Teaching Life Insurance in School

A recent article from the Asia Insurance Review mentioned that in Australia life insurance concepts will be embedded in the school curriculum. This is an issue which sorely needs to be discussed in the developing world such as Malaysia.

We teach our children mathematics, history and so many subjects, but they rarely get much of any training in risk management. Life Insurance is an integral part of risk management, so with greater awareness of insurance and risk management needs it is much more likely that more sophisticated products will be in demand. These products would go beyond simple savings and unit linked products which are popular currently and required general insurance products such as motor and fire cover.

Also interesting in that article is the notion that instead of having a separate subject for life insurance Australia will embed life insurance concepts into existing classes. A challenge in Malaysia (and also elsewhere) is that students tend to memorize material to do well in exams rather than truly understand the material (in many cases). Those students are looked at much more highly than those students that try to understand the material as they tend to be the ones to get good grades. Embedding risk management into existing classes could thus make the classes more practical which could be useful in guiding students away from purely memorizing material.

A greater understanding of risk management would also mean a greater understanding of the role and need for actuaries, both in insurance as well as more generally in other industries. This can only be good for us personally, the profession and society!

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