What do drone operators, professional app developers and social media marketers have in common?

They’re among job titles which, until recently, didn’t officially exist in the eyes of all but the most specialised insurance companies in the UK.

But now, after a long-running campaign, led by specialist broking firm Adrian Flux, the sector’s leading umbrella body in the UK, the Association of British Insurers has overhauled its list of job titles held on record, which its members use to calculate drivers’ premiums.

Snapshot Of The UK’s Work Landscape

So, as far as job titles go, this update presents a fascinating glimpse into the changing face of the workplace.

It means gone are the likes of cardinal, water diviner and even the far more recent job title of carphone fitter.

In their place is a raft of new descriptions, such as the trio mentioned above.

But what will this mean for our insurance premiums, especially for those whose work brings them under one of the new job designations?

Well it should be good news, according to Gerry Bucke, general manager with Adrian Flux, who said the ABI had clearly been caught out by the relatively recent rise in new technology-based job descriptions.

That’s because, all the while it did not officially recognise certain jobs, the ABI could not collect data about the levels of risk such workers faced when driving around in the course of their duties.

And without a collection of information about the driving habits of a wide and growing selection of the British workforce, insurers could not accurately assess those risks in relation to those whose jobs they do recognise - so would have had to use a similar job title which already existed in their records, but might not have properly reflected the typical circumstances of someone in one of these ‘new jobs’.

Thousands Of Occupations - But The List Is Evolving

The insurers’ database has more than 2,100 occupations on its list, and is used as a factor in calculating premiums, based on the claims records of people who give their jobs as one of those included on the list.

But many new job titles have not existed long enough for sufficient data to be collated on the risks they represent when they’re behind the wheel. This has led to many drivers being described as working under a general title, such as ‘marketing’, and insurance brokers having to use a little guesswork to find a suitable classification under which to place growing numbers of their clients.

People working almost exclusively in the digital arena have had particular difficulties in ascribing themselves to a specific job function when they’re filling out forms in the hope of being provided with a series of competitive car insurance quotes, and policies which met their specific needs without any unreasonable exclusions.

But now, it should mean that insurance companies, and brokers working on their behalf, should start to get access to more up-to-date data which will greatly help them provide a comprehensive and reliable service when quoting for a new policy.

Damian Cross, a former insurance company worker who now has one of the ‘new’ titles - social media manager - said that prior to the update, “finding the right category for some jobs sometimes meant that clearly quite different roles - such as a bank clerk and a shop assistant - were often placed in the same bracket by insurers, even though the only resemblance between them was that they were broadly customer-focused, and might clearly involve very different patterns of car use.”

Yet in the eyes of insurers the jobs were virtually indistinguishable.

So why are these on the face of it minor changes relevant? Well, some sources suggest that car insurance premiums could be set to rise by as much as 25% in the next 12 months. And if you find yourself facing such a steep hike in your motoring costs, you need to be sure that your insurer has an adequate, up-to-date picture of your risk profile.

If you work in one of the so-called ‘new’ professions, we’d like to hear about your experiences in getting quotes for your car insurance. Or have you had difficulties in getting an insurer to recognise your proper job title? Let us have your comments via Facebook or Twitter.