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About the Insurance and Superannuation Industry in New Zealand

The finance and insurance industry is an important employer in New Zealand, employing about 2.5% of the total workforce. This is forecast to increase significantly, with accountants, auditors and general insurance experts all in demand.

The finance industry in New Zealand competes to international standards in markets and is one of the least regulated insurance markets in the world, but many businesses are smaller - giving you the opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills far beyond the usual role.

Demand for Professionals in Finance and Superannuation

Considerable change is taking place in the insurance industry in New Zealand and is likely to continue as the New Zealand population ages. In the life insurance and superannuation fields it is generally anticipated that market growth will increase significantly.

 

The New Zealand private insurance sector is small by international standards. There are around 90 licensed insurers currently operating in New Zealand, accounting for approximately $29 billion in assets, or 12% of GDP.

Around 60% of the licensed insurers are foreign-owned, and account for about 85% of total assets. Not all insurers that operate in New Zealand are required to be licensed and the largest non-licensed insurers are government owned.

 

Insurance and superannuation specialists are still hard to find, even in a softer market. Don’t be fooled, the market may appear to be softening, but low applications across the industry prove that just because the competition for talent isn’t as fierce, it doesn’t mean attracting great talent is easy.

 

The insurance and superannuation industry was on fire over the past five years. Employment in the category grew by a whopping 28%, according to the Department of Employment. However, this is not predicted to continue and research also shows a definite easing in the insurance and superannuation marketplace.

 

The Department of Employment also predicts that occupations within the insurance sector are set to grow by 4.3% over the next five years. To put this into perspective, that is less than half the national average (which is predicted to be 10%). But don’t be drawn into a false sense of security.

Highest Performing Areas

General insurance constitutes 62 percent of reported large private insurer business in New Zealand, whereas life insurance and health insurance represent around 23 and 14 percent respectively. New Zealand’s life insurance share of total insurance business is low by international standards, due in part to New Zealand’s well-developed welfare system and the use of life insurance as a tax efficient savings vehicle in other jurisdictions.

 

The New Zealand insurance sector has several features that differentiate it from insurance sectors in other countries. For example, the Government is a key player in the provision of non-life insurance.

Impact and Future of the Industry In New Zealand

The insurance sector makes an important contribution to the economic development and welfare of New Zealand by enabling risk transformation. In this way, the insurance sector supports investment, innovation and economic growth, meaning it is important that there is a healthy and well functioning insurance sector.

 

Even though since January 2013the ratio of new job ads to engaged candidate supply has swung back in favour of the employer, average application rates remain relatively low for the industry.

 

The two biggest challenges facing businesses moving forward will be retention of existing staff and acquisition of top talent as needs arise.


With this in mind, companies that are able to think differently about the way they source the right talent, and how they keep them engaged, will be able to mitigate the inherent risks within their business.

For Visa Applicants: Roles on the Skills Shortages List

These roles do not feature on the skill shortages lists, however the three most difficult roles to source nationally are:


Actuarial
Risk consulting
Management

Industry Snapshots

3 disciplines attracting the highest salaries
Management ($95,909–$119,696)
Actuarial ($83,390–$113,643)
Underwriting ($87,287–$111,914)
 

SELECT YOUR SECTOR