Maximum profit is the aim of a new computer game which enables upper-secondary pupils to run their own virtual insurance company.
POL:isi (pronounced "policy": profit or loss insurance students initiative) has been developed by the Insurance and Actuarial Society of Glasgow to promote career opportunities within the industry.
The launch of POL:isi to Glasgow's 29 secondary schools follows a pilot at John Paul Academy in Summerston. In the game, teams of pupils have to run an insurance company over a three-year period. With the aid of a mentor supplied by the IASG, they make decisions on what products to sell, what premiums to charge and how to market their company.
"The aim is to maximise profits but take into account customer satisfaction, repeat business and so on," explains Brian Brady, a depute head at John Paul. "Our pupils enjoyed it and it got a warm response from business studies teachers at the launch, who thought it was at the top end of demanding."
Schools across Glasgow will be able to compete against each other, and against insurance industry representatives, in a competition the IASG plans to launch in the new year. Teams of around four pupils will play the game over six weeks, at the end of which the top-performing teams will be invited to compete against insurance professionals.
"Schools can enter one or more teams and an online league table lets you see how you're doing compared to other teams," says Mr Brady. "The winners are those who make the highest profit over their three-year cycle. The insurance industry is a big employer in Glasgow."
Following its Glasgow launch, the IASG, in conjunction with its parent body, the Chartered Insurance Institute, is keen to offer POL:isi to schools across the rest of Scotland and the UK.