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The insurance industry is an important part of the economy

Every year Swedish insurance companies pay out large sums in pensions and compensation for claims. This creates financial protection for both households and businesses. In 2019 a total of SEK 261 billion was paid in insurance compensation for non-life insurance, pension insurance and other life insurance. The Swedish insurance industry consists of just under 350 companies that together employ almost 22,000 people and invest about SEK 5,350 billion in the Swedish and global economy.

Both small local and large national insurance companies

Sweden just under 22,000 people work in the insurance industry, which corresponds to about a half a percent of employees in the labour market. The employees are distributed among almost 350 insurance companies.

Most companies are either national or local insurance companies. in addition there are “relief associations” (occupational pension funds) and some foreign companies that are represented via branches or agencies.

The number of companies has decreased in the past ten years. It is mainly small local insurance companies and relief associations that have decreased in numbers. Despite the decrease in the number of companies, the number of employees has remained about the same during this period.

Customer service and claims adjustment are common occupations

There are many different occupational categories in the insurance industry. Just over a quarter (more than 28 per cent) of the employees work in sales, advisory services or customer service. Approximately the same proportion work on claims adjustment. The latter occupational group includes investigation of causes and liability for claims, as well as services involving risk assessment and analysis concerning reinsurance with other companies. Some specialist occupations, such as actuaries, also belong here.

Slightly more women than men

The Swedish insurance industry has a relatively balanced gender breakdown. Of those employed in the industry in 2019, just over half were women. The percentage of women has been consistently somewhat higher than the percentage of men during the 2000s (see Figure 16).

The percentage of managers increased steadily from 2002 to 2008. Since then the number of managers as a percentage of employees has been about 10 per cent.

The percentage of women who are managers has followed an upward trend since 2002. In 2019 about half of the managers were women.

The most common education is in accounting, retail and administration

Of those employed in the insurance industry in 2018, almost 54 per cent had post-upper secondary education. Almost 43 per cent of the employees had upper secondary education as the highest level, and just over 3 per cent had pre-upper secondary education as the highest level (see Figure 17).

Among those with upper secondary education as the highest level, education in accounting, retail and administration is most common (almost 16 percentage points). Of those with post-upper secondary education, almost 45 percentage points had studied at higher education institutions, most commonly in business administration, retail and administration (almost 15 percentage points). Almost 9 percentage points of those with post-upper secondary education have studied outside higher education institutions, for example in higher vocational education. Among these, the most common education is in banking, insurance and financing (just over 2 percentage points). Almost a half percent of all employees have postgraduate qualifications.