Canadian Underwriter

What’s the hourly wage of an insurance professional?

November 25, 2017   by David Gambrill, Editor-in-Chief

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Ontario’s recent minimum wage hike up to $15 per hour ruffled a few feathers within the business community, but the new legislation didn’t raise much of a fuss within the property and casualty (P&C) insurance sector.

“On this particular issue, we reached out to member companies when the legislation was first proposed, and we were not informed of any concerns,” said the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), an association representing Canada’s auto, home and business insurers. “We do not anticipate that this legislation will affect the operations of our members in any way that is different from other types of businesses.”

Ontario’s broker association has been engaged with the government about Bill 148 since the province released its Changing Workplaces review in May 2017. The Ontario government passed Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, last week.

“This new legislation includes equal pay to part-time and temporary workers and an increase to minimum wage, but based on results from a member survey we conducted this summer, we don’t believe it will have any significant impact on brokers,” IBAO CEO Colin Simpson told Canadian Underwriter.

If the industry doesn’t seem fazed by the increased minimum wage, it’s likely because most people working within the P&C industry already make more than the minimum wage.

Assuming a 40-hour work week for 52 weeks a year, someone making a minimum hourly wage of $15 would make about $31,200 annually.

In contrast, insurance brokers earn an average annual salary of $43,187 (about $21 per hour), reports, while insurance agents make about $40,545 (approximately $19.50 per hour).

A StatsCan study of wages across Canada found that the average hourly wage of full-time employees in business, finance and administration occupations was $26.00 in 2016.

Bill 148 raises Ontario’s general minimum wage to $14 per hour as of Jan.1, 2018, and then to $15 on Jan. 1, 2019, followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation. Other features of the bill include:

  • The expansion of personal emergency leave to 10 days, with an across-the-board minimum of at least two paid days per year for all workers.
  • Workers will have up to 17 weeks off without the fear of losing their job when a worker or their child has experienced or is threatened with domestic or sexual violence.
  • Vacation time is guaranteed at a minimum of three weeks after five years with a company.

Simpson said the new standards “could have unforeseen negative impacts on small businesses generally.” For example, escalating the cost of operations through increased worker protections in Bill 148 could limit an employer’s ability to invest in its employees and business infrastructure.

“In light of these legislative changes, we’ll continue working with government to advocate and advise on programs that assist small businesses,” Simpson said.

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4 Comments » for What’s the hourly wage of an insurance professional?
  1. Jessica McPhail says:

    How does an increase in minimum wage ‘limit an employers ability to invest in its employees’?

    If you are not paying your employees a living wage, you are not investing in your employees.

    • Doug Morrow says:

      Investment in staff is a combination of wages and training. Show me please a sixteen year old in their first job that is worth 14 or 15 dollars an hour at a Dairy Quenn. There aren’t any. This is a tragic development for student part timers. Employers will always defer now to mature trained applicants.

      • Nick Leduc says:

        Student jobs are up a few percentage points since your comment was posted Doug, care to retract? I guess you forgot that student minimum wage is a thing, and that minimum wages are meant to be tied to inflation, otherwise they need to be bumped up far more noticeably every few years, as was the case two years ago. If we determine a minimum, it’s because we decided as a society that everyone is worth at least that much/that much is the bare minimum to have a decent standard of life. That minimum should logically go up with inflation, otherwise as prices inevitably go up, you are letting people fall below the predetermined minimum standard of living that you already decided they are entitled to. If the minimum wage isn’t tied to inflation, you might as well not have it.

        The increase in wages from two years ago was actually behind compared to inflation rates from the previous min. wage increase. If we had stuck to inflation as we should have, the wage would be closer to 16 today. Economically speaking, that 14 dollars an hour that we pay a 16 year old today is less (relative to cost of living/inflation) per hour than we paid a 16 year old to work the same job in 2000. There’s more to it than raw numbers, everything is relative. The wage must go up unless we can find a way to keep global prices down, (good luck with reversing that decades old trend), otherwise we, especially our poor, fall behind as a society.

    • Nick Leduc says:

      Precisely this. The employee doesn’t benefit from being trained, the employer benefits from their employee having good training. The ROI there is entirely in favor of the employer, unless the job involves commission and said training can be seen to directly lead to better sales for the employee. As such, it isn’t realistic to say that an increase in the minimum wage limits an employers’ ability to invest in their employees, since it is implying that the difference in wages would have otherwise been put towards the benefit of the employee, which obviously isn’t the case in a job that pays minimum wage and has little-to-no benefits, as the vast majority of min. wage-paying jobs do.

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