Job postings for life insurance agents may, surprisingly, not be all that easy for you to find. This is actually because many life insurance agencies and companies are hiring all the time, though they may have periods where they are temporarily not seeking any new agents. Very small, independent agencies may have the small staff they already need. This is because the turnover rate in the life insurance sales industry is extremely high. Ninety-eight percent of new agents do not last more than one year in the business.
Life insurance is an extremely tough business to be in. The product itself is among the most needed by many people, but it is also among the very first that people stop paying or cancel if any tough financial times come along. There are no laws requiring people to have life insurance, so if they have financial troubles, life insurance is one of the first things they start thinking of as a drain on their assets rather than an important necessity for their financial health and protection. In addition, there is the fact that life insurance is little more than air to many people; and they wonder why they should be purchasing air. People like tangible products. If a person’s life insurance gets used, they will not be the one to benefit. Other types of insurance policies—health insurance, car insurance, homeowner’s insurance— are at least directly related to some kind of tangible product, and these policies are often required to by law, as well.
Besides its benefits, intangibility, and voluntary nature, buying life insurance forces people to think about their own death. This is a difficult thing for a great many people to do. The solution is to think about your own death in an abstract way, as a fact of life that you do not have to sit around worrying about facing, but one that you should prepare for seriously. Nevertheless, for many people it is just easier to ignore the inevitability of their own death, the possibility of an untimely death, and therefore the incredible importance of life insurance. Some people do not want to think about paying for something that may never benefit them, but which will only pay somebody else at the time of their death.
To add to all of this, the matter is compounded by the scams that have sometimes been run by life insurance agents who probably did not have the talent or the drive to remain in the business in an honest way. These scams make life insurance and life insurance agents seem like things not to be trusted. So, if you take a job as a life insurance salesman, the first thing you will need to be good at is gaining people’s trust, enough trust for them to allow you to come meet with them and analyze their financial plans and situation for them.
As an agent, you would be responsible for giving people a free analysis to help show them where they are with their current financial planning for their lives. This analysis, often called FNA, or financial needs analysis, is your best tool for laying bare to someone what matters they have or have not thought sufficiently about with regards to their money. What if they died tomorrow—are they a father or a mother with children to provide for? Would they leave a spouse behind with too many bills to pay alone? Would their business suffer because of their death? Would the tax man rifle through their estate instead of allowing them to give most of their money to those they wanted it left to?
There is also the fact that some life insurance can be used to build usable, tax-sheltered cash value in the insured’s lifetime: and this money can be used by them while they live. As a life insurance agent, your job would be to show people the ways that life insurance can benefit them and to figure out the best type of policy and the right amount of death benefits for them, given what they can afford. If you give them a cash-building variable, universal life policy or an annuity, you would have to be able to help them pick from the best investment options that would suit their risk tolerance and their financial goals.
You need to serve clients before you get paid, and you would have to have a mindset that does not require you to collect a salary whether or not your work leads to your company’s (or the brokered-for company’s) results. Successful life insurance agents are being paid an average of $74,000 a year, 17 percent higher than the average national salary in the United States. Some agents are making six-figure incomes and enjoying the freedom of setting their own work schedule.