While the chances of becoming a millionaire are low for most life and health insurance agents, the average insurance agent makes almost twice the national average salary. An income of $92,000 or more annually is common in insurance sales. Here are some things you need to know about becoming an insurance agent and why it's a great career choice.
Education and Experience for Insurance Sales
Becoming a life and health insurance agent also doesn't require very much experience and, although a college education is advised, it’s not a requirement for most insurance agencies and insurance companies. As long as you have a high school diploma and take and pass the pre-licensing exam, and pass a state insurance exam, you can be well on your way in starting a career as a life insurance agent!
Most people take online courses to prepare for the state licensing exam. You can enroll in a Life & Health pre-licensing study course here: New Leaf Exams
- Use discount code AGENT for 50% off your course
Captive Agents and Independent Agents
You'll likely get training from the insurance company if you decide to become a “captive agent” (a captive agent is someone who works directly for an insurance company). This training will help you learn all about making sales, how to market yourself and how to keep clients long term. You can also join networking groups to see how an independent agent can succeed. You have more freedom as an independent agent, but less direct support from the insurance company than a captive agent. While you’re deciding which type of business better suits you, it would be advantageous to start the licensing process now. That way you can approach an opportunity already licensed, which makes you more marketable.
Do I Need To Be Hired or Sponsored By An Insurance Agency To Get My License?
No, you don’t need to be hired or sponsored by an insurance company or agency to go through the process of obtaining your insurance license. In fact, going through the process of getting and being licensed beforehand actually makes you more marketable before looking for your new opportunity.
What Personality Suits Insurance Sales?
Someone who succeeds as a life insurance professional offers superb customer service and loves to meet new people as often as possible. You must begin marketing yourself as soon as you get your life insurance license, whether you start your own agency or are working for an agency owner. Your success will depend on how well you sell services and products to potential clients and how easily you get over rejections. The insurance sales agents who excel in their career and really want to serve their customers and protect them from life's mishaps in a long term relationship.
Perks of Being a Life & Health Insurance Agent
Aside from an unlimited income potential, there are plenty of other good reasons to consider a profession in the insurance industry. For instance, you’ll never get bored because there’s always something new to be learned and a new network to tap into.
Unlike other types of sales, insurance sales is a little more dignified because it’s not a tangible product you’re selling; you are selling security. As people grow older and buy a house to raise a family in, making sure their future remains secure becomes a number-one priority.
Being an insurance agent can be a wonderful way of helping people and spending your days getting to know the people in your neighborhood and beyond.
Insurance Agents Are in Control of Their Careers
This is true for independent insurance agents more so than captive agents. An independent insurance agent works with several carriers by getting assignments independently. Captive agents work exclusively with one carrier and have less control over the rules they set for themselves. One of the pros of being a captive insurance agent, however, is a steady paycheck and free leads and oftentimes, an existing book of business. With that come quotas, so be prepared to work hard selling life insurance.
Insurance Never Goes Out of Fashion
Sure, there’s nothing sexy about insurance, but there is something soothing about knowing you won’t be out of a job tomorrow because no one is buying insurance. It just won’t happen. In fact, the more licenses insurance agents hold, the better off they are financially.
As an independent agent, you can choose which lines you want to sell. Becoming an independent insurance agent is a little more challenging, however, because of the assignments you have to earn from insurance companies, but if you have the will to do it, you can succeed. And those that succeed benefit greatly.
You’ll Have Flexible Work Hours in Your New Career
Many insurance agents are hard workers but hate clocking in and out at the same time every day. We're not saying that you won't have to work hard at insurance sales or that you won't work many hours, but you get to set your schedule and tend to tasks accordingly.
Good Customer Service Skills Always Win
Just as selling insurance never goes out of style neither does good customer service. There’s nothing people hate more than being treated poorly when they have to buy insurance or have questions to ask about their current policy. If you’re good at giving guidance and clearing the cobwebs for your clients by simplifying the daunting insurance jargon, you’ll be a winner in your profession. There’s nothing like personal service to maintain client loyalty. Yes, people even pay more to be treated with respect and courtesy.
There Is a Demand for Life and Health Insurance Agents
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that between 2016 and 2026, the demand for insurance agents will go up 15%. Insurance agents who sell health, life insurance and long-term insurance will be sought after the most. In the next 10 years, about 50,000 jobs will become available in the insurance industry.
Becoming an insurance agent can be exciting, especially if you find the right insurance company or companies to represent.