1.   Insurance practitioners only include insurance agents
There are front-, middle- and back-offices in the insurance industry, with a wide range of job duties offering diverse career prospects. In the front-office, there are insurance agents. An insurance agent represents a specific insurance company and can only sell products of that company, whereas insurance broker belongs to the middle-office, they look for suitable insurance products in market based on customers' needs. Furthermore, there are also various back-office positions such as underwriting, claims, actuary, risk management, auditing, legal and compliance, finance, distribution, marketing, human resources, etc. Professional positions are not rare.
2.   No specific academic qualifications are required to join the insurance industry, while outstanding sales skill is the key
Some professional positions in specific functions of the insurance industry such as underwriting, claims, actuary, legal and compliance and finance require candidates with a bachelor degree or above, or relevant professional qualifications. They also need to keep abreast of latest development of various industries and pursue professional training programmes to enhance their professional standing.
3.   Insurance practitioners are not required to have professional qualifications, hence not really that professional
Some front-line, middle- and back-office jobs in the insurance company require candidates with professional qualifications. To become an insurance agent, one must pass the Insurance Intermediaries Qualifying Examination ("IIQE") and register with the Insurance Agents Registration Board Registration Unit of The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers. To become an insurance broker, apart from obtaining specific work experiences, one must also passed relevant papers of the IIQE unless exempted. To become an actuary, one has to pass relevant professional examinations in North America, the UK, Scotland or Australia. There are various professional positions in different offices.
4.   Insurance industry only offers products related to personal health, such as life insurance, medical care, critical illness, etc.
Insurance can be generally divided into two types: life insurance and general insurance. Life insurance mainly offers indemnity upon loss of life. On the other hand, apart from loss of life, general insurance also offers indemnity given to an event of loss such as personal injury due to accident or damages to your assets, and 3rd party liability. There is a wide range of products and services in general insurance e.g. marine, fire, medical care, travel, directors, professional indemnity, etc.    
5.   The insurance industry does not play an important role in the society
The insurance industry has an important role in different aspects of the society, including in cyber risk, medical care, infrastructure and terrorist attacks etc., offering protection to day-to-day functions of the society. In the first half of 2016, the total gross premiums of the Hong Kong insurance industry reached HK$207.5 billion, equivalent to 18.5% of Hong Kong's GDP, showing the economic significance of the industry. Insurance industry is definitely crucial to the society.
6.   Purchasing an insurance policy is like falling into money scams, the insurant generally does not get claims after an incident and could even get no assistance from insurance companies
Insurance Authority ("IA") maintains an overseeing role to ensure complaints are properly handled by an insurer and the Self-Regulatory Organisations for insurance intermediaries. Should the complaint involve personal insurance claims with an amount not exceeding HK$1 million, one may lodge the complaint to the Insurance Claims Complaints Bureau ("ICCB"). For other complaint channels, please visit the website of IA.
7.   The insurance industry does not contribute much to the Hong Kong economy
The insurance industry is a backbone of the Hong Kong financial service industry. It has a long renowned history of 170 years. There are about 160 authorised insurers in Hong Kong at present with more than 100,000 corporate and individual insurance intermediaries (i.e. agents and brokers). In the first quarter of 2017, the total gross premiums increased by 20.7% year-on-year to HK$122.0 billion. The insurance industry is an important pillar of the economy.
8.   There is no clear career path in the insurance industry
Insurance industry offers clear career paths. For example, fresh graduates can start the career as a trainee, gradually be promoted to positions like assistant officer, officer, senior officer, assistant manager, manager depending on the job function. An actuary, for example, commonly starts the career as an assistant actuary. After obtaining the designation of an actuary, they will be promoted actuary and gradually senior actuary and senior consultant. For underwriters, they can gradually move up along the career path to senior underwriter and further to supervisory ranks. Generally, insurance industry offers bright prospects.
9.   There are so many agents in the insurance industry, hence there is no manpower shortage
Although the insurance industry employs a large number of agents, in view of the market development, the industry is still facing manpower shortage, in particular middle- and back-office positions. According to the Report on Manpower Projection to 2022 published by the Labour and Welfare Bureau in April 2015, the manpower requirement of the insurance industry by 2020 will be 56,900, an increase by 8,300 from the figure in 2012. Professionals, associate professionals and clerical support workers will require more than 6,000 head count. By education level, the industry will require 11,000 more degree holders by 2022 than in 2012. Manpower demand of the insurance industry for professional positions is rising.
10.   There is no regulatory body for the Hong Kong insurance industry
Insurance Authority ("IA") is a new insurance regulator independent of the government. Its objectives are to modernise the insurance industry regulatory infrastructure for facilitating the stable development of the industry, to provide better protection for policy holders, and to comply with the requirement of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) that insurance regulators should be financially and operationally independent of the government and industry. IA took over regulatory functions of the then Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, which was a government department, on 26 June 2017. It is expected that IA will take over the regulation of insurance intermediaries from the three Self-Regulatory Organisations, and implement a new statutory regulatory and licensing regime within two years thereafter.
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