Insurance examiners are responsible for conducting audits on behalf of government agencies and regulatory organizations. In most instances, someone wishing to become an insurance examiner must have graduated from college and have previously worked in the insurance industry. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire examiners who are certified accountants.
An individual planning to become an insurance examiner must complete an undergraduate degree in accounting, finance, mathematics or a related topic. Some employers even require job applicants to have completed an advanced degree in a finance or a related subject. Since many employers require examiners to be certified accountants, someone wishing to become an insurance examiner may have to pass a written accounting exam and pay a fee to obtain an accounting license.
Examiners review the accounts of insurance firms to ensure that these entities have sufficient cash reserves to cover the firm's outstanding liabilities. Many countries have laws that require insurance providers to keep a certain amount of cash on hand for every active policy; the examiners must calculate whether each firm's reserves are sufficient to comply with such requirements. Consequently, most employers tend to hire examiners who have prior experience as insurance agents or underwriters since these individuals are familiar with different kinds of policies and hedging techniques. In many countries, insurance agents have to be licensed which means that someone wishing to become an insurance examiner may first have to pass the insurance regulatory board's licensing examination. Additionally, to keep a license active an individual may have to attend continuing education classes on an annual basis.
Insurance firms are regulated at the national or regional level and many regulatory agencies require prospective examiners to pass an examination that tests their knowledge of the insurance industry and their ability to perform complex calculations. Most insurance boards also have residency requirements which mean that only residents of a certain area are able to work as examiners within that region. Non-citizens are sometimes able to work for national insurance regulatory agencies if they have obtained the necessary work permits or meet other residency requirements.
Examiners are often assisted by clerks and administrators who gather documents, interview insurance agents and prepare reports. In many instances, people who meet the basic qualifications for the examiner role are often required to spend some time working in these junior roles. Some employers have trainee programs for prospective examiners during which new recruits work under the close supervision of seasoned examiners until they have gained the necessary skills and abilities to work alone.