Career and Job Search Guide

Insurance Sales Agent

Insurance agents usually introduce people to insurance companies. Agents help people and businesses determine the best insurance policies to protect their property and overall well being.

Insurance sales agents, also known as �producers� by people working for insurance companies, sell health, auto, homeowners, and many other forms of insurance. Insurance representatives that sell insurance policies that protect people from monetary loss resulting from accidents are known as casualty and property insurance agents. Business owners can buy property and casualty insurance to protect themselves from financial losses resulting from worksite injuries and other liabilities.

Agents selling life insurance sell policies that pay heirs when policy holders die. Cash value life insurance policies provide beneficiaries with cash payments that can be used for retirement or a child's education. Agents selling life insurance also sell annuities that can provide a descent retirement income. Agents selling health insurance offer policies that pay medical bills, and some policies will provide people with income if they cannot work due to sickness or injury. These agents also sell dental insurance policies and disability insurance. Some agents specialize in certain policies while others sell all types of insurance.

More insurance salespeople now offer other financial services, also known as cross selling, and offer estate and retirement planning, mutual funds, and other securities. Life, property and casualty insurance agents often offer financial services.

Insurance agents must find new clients and perform administrative duties. If a claim is filed, agents assist them with their claims. More agents are also providing clients with financial advice, so they can decrease risk.

Captive agents work for one insurance company. Independent insurance brokers sell insurance products from numerous companies, usually finding the best match for their clients.

Insurance agents can now work with more clients because of improvements in technology. They can use the internet to obtain price quotes and have applications reviewed quickly, as well as learn more about new insurance products.

The internet has changed the relationship between insurance sellers and buyers. Insurance salespeople use to spend a lot of time and effort marketing insurance products, but people interested in buying insurance products can get quotes online and buy insurance directly from insurance companies. The internet has provided consumers more discretion buying insurance, decreasing the hours agents spend seeking new clients. Insurance salespeople should maintain contact with clients since they can obtain new referrals this way. This is one of the most effective ways to find new clients.

Competition among insurance companies has resulted in increased efforts to improve customer service. This has led to an increase in customer service call centers offering 24 hour a day customer service and the hiring of customer service representatives performing a variety of duties for insurance companies. The opportunity to cross-sell new products to clients will help agents' businesses grow. The expansion of call centers permits insurance agents to spend their time seeking new customers and improving relations with current ones.

Work environment. Captive agents usually work with their customers in small offices. The size of the offices of independent insurance brokers depends on their company's size, but they spend a lot of time traveling to meet with customers and investigating insurance claims. Insurance agents usually set their own schedules and with customers at their convenience. The majority of insurance salespeople work 40 hour weeks, but some work 60 or more hours a week.