Specialisation has replaced the insurance Jack-of-all-trades

Published: December 4, 2019



The days where an insurance professional can spread wings and be adept at various aspects of the industry are gone. According to one industry expert, specialisation is now the key to success, whether for brokers or underwriters.

Shared and gig economies have presented new obstacles for the industry, so a “jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none” is no longer viable.

That’s according to Ernest Mashingaidze, a property claims expert with Wawanesa. Speaking to Canadian Underwriter recently, he said specialisation is becoming a part of young insurance specialization education.

“The next generation of leaders are pretty much the vanguard of innovation and creativity in an industry that demands change.”

Mashingaidze, who was recently named a CIP Society’s National Leadership Award winner, points out there is a problem with this movement. Specifically, there is not enough diversity in the specialist roles being adopted.

“Everybody right now is pretty much doing the same thing,” he said. “Everybody has the same levels of experience, the same education. They’re all on the same playing field. The only way to differentiate yourself, whether as an adjuster or an underwriter, is to actually do more than what the average person is doing. Whether it’s taking more CIP courses, specializing in a specific field or specific product, we do need people to specialize in order for the industry to remain a going concern.”

However, Mashingaidze says there is no doubt that specialisation is important.

“We need people who are able to identify these risks [and] people who are able to change the policies on a consistent basis. Whether it’s yearly or quarterly, we need somebody who can sit down and say, ‘This is what’s happening in the economy, around the world; these are the trends, and these are the changes we need to make to the policy.”