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Insurance and Risk Management

The Discipline of Insurance and Risk Management is informed by the four key areas in which risk is manifest, namely the risk of loss or damage to property; injury, loss or death to people; illness; and living too long. 

Insurance and Risk Management teaches the theory of managing risk, short-term insurance, life insurance, retirement funding and medical insurance. Conceptually these areas are underpinned by the economic theory of risk and insurance, to which a substantial portion of the third year course is devoted. We build on this theory in our post-graduate courses.

The division has a well-established research track record in various areas, particularly decision theory, the theory of taxation, insurance law and insurance policies.

What is Insurance and Risk Management?

Risk, which is pervasive in business and in life, needs to be properly managed. This can be done in two ways, firstly by taking preventative measures to mitigate the risk, and secondly by funding the adverse consequences of risk, something which is typically and most successfully done through insurance.

The area of Insurance and Risk Management examines the managerial principles applied to manage risk and the systems available to fund risk. The short-term insurance, life insurance, medical insurance, and retirement funding markets collect substantial sums of money to fund risk. These funds contribute to the economy and are managed through the separate discipline of business finance. There is thus a significant link between risk management and risk financing.

Why Study Insurance and Risk Management?

The four financial markets – short-term insurance, life insurance, retirement funding and health insurance markets – employ in the region of 120 000 people in South Africa. Insurance and Risk Management graduates are well-positioned to obtain employment in companies operating in these markets, or as intermediaries for these markets. The Insurance & Risk Management Discipline works closely with a number of corporate organisations who have sponsored prizes and scholarships for top performing students.

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