Auditors ensure financial operations of insurance companies are properly conducted, and policies and regulations are adhered to. A bachelor's degree in accounting is often the minimum requirement to enter the profession, although master's degrees exist as well and may be preferred by some employers. A certification, such as one of those offered by the National Society of Insurance Premium Auditors, may improve a premium auditor's job prospects.
Premium auditors work in the insurance industry, focusing on premiums, or the price a consumer pays for insurance coverage. These professionals audit the financial records and operations of insurance companies, analyzing information to detect any possible fraud and to make sure laws and regulations are being followed. Education requirements for this field vary, but many prospective premium auditors seek bachelor's degrees in accounting or related fields. Certification may also be necessary.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree; some employers may prefer a master's degree|
|Other Requirements||Certification may be required by employer|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||11% for all auditors and accountants|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$67,190 for all auditors and accountants|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Premium Auditor Education Requirements
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most auditors and accountants need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a similar field to get hired (www.bls.gov). Some employers may require a master's degree. Most auditors begin their careers by working under the guidance of an experienced auditor.
The BLS reported that auditors and accountants who have earned a certification may be preferred by employers over candidates who aren't certified. The National Society of Insurance Premium Auditors (NSIPA) offers two certifications for this specialized profession.
The designations are the Certified Insurance Premium Auditor (CIPA) and the Certified Insurance Premium Telephone Auditor (CIPTA). The latter credential is designed for those who do their regulatory audits over the phone. A prerequisite for both credentials is the APA program.
Also pertinent to this field is the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and its Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification. Eligibility requirements for this certification include a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university, two years of work experience and passage of an exam.
Aspiring insurance premium auditors may wish to consider the Associate in Premium Auditing (APA) designation sponsored by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (AICPCU). To earn this designation, candidates must complete three required courses and one elective course and exams for each. Courses cover the basics of auditing procedures, particularly with regard to the insurance industry.
Career Information for Premium Auditors
Among the duties of a premium auditor is to make sure that an insurance company's financial statistics are accurately gathered and recorded so that its rates are fair and a good rate structure is developed. Auditors may also inspect an insurance company's payroll and tax records and even its premises and day-to-day business operations. Premium auditors are also responsible for quality control within the insurance industry, especially regarding interactions between companies and their clients.
According to the BLS, the number of jobs for auditors and accountants was expected to rise 11% from 2014-2024. This anticipated rate is faster than average, and job growth may be due to revised fiscal regulations and heightened fiscal responsibility in many organizations.
The BLS noted that auditors and accountants made a median annual salary of $67,190 in May of 2015. The top-paid ten percent of these professionals earned $118,930 or more, while the bottom-paid ten percent made $41,400 or less.
Aspiring premiums auditors should first obtain a bachelor's degree in accounting. Working under a certified premium auditor is often how recent graduates begin their careers. This career is expected to grow faster than average compared to all occupations.