Insurance Sales Agent Job Description
Insurance sales agents sell automotive, health, property, and other types of insurance. Some agents specialize in selling one particular type of insurance, while others sell many different types.
Life insurance agents sell policies that pay out when the policyholder dies. Death is a sensitive topic for most people to discuss, so these agents need to be able to relate very well to others and tread carefully around sensitive topics.
Health insurance agents sell policies that help cover the cost of medical care. They normally also sell dental and disability insurance. Depending on the policy they’re selling, they may work with individuals or businesses.
Property and casualty insurance agents sell policies that protect people and businesses from financial loss in the case of an accident or tragedy (such as fires or floods). Businesses often buy casualty insurance to cover workers’ compensation. Doctors buy it to cover them in the event of a malpractice claim.
Many agents sell financial planning services, and are licensed to sell mutual funds and other securities. Though they require additional licensing to sell, these services can be a great source of additional income and can increase your chances of advancement.
All insurance sales agents need to be able to maintain positive relationships with their clients. One of the best ways to build up a strong client base is through referrals, so taking the time to build up a strong relationship with clients is worthwhile.
Work Environment and Schedule
Almost all insurance sales agents work in the insurance industry. Most work for brokers who sell insurance on behalf of many different companies, but there are also opportunities working for a single provider.
The work environment for people in this occupation depends on the company that they work for. Some insurance sales agents spend all of their time working in an office, while others spend a lot of their time meeting with clients.
Because they have to available at times that work best for their clients, working on nights and weekends is often required for people in this profession.
This can be a stressful occupation, particularly while trying to build a strong client base. Those who work for brokers are normally paid on commission, so the money that a sales agent makes is directly tied to the sales that they make.
Nearly all insurance sales agents work full time. Working overtime is also frequently required.
How to Become an Insurance Sales Agent
A minimum of a high school diploma is required to work as an insurance sales agent, but many employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business, finance, or economics can be especially helpful.
Once hired, insurance sales agents are trained on the job. They normally work under the supervision of an experienced agent who teaches them about the company’s business and how to interact with clients.
All states require insurance sales agents to be licensed, and the type of license needed is determined by the type of insurance being sold. Agents who sell life and health insurance need to have a different license than those who sell property insurance, for example.
Licenses are only granted to agents who complete specified coursework and pass exams administered by the state they work in. Continued education is required to keep the license. Though it might seem like a pain, continued education is important to ensure that agents keep up with the latest laws and regulations that govern their profession. Courses must be taken every two years.
Many insurance sales agents also choose to earn a license that allows them to sell financial products and financial planning services. To earn this license, you will have to pass the Series 6 or Series 7 licensing exam (the exam you take will depend on the type of products or services you want to sell). Both exams are administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers.
There are currently 411,500 insurance sales agents in the United States, with 18,440 new insurance sales agent job openings created each year.
Insurance Sales Agent jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Insurance Sales Agent Salaries
Insurance Sales Agent salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most insurance sales agents make between $33,800 – $72,500 per year, or $16.27 – $34.85 per hour.