WHAT DO INSURANCE AGENTS DO?
Insurance agents work for insurance companies and reach out to new and existing clients to sell insurance. Insurance agents call clients and potential clients to grow their customer base, meet with potential clients to get information about their needs and coverage, match insurance policies to their needs and explain the options to customers. Insurance agents make sure policies stay current and make amendments to the policy as life changes. Types of insurance that agents work with include property and casualty, life, health and long-term care. In addition, agents help their clients settle any claims on their insurance.
Having a friendly attitude, strong knowledge of insurance policies and being active in expanding your customer base are all key components to successful insurance agents. Agents can work independently or for a large insurance company.
HOW MUCH DO INSURANCE AGENTS MAKE?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median income in 2010 for insurance agents was $22.48 per hour, or $46,770 annually.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
You need only a high school diploma to get started as an insurance agent, although many now start with a bachelor's degree. Those interested in becoming an insurance agent should be comfortable with public speaking and have taken business or finance courses. Once hired, you will learn much of your job from an seasoned agent.
Licensure is required in any state. Certification is available.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Analytical Skills: Insurance agents look at their potential clients and analyze the risk of each, and apply the correct insurance policies against that risk.
- Customer-Service Skills: Insurance agents speak comfortably and charmingly to customers, making them feel comfortable and helping them to understand their policies.
- Initiative: Insurance agents need to find new business, a large part of the job is looking for potential new clients.
- Self-Confidence: Cold calling new clients and rejections of offers requires an insurance agent to stay confident.
THE FUTURE OF INSURANCE AGENTS
As the economy continues to grow, so will insurance agents. The BLS reports that these jobs will grow faster than the average job between 2010 and 2020.