How To Become An Insurance Agent
Career Video: Insurance Agent
Do you have a gift for persuading people to do what you want—well, most of the time, at least? Do you want to work in the insurance industry? If the answer to these questions is yes then you can consider a career as an insurance agent. In this profession, you will be working as sales agents for insurance firms. You will be responsible for calling up potential clients and offering them different types of insurance products. You will be talking with different clients and explaining to them the pertinent features of these policies. In order to recommend the best insurance plan to your potential clients, you must interview them and review any insurance plans they may already have. From the data you find, you can then make the necessary recommendations on whether the client should add policies or get a new one entirely.
Insurance agents can sell different kinds of insurance products or they may choose to specialize only in one type. Health insurance agents focus on selling policies that provide coverage for medical care expenses. Agents specializing in property and casualty insurance sell policies that cover the cost of the expenses incurred during car accidents and other events like fire and theft that can result to damage or loss of property. Long-term care insurance agents sell policies that provide coverage in the event that a person may require skilled nursing care or assisted living services in the future. Meanwhile, life insurance agents specialize in selling life insurance products which give beneficiaries cash payouts in the event of the death of the policyholder. Other products that agents sell include disability insurance, dental insurance and annuities.
Since a career as an insurance agent is in the field of sales, insurance agents must have excellent interpersonal communications skills. You must be confident in facing clients and be knowledgeable about the product you are offering. Moreover, you must also be analytical since you will need to look at the information you have gathered for each client to be able to recommend the best insurance policy to them. If you work on a commission basis, you need to be proactive and possess initiative in searching for new clients.
Why Become An Insurance Agent
A career as an insurance agent is not for the faint of heart. Many insurance agents have had their fair share of rejections before being able to successfully make their first sale. However, for those who are tenacious and don’t get tired of persuading clients to buy a policy in the face of constant rejections, this can be a very lucrative profession. This is also an occupation that does not require very extensive educational preparations since a high school diploma can get one a job.
Insurance Agent Work Environment
Many insurance agents work for companies in the insurance carriers and related activities industry. Most of them are employed by insurance agencies and brokerages. These firms basically offer insurance policies from different insurers. Others, meanwhile, work solely for one insurance firm. Although agents may work in their offices, they must often travel to meet clients. The work is often fulltime but they have the flexibility to schedule meetings with clients at the latter’s most convenient time. They usually prepare presentations and do paperwork in the evenings.
Insurance Agent Salary
The Occupational Employment and Wages report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed that the mean annual wages of insurance sales agents is $63,610. The two top paying industries for insurance agents are the securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage which pay agents $104,620 followed by outpatient care centers which pay them $93,140. Insurance agents working in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, California and Illinois are also paid well.
Insurance Agent Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed a positive career outlook for insurance sales agents. According to the agency, the employment rate of insurance agents is set to rise 10 percent in the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022. This is about the same as the national average for all job types. The growth of the insurance industry is expected to be directly proportional with economic growth. Even if insurance products can be purchased online, there will still continue to be demand for insurance agents since they are considered vital to the industry.
Insurance Agent Degree
The educational entry point for a career as an insurance agent is a high school diploma. However, better employment prospects await those with a bachelor’s degree. Before insurance agents can start selling insurance products, however, they must have a license in the state where they intend to sell. This normally entails finishing prescribed courses and passing a test. Continuing education requirements must also be met in most states for insurance agents to keep their licenses.