into the main consolidators are the people that are proven business developers, and they’ve been offered much better packages than with the longstanding firms they’ve worked with in the past in order to get them through the door.

“If you are attached to revenue either from a generation or protection perspective, so good underwriting or claims management, you are always going to be sought after. There will always be a demand for that particular skill set.”

salary map

The risk associated with moving to a newer and growing business, however, cannot be underestimated, and Carr says that potential candidates are looking for larger salaries, additional benefits and new ways of working in order to make the move to these exciting new businesses.

“There is an element of risk there because they are new startups, so they have to do something a little bit different to attract people,” he says. “There have been offers of sign-on bonuses and commission advancements that will help bring in new people and business over time.

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“People are being a lot more flexible on what they allow employees to do, with flexible working arrangements becoming more prevalent. That is also a big thing for attracting mothers coming back after maternity leave, because there has been a massive loss of good people in the past who couldn’t come back because of other commitments.”

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Standing out from the crowd

In this busier and more competitive jobs market, it is becoming increasingly important for job candidates to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate a professionalism that makes them stand out as one of the best in the business.

“There has been a massive push towards qualifications,” Carr says. “Anyone who wants to progress needs to go down the CII qualifications route. I was with the chief executive of a large broking house during the week as we had put a very good person in front of them, but the feedback was that they hadn’t taken the qualifications so they couldn’t be serious about their career.

“There are a lot more individuals with the qualifications and they are a lot more sought after, and can often get a slightly higher salary too. There are also a lot of employers that are now supporting their staff with these qualifications and helping them through the exams.”

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Carr adds: “A lot of businesses are going for Chartered status as well, so if people do want to progress in their careers they have to look at the qualifications and the self-development courses that are out there.”

Having a niche skill set in a specialised area of insurance is another way. Carr says candidates can make themselves more appealing to potential new employers, or as a tool to negotiate a larger pay packet from their existing employer.

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“We are seeing more individuals with niche skill sets in the workforce, and for those people the salaries are quite significant,” he says. “We recently had an individual who works for one of the major brokers, which another business had offered 30-40% more than what he was on because he was controlling quite a significant book of business and revenue stream and his skill set was in a very niche part of the market with only a handful of people working in that area.

“His employer then came back with a significant counter-offer that was double what he was on before just to keep him.” 

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