How To Become An Insurance Agent
Learning how to become an insurance agent is something many people look into every year, but few follow through with. It can seem like a daunting task, but is not that difficult if you go about it the right way.
- Before you begin doing anything else, do some research into what type of insurance lines you want to offer. A large part to knowing how to become an insurance agent is deciding on what lines of insurance you would like to represent. Life, health, property, and casualty all have their pros and cons. Generally speaking, getting a life and health license will offer the largest pool of policies you can offer. But know ahead of time where your interests lay, as there will be money, and often time involved on your part.
- Since insurance is such a highly regulated industry, those wishing to become an insurance agent need to get licensed. This is a requirement in all states, though individual state requirements may vary. Some require just a background check and the aspiring insurance agent file licensing paperwork. Others require a certain number of classes, or hours of class to be licensed. So check with your state office that regulates insurance and inquire as to what their licensing requirements are. If you have a particular company or agency in mind, they can guide you through the process as well.
- Once your licensing requirements have been met, fees paid, and you have your license in hand you need to do some research. You'll need to research which insurance company you would like to become an insurance agent for, or which insurance policies you want to offer if you wish to remain an independent insurance agent.
- If you decide that working for an agency is the right move for you, then deciding on what company to work for can be a major decision. Some agencies will have you working for straight commission right from the start; others will pay a training salary. Some will help with leads; others it's up to you to prospect for business. As a rule, the most important things to consider are:
- Leads top the list, as an insurance agent can spend up to 80% or more of their time prospecting for business unless their agency offers leads or at least helps with them. Prospecting doesn't pay, writing business does.
- Training will also play a very large role if you're new so that you don't have to learn through trial and error. A company that provides leads and a good training program can go a long way toward an agent’s success.
- A good support team behind you can remove a great deal of stress from the life of an insurance agent as well. A knowledgeable and competent manager can provide top notch training and guidance. Good office personnel can verify or set appointments for you. Every bit helps so that you can concentrate on what an insurance agent is supposed to do; meeting with people and writing applications.
- Compensation that is equal or better than the industry standard. You may need to start at the lower end in the beginning, but be sure that you are finding the offer to be in the same ballpark as other companies you considered.
- Benefits that meet your needs.
All in all, to become an insurance agent can be a challenging career, but also one that can be very rewarding with its potential income, and flexible work schedule.