To get into the insurance business, you need to know more than how to become an insurance agent. You need to have a special kind of personality: outgoing, on the ball, and possessing good math skills.
If you can count these traits as strengths of yours, then you have what it takes to get into insurance sales. Here’s what you have to do to get your license.
Learn the Insurance Field Basics
Learn the basics of the insurance industry: life insurance, health insurance, property insurance, and liability insurance. There are certainly other premiums where people can get themselves and their property insured, but these are the basic four. Luckily, most people who have lived in the United States are somewhat familiar with these concepts already, so take care to know more than your average citizen about these basic insurance concepts, and you should be able to make informed decisions on how to proceed. You’ll probably focus on one of these fields.
Insurance Agent Education – Bachelor’s Degree in Business or Economics
Insurance firms want to hire people with a firm background in math, accounting, business, finance, economics, or even public speaking. You might find that a degree in another field applies, but you want on your resume as solid appreciation of mathematics and business principles, since these are the skills you’ll use every single day as an insurance agent.
Insurance Agent Resume – Work Part Time for an Insurance Agency
Gain experience while you’re attending college by working part time for a local insurance agency. This job might not pay that well, but it does several things for you.
One, you learn about the business. Not only do you gain valuable experience, but you also learn whether you’re going to like the business. Two, you meet other people in the business, so you’re already networking. This gives you a foot in the door of at least one agency, and you never know when you meet someone who leaves that company and hires you into another agency. You also meet potential clients for years down the round. Three, you’re likely to have a job while attending university anyway, to pay for bills and tuition, so you might as well have it in the field you wish to enter. Being a bartender isn’t the best experience for becoming an insurance salesman.
Become Computer Literate
Today’s insurance companies use computers to keep track of their customer base, premiums, deductibles, claims, and other aspects of a client’s record. You not only need rudimentary computer skills, but you need to learn the specific computer programs that your insurance company uses. Learn what programs are in vogue at the local insurance firms, then make sure you take a course using this software (or otherwise master the program).
Insurance License Exam
States have a mandatory insurance license examination for people who want to join an insurance agency. You’ll want to take classes in preparation for this exam, which are offered by participating insurance pre-licensing schools. This is the equivalent of a bar exam for lawyers (not as intense, of course), so this is your main hurdle to becoming an insurance agent. Whatever state you live and work in, make sure you meet all the requirements of that state.
Continue Your Education
Be ready to continue your education over the years, since a good number of U.S. states require regular course work. This is just a way to keep up with the times in the insurance business.
Extra Insurance Certification
If you want to advance in the industry, you’ll need to add additional certification. This may take intensive course study after an extended period as an insurance agent. You’ll need both experience and advanced studies to become an insurance underwriter, for example. That’s what many members of the insurance industry aspire to: the job of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter.
How to Become an Insurance Agent – Salary
As you can see, becoming an insurance agent is going to take time, lots of university work, and specific personality types. If you fit the criteria, learning how to become an insurance agent might be worth your time. Remember that this is a job where you get paid either salary, salary plus commission, or even just commission.
Also, being an insurance agent often requires strange hours, due to the seemingly random nature of “insurance events”. Even when getting into the business as a salesman, you’ll find that you may be selling insurance in the evenings and on the weekends. Keep that in mind while weighing the decision to become an insurance agent.
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