Do you have a head for facts and figures and strong sales skills?
If so, working as an insurance agent could be the perfect career for you. This role is perfect for people who like focusing on specific tasks and can manage their time well.
It is possible to earn a license in as little as two weeks, and there is plenty of work available. However, this job is not for everyone, and some people can find it to be a bit dull and repetitive.
So, let’s find out how to become an insurance agent and learn more about this fascinating career.
- What Does An Insurance Agent Do?
- The Essential Skills
- The Main Types Of Insurance Agents
- Getting Qualified
- Getting Your License
- Becoming An Independent Agent
- Insurance Agent Associations And Groups
- Additional Insurance Opportunities
- Final Thoughts
What Does An Insurance Agent Do?
This role mainly involves selling different types of insurance policies. Agents are responsible for creating the best methods of promoting different insurance policies. They work closely with companies and individual clients to determine their insurance needs. It is necessary to know a lot about different types of insurance and have a winning sales technique.
The Essential Skills
You need to have a range of core skills to successfully do this job. Some of the necessary skills can be taught, while there are also personal skills you need to develop yourself. Here are the key hard and soft skills that you need to do this job well.
Insurance product knowledge
It is essential to understand all the details of the insurance policies and products you sell. You need to be able to explain the main points simply. You also need to be prepared to answer questions about different insurance products and explain their advantages.
In addition to understanding different policies, you need to understand how the insurance process works. This includes legal aspects such as tax laws and different areas of finance. This will help you gain an insight into how different policies would affect your clients’ financial situations.
It is essential to be able to establish a rapport with clients and maintain lasting relationships. You need to take a genuine interest in your clients and be willing to make small talk. This involves listening to clients and working hard to determine their needs.
It is important to remember at all times that the goal of this job is selling policies. You need to learn and master a range of different types of sales techniques. It can be a fine line between being enthusiastic about policies and making clients feel you are being pushy.
Customer service skills
You need to master a range of customer service skills to do this job well. This includes emailing and calling clients and finding information for them on request. You need to be able to work quickly and well to complete tasks set for you by clients to gain their confidence. This, in turn, will lead to repeat business and important referrals.
Clients need to feel that you always put their needs first. It is essential to answer questions honestly and tell the truth about the potential drawbacks of certain policies. Having a reputation for integrity will help you win and keep more clients in the long run.
Like with any sales job, you need to have a thick skin to sell insurance policies. There are sure to be times when you receive several rejections in a row. You need to have the persistence to keep chasing leads until you find people to sell policies to.
It is essential to be able to multitask to do this job. You need to take care of a range of tasks such as following up leads and researching different policies. You must be able to prioritize tasks so that everything gets done on time and maximize profits.
The Main Types Of Insurance Agents
Once you have decided this job is for you, you need to work out which type of insurance you want to be. This is especially important if you decide to start your own insurance agency business. Let’s take a closer look at the two main types of agents and what these roles involve.
Captive Insurance Agent
If you choose this option, you will be working for a single company. You will usually work traditional office hours and be provided with training and support. Captive agents are usually provided with lists of clients to contact and sell products to.
Working as a captive agent is a great way to gain training and experience. You usually have to sign a non-compete agreement, which prevents you from selling products from a competing company. The main drawbacks are that the commission rate is usually lower, and you have to work set hours.
These agents are also known as insurance brokers, and they work with more than one insurance company. This role is only usually open to experienced agents and does not come with training. You will usually be responsible for finding your own clients and completing other forms of customer service work yourself.
Independent agents provide their clients with policy quotes from a range of different companies. This allows you to find the best rates and packages to meet the needs of your clients. Independent agents generally receive higher commission rates than captive agents and are free to set their own hours.
By now, you should have a good idea of what this job involves and the skills you need to be an insurance agent. If you decide to go ahead and become one, you will need to get qualified. Here are the main types of qualifications you need to become a successful agent.
Earn a bachelor’s degree
Although some companies employ agents with a high school diploma, earning a bachelor’s degree opens the doors to more options. Courses in finance, business, or economics are all good foundations for potential agents. Studying marketing or psychology can also help you to develop your sales technique.
Some universities and colleges also offer specialist courses in insurance or risk management. These courses teach the basics of risk management as well as insurance theory and security analysis.
Decide on a specialization
There is a wide range of available both commercial and personal insurance policies. The secret to being a successful agent is having detailed knowledge in one or a handful of particular areas. Therefore, it is best to decide whether you want to focus on commercial or personal insurance policies.
Commercial agents typically provide coverage for large enterprises. The types of policies you would need to know about include commercial property insurance and general liability insurance. Alternatively, you could focus on personal insurance, which includes life insurance, home insurance, and insurance for motor vehicles.
Complete the licensure requirements
Before you can start selling insurance policies, you will need to obtain a license. While this is usually fairly simple, the exact requirements are different in each state. It is essential to make sure you know the requirements in the state you want to sell insurance and meet them.
Getting Your License
No matter which type of agent you want to become, you will need to get a license. This will allow you to discuss different types of insurance products and complete sales. Here are the steps you need to take in order to become licensed.
Review your state’s licensing requirements
The requirements are slightly different in each state, and the license names can also vary. First, you need to know which types of insurance products you want to sell. This will help to make sure you apply for the right type of license.
Choose the right type of license
If you have already been offered work with a company, you need to find out what types of products you will sell. In some cases, you may need to apply for more than one license. You can get the specifics from the company you plan to represent or your state licensing department.
Take an insurance license exam
You will usually need to complete a pre-licensing class before sitting your exam. It is often possible to take classes online, although some may have to be taken in person. Depending on the state you live in, the classes can be completed in just one day or up to forty hours.
You will then be ready to schedule your licensing exam, which is proctored by an independent company. Some tests can be taken online, while others have to be taken at a specified site. You may need to present proof of your completed training before you are allowed to sit the exam.
You can reschedule if you fail…
The exam questions are usually multiple-choice and should be easy if you have completed the training. After using a computer to complete the test, you will be given your results immediately. If you fail the test the first time around, you can reschedule and take the test again.
Submit your licensing application and background check
After you have passed the exam, you need to submit the required licensing applications to your state licensing department. You may then be required to submit to a background check, which could include fingerprints. Once all of these steps are complete, you will be officially licensed to discuss and sell insurance policies and products.
Becoming An Independent Agent
It is a good idea to work for a single company initially to gain work experience. Once you have the necessary skills and experience, you may want to go into business for yourself. Here are the basic steps you need to take to become an independent agent.
Get appointed by an insurance company to sell their products
Before you can sell the products and policies of an insurance company, you have to be appointed by them. This involves completing an application to gain an appointment and binding authority. Once you have been appointed by an insurance company, it will be recorded on your state insurance license.
Find and maintain clients
This is one of the most important and also challenging aspects of the working life of an independent agent. You can’t make any money if you don’t have people to sell different insurance policies and products to. A good place to start is with family members and friends, and make sure you collect as many referrals as possible.
Marketing your agency
You need to work hard to promote your business as much as possible, at least at first. After creating a website, it is a good idea to check out social media platforms and local advertising options. Joining your local chamber of commerce can also be a good way to make connections and find potential clients.
There is always something new to learn in the diverse world of insurance. It is important to keep up to date with the latest information on policies and other aspects of insurance.
Attending seminars is a good way to make sure you understand the latest trends. It is also a good idea to attend networking events whenever possible to make important connections and share information.
Insurance Agent Associations And Groups
There are several prominent groups and associations open to insurance agents. Becoming a member of one of these groups provides you with a wealth of resources as well as important connections. Here are some of the main groups and associations you should consider becoming a member of.
American Insurance Association
This is the principal organization for casual insurance and property agents. Becoming a member of this association will give you access to industry knowledge in areas like insurance law and tax. You will also be provided with a whole host of useful online resources.
American Council of Life Insurers
This prominent trade group represents nearly three hundred different member companies. The American Council of Life Insurers writes the majority of life insurance policies in the United States. As a member, you will receive guidelines on industry standards, advocacy, networking opportunities at events, and fact-based research.
If you own your own business, it is a good idea to join this group. It is composed of more than 250,000 business owners and agents who work in all areas of insurance.
Becoming a member treats you to a wealth of online resources as well as education, legal advocacy, and professional development. The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America regularly runs special networking events and conferences where you can make valuable connections.
Read more: Does Costco Optical Take Insurance?
Additional Insurance Opportunities
Well, let’s first take a look at my by taking a look at my Insurance Agent Job Description, my Life Insurance Agent Job Description, or even my Claims Adjuster Job Description to see what the positions entail and if they’re a good fit for you in 2023.
Moving onto possible applications, we have our UnitedHealthcare Insurance Application, our State Farm Insurance Application, or how about our Kaiser Permanente Insurance Application, and our GEICO Insurance Application. Don’t forget to read up on Can A Felon Become An Insurance Agent if you have a criminal record.
Insurance can be fun too with these novelty gifts such as a Will Give Insurance Advice for Tacos | Funny Insurance Agent Premium T-Shirt, a Retreez Funny Mug – I Turn Coffee Into Policies Insurance Agent, and a POTIY Insurance Agent Keychain Gifts You’re an Awesome Insurance Agent Keep That Shit Up Keychain available online today.
One of the great things about being an insurance agent is flexibility. While you may have specific clients or companies you work for, you have the freedom to set your hours.
Once you gain experience and skill, you have the option of becoming freelance or launching your own business. If you have the necessary skills, getting licensed is fairly quick and easy. The average salary for this role is around $80,000 per year. However, you can easily earn double this amount by working for direct health or medical insurance carriers or going freelance.
All the very best in your new career as an Insurance Agent!