The work of the insurance sales agents is to assist clients in choosing insurance policies that are relevant to their requirements. The insurance sales agent may work with companies, families or even individual clients. His other work includes selling of securities, mutual funds and annuities as well as offering financial plan services like estate and retirement planning. On a regular day, an insurance sale agent may have to look for new clients, prepare reports and keep records, and help in settling claims of the policyholder among other duties in the firm.
Nature of the Work
Insurance sales agents help connect families, individuals and companies to insurance companies. They advise their clients on the best available insurance policies that offer protection of property, health and life according to the financial ability of the clients. These agents usually sell one or different types of insurance policies like life, disability, health, long term care, property and casualty. Insurance sales agents dealing with property and casualty usually offer policies that guard the company or individual against financial loss brought about by fire, accidents, storms, thefts and other occurrences that may destroy property. Firms that take up property and casualty policies may also be covered for product liability claims, claims of compensation of injured workers and claims of medical malpractice.
Life insurance policies are usually awarded to beneficiaries when the policy holder is deceased. The amount of compensation awarded depends on the policy holder and his contributions to the policy. Health insurance agents sell health insurance that helps to cover income loss as a result of illness or injury and medical costs that may come about when one is taken ill. They may also offer dental insurance and other short-term and long-term policies. Insurance sale agents may specialize in any of the products mentioned before, or may operate as generalists providing a variety of policies to their clients.
A good number of insurance sale agents offer financial planning services including estate planning, retirement planning, and assistance in drawing pension plans for business. This has made insurance sales agents to be engaged in ''total account development'' or ''cross selling''. The agents may also be licensed to provide variable annuities, mutual funds and other securities. This is usually common with life insurance agents already engaged in selling annuities, and property and casualty agents that sell financial products.
Education and Qualification
Job seekers of insurance sales agent jobs need a good education and qualifications. Individuals operating insurance sales agent jobs should be licensed by the State. The licensing varies from State to State although it generally needs one to undertake and pass an exam or coursework that is related to insurance industry. Some employers may directly hire qualified college graduates although some usually prefer employing them as customers’ service representatives before promoting them to insurance sales agents.
Apart from educational qualifications, previous experience is an asset for those seeking insurance sales agent jobs. Many insurance sales agents are usually drawn from other departments like customer service representatives to become insurance agents. Flexibility, enthusiasm, discipline, problem solving skills and confidence are also a plus for those entering the industry.
Insurance sales agents receive good pay with averages at $ 45,000 per annum for employees employed in companies. Independent agents are usually compensated by commissions while employed sales workers may be paid fixed salaries, commissions or salaries and commissions. The commission is usually based on the number of policies sold and whether it was a new or renewal policy. Bonuses are usually awarded to top agents who beat their set targets.
Some companies have benefits for their insurance sales agents. Such benefits may include continuing education, group insurance plans, retirement plans and training for licensing qualification. Other firms may cover transport expenses, marketing and promotion expenses, and conference attendances.
Insurances sales agent jobs will continue to grow in the coming years and qualified college graduates with good communication, organizational and interpersonal relations skills will have better chances of employment in the industry. Those with experience will continue to be preferred by employers than the less experienced ones.
Insurance sales agents will continue to be in demand as more people will want to take health and retirement policies as they approach their retirement years. Moreover, the growing population will need insurance cover policies for their automobiles, valuable equipment and homes. The entry of new insurance firms and the expansion of already existing firms will increase the demand for insurance sales agents to carry out sales of commercial insurance policies like employee benefits, product liability, pollution liability and compensation for workers.
Job opportunities are favorable to multilingual agents since insurance companies usually work in different regions. Moreover, those with a good understanding of insurance, and technical and legal terms are desirable by employers. Some agents usually leave the insurance sales agents jobs for other careers when they fail to gather enough commissions to meet their income requirements. There are many openings that are left by such agents in addition to insurance sales agents who opt for retirement. Increased competition is expected from bankers and securities brokers as they start to sell insurance policies. In order to remain competitive, insurance agents will need to differentiate their products and attach competitive benefits to their policies. Incorporation of new technology will be paramount in order to remain competitive.