The following article discusses the career path of Insurance Agent. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Insurance Agents.
Insurance refers to a policy that people pay for that in order to protecs them financially in case of a disaster, death or unexpected even. Common insurance products include car, health, life, long term disability, building, and landlord insurance, for instance. Typically, insurance agents will focus on a whole array of insurance policies, working in an office. Some work directly for insurance companies, others work for brokers or agencies. In the latter two cases, insurance agents must have knowledge not just of the different types of insurance products, but also about what sets different providers apart.
Insurance agents work with businesses or individuals to identify which policies are most suitable to their needs. At the same time, they provide advice on other financial packages that are available. Typically, their role includes explaining what different policies exist and what they are for.
The role of an insurance agent is also strongly about acquiring new clients. They must, therefore, be happy to contact individuals through “cold calling” and have strong sales tactics. At the same time, they must regularly communicate with existing policy holders to determine whether their details are still up to date and correct.
Other job duties of include:
- Selling insurance policies
- Using various forms of advertising, including mailings, phone calls, and referrals, to find new policy holders
- Handling the paperwork involved in enrolling new customers onto a policy and working out their premiums
- Explaining what different types of policies do and help clients create customized plans according to their needs
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 501,400 insurance sales agents in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Insurance agencies and brokerages: 54%
- Self-employed workers: 18%
- Direct insurance (except life, health, and medical) carriers: 9%
- Direct health and medical insurance carriers: 4%
How to Become
Insurance agents do not generally need any special training. However, some may require a special license, which is usually sponsored by the employer. It is also advisable to be able to speak multiple languages. More and more often, employers look for those who have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in economics or business. However, sales experience tends to weigh much heavier than formal education.
The minimum requirement in terms of education is a high school diploma or GED. However, holding a bachelor’s degree will greatly improve prospects. It is also useful for insurance agents to complete classes in public speaking so that they can improve their sales techniques. It is also common for them to complete classes in economics, finance, and business, particularly if they hope to grow into the role of management.
On the job training is provided and the main way in which insurance agents learn. They will usually shadow others for a period of time, so that they can learn about different policies and procedures and get to grips with the culture of the company.
Once employed, insurance agents usually have to take classes to ensure they remain up to date with new state and federal regulations, government benefits programs, and changes in tax laws. These all affect insurance packages. However, these programs are generally employer-sponsored.
Insurance agents usually have to be licensed. If they want to sell health or life insurance, casualty insurance or property insurance, they need to have a separate license for this. Usually, this means they have to complete certain courses first and then pass exams that cover state insurance laws and insurance fundamentals exams. For the license to remain valid, insurance agents must partake in continuous education classes.
Some agents obtain a license so that they can sell other financial products, including securities. However, this requires significant training. The licensing exam, which is Series 6 or Series 7, is administered by the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).
Certificates relating to insurance specialties also exist. Those are not required but they do demonstrate commitment to professionalism.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Excellent analytical skills
- Great communication skills, verbal and written
- Ability to take initiative
- Having plenty of self-confidence in order to make cold calls and to not be disappointed by each rejection
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Insurance Agent salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Massachusetts had the largest quoted salary of $81,978 while Oregon had the smallest quoted salary of $46,903.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Insurance Agent. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Bankers Life Insurance Agent||DC||$275,012|
|Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Company Insurance Agent||New York||$258,962|
|World Financial Group Insurance Agent||California||$211,220|
|MySecureQuote.com Insurance Agent||Illinois||$200,000|
|Senior Life Services Insurance Agent||Louisiana||$200,000|
|Hub International Insurance Agent||North Dakota||$200,000|
|Ancora Insurance Agent||Oklahoma||$200,000|
|PHP Agency Insurance Agent||Nevada||$200,000|
|Life Insurance Final Expense Insurance Agent||Colorado||$200,000|
|The ASSURANCE Group (TAG) Insurance Agent||Vermont||$200,000|
- Insurance Sales Agents : Occupational Outlook Handbook …
- Independent insurance agent – Wikipedia
- Insurance broker – Wikipedia
|Career Name||Average Salary|