Insurance agents assist people, families, and companies in choosing and acquiring insurance plans that meet their needs. Typical categories of insurance agents include:

  • Property & casualty insurance agents: They sell policies like auto, home, renters, business, liability, flood, and other property insurance. They advise clients on the level of coverage needed and help file claims.
  • Life insurance agents: They sell life insurance policies like term life, whole life, and annuities. They help determine how much coverage a client needs based on factors like income, dependents, debts, savings goals etc.
  • Health insurance agents: They sell health insurance policies like employer-based plans, Affordable Care Act compliant plans, Medicare plans etc. They explain options like HMOs, PPOs, HDHPs, HSAs etc. and help enroll people.
  • Commercial insurance agents: They sell general liability, professional liability, commercial auto, workers comp etc. for business clients. They review risks and advise on appropriate policies.

If you are thinking about pursuing a career in the insurance business and would like more information, you have come to the correct spot. Read on to learn more about the typical workday of an insurance industry professional and the projected growth in employment over the next ten years.

The work

Insurance agents represent insurance firms by selling one or more insurance products. Their goal is to assist clients in selecting the right plans by explaining the differences between policies. Examples of typical responsibilities include:

  • Call potential clients to drive new business
  • Meet with potential clients to discuss their existing coverage and insurance needs
  • Explain various insurance policy options
  • Analyze clients’ current insurance plans and suggest changes/additions
  • Process policy renewals
  • Help clients settle insurance claims
insurance agents work

You will need some skills

Customer Service: At the core of being an insurance agent is helping prospective and current clients understand and choose insurance plans.

Sales and Marketing: An insurance agent will also have to routinely call prospective clients and set up meetings to get details about their finances and goals.

Analytical Abilities: It is important for an agents to be able to analyze risk and benefits of all policy options for clients.

Self-Motivated: Being an insurance agent means being able to take initiative, recognize opportunities, and continually follow up with prospective and current clients.

Commitment to Life-Long Learning: Insurance policies and state regulations are constantly changing. It is important for insurance agents to stay up-to-date on industry and regulation changes.

Outlook for the insurance agents

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that employment as an insurance sales agent will grow by 10% between 2012 and 2022. This is higher than the projected growth of 7% for other sales and related occupations. The aging population will likely contribute to even higher employment growth for agents selling health and long-term care insurance, and there will be more opportunities for growth as more people gain access to health insurance through federal health insurance reform legislation.

Insurance agents earnings

A fee for financial planning is sometimes paid to agents instead of commissions; commissions are a common form of payment, especially for more experienced agents; the amount of commission depends on the type and amount of insurance sold, as well as whether it is a renewal or new policy; bonuses are sometimes given to agents when individual or agency sales goals are met. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for insurance sales agents was $49,710 in May 2017. The lowest 10% of agents received less than $27,180, and the top 10% earned over $$125,190.

How can someone become an insurance agent?

The process for becoming an insurance agent depends on what lines of authority you want to sell and what states you want to sell in. You also have to pass prelicensing exams. For more information on becoming an insurance agent, visit this article on this topic. If you’re thinking of becoming licensed, exam preparation can help.


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