Insurance sales agents sell insurance policies. They pitch their product to potential clients, increasing their customer base and keeping in contact with people they have already sold to. They collect information about people who are interested in buying insurance and offer the policies best matching their needs.
Humankind is fragile, and insurance may cover any area of life. Marriage and divorce, having a baby or buying a house, accidents, new businesses, or children going to college all give a reason to be concerned. History has seen people buying insurance in case they died of too much laughter at the movies. Your job will not likely go out of demand if this is the path you choose.
Selling insurance can be a rewarding career, if you have the right mindset for it. You will have continuous learning opportunities; in fact, keeping up to date with the ever-evolving insurance policies will be a part of your job, with regular training events to attend, so you can put your knowledge to work for your clients.
Insurance sales agents contact potential customers and sell one or more types of insurance. Insurance sales agents explain various insurance policies and help clients choose plans that suit them.
Although most employers require agents to have a high school diploma, many agents have a bachelor’s degree. Agents must be licensed in the states where they work.Education
A high school diploma is the typical requirement for insurance sales agents, although a bachelor’s degree can improve one’s job prospects. Public-speaking classes can be useful in improving sales techniques, and often agents will have taken courses in business, finance, or economics. Business knowledge is also helpful for sales agents hoping to advance to a managerial position.Training
Insurance sales agents learn many of their job duties on the job from other agents. Many employers have new agents shadow an experienced agent. This practice allows the new agent to learn how to conduct the company’s business and to understand how the agency interacts with clients.
Employers also are increasingly placing greater emphasis on continuing professional education as the variety of financial products sold by insurance sales agents grows. Changes in tax laws, government benefits programs, and other state and federal regulations can affect the insurance needs of clients and the way in which agents conduct business. Agents can enhance their selling skills and broaden their knowledge of insurance and other financial services by taking courses at colleges and universities or by attending conferences and seminars sponsored by insurance organizations.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Insurance sales agents must have a license in the states where they work. Separate licenses are required for agents to sell life and health insurance and property and casualty insurance. In most states, licenses are issued only to applicants who complete specified courses and who pass state exams covering insurance fundamentals and state insurance laws. Most state licensing authorities also require agents to take continuing education courses focusing on insurance laws, consumer protection, ethics, and the technical details of various insurance policies.
As the demand for financial-planning services increases, many agents also choose to get licensed and certified to sell securities and other financial products. Licensing and certification requires substantial study time to pass an additional exam—either the Series 6 or Series 7 licensing exam, both of which are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The Series 6 exam is for agents who want to sell only mutual funds and variable annuities. The Series 7 exam is the main FINRA series license, which qualifies agents as general securities sales representatives.
A number of organizations offer certifications that show an agent’s expertise in insurance specialties. These certifications are not required for employment, but they can give job candidates an advantage over other applicants. Certifications also can be a source of continuing education credit. For details on specific designations, contact The Institutes and The American College of Financial Services.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Insurance sales agents must evaluate the characteristics of each client to determine the appropriate insurance policy.
Communication skills. Insurance sales agents must be able to communicate effectively with customers by listening to their requests and suggesting suitable policies.
Initiative. Insurance sales agents need to actively seek out new customers to maintain a flow of commissions.
Self-confidence. Insurance sales agents should be confident when making “cold” calls (calls to prospective customers who have not been contacted before). They must speak clearly and persuasively and maintain their composure if rejected.
In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what's a career path you ask? Well, it's practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of sales agent you might progress to a role such as agent eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title sales and marketing manager.
High School Diploma
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The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.4% of insurance sales agents listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and self-confidence are important as well.
Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Insurance Sales Agent templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Insurance Sales Agent resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.
After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:
Fundamentals of Insurance - 1...
From Vlookups to Pivot Tables: Learn the Excel basics anyone working in the insurance industry needs to know!...
Want to gain a solid understanding of the unique analysis methods needed to assess the financial strength and operating performance of insurance companies in the US and Europe? We’ll begin this course with a look at the main lines of business and the current operating environment of the Life and Health sector of the industry. We will also discuss the impact of changes in interest rates on investment earnings and sales of annuity products. Next, we’ll turn our attention to the property and...
Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an insurance sales agent. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Alaska, New York, and New Hampshire. Insurance sales agents make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $80,606. Whereas in Alaska and New York, they would average $75,238 and $70,356, respectively. While insurance sales agents would only make an average of $70,320 in New Hampshire, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.
1. Rhode Island
2. New Hampshire
We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ insurance sales agents and discovered their number of insurance sales agent opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Allstate was the best, especially with an average salary of $40,472. American Income Life Insurance follows up with an average salary of $52,019, and then comes GEICO with an average of $41,215. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an insurance sales agent. The employers include Polly's Pies, Allstate, and Davis & Company
|Rank||Company||Average Salary||Hourly Rate||Job Openings|
|7||American Income Life Insurance||$52,019||$25.01||372|
|8||State Farm Insurance Agency||$52,019||$25.01||213|
|9||American General Media||$52,019||$25.01||71|