Becoming a life insurance agent can be a very lucrative career choice. There is an endless need for life insurance, and commissions from the sale of insurance policies are extremely generous. Additionally, the insurance industry is one of only a small handful that continues to pay salespeople long after the initial transaction. Successful life insurance agents have no limit to their income, and can earn a substantial amount of residual income once a client base is established.
Things You'll Need
- Insurance license
- Reliable vehicle
Get properly licensed. The insurance industry is regulated at the state level, and anyone wanting to sell life insurance products is required to obtain proper industry licenses. Only after successful completion of a state-mandated insurance exam will you be able to sell policies.
Get appointed with insurance companies. After successfully completing the state-required insurance license exam, it is necessary to become appointed as an agent for any company whose products you will sell. This process is extremely easy and consists of filling out an agent agreement with each company, providing your insurance producer license information and waiting for approval. Once approved, the insurance carrier will issue you an agent number, which is used to identify you on all client applications and correspondence.
Purchase a computer or laptop. Most insurance companies use the Internet to communicate with their agents and send correspondence regarding clients. Any forms or documents required to complete an insurance policy sale can be downloaded and printed from the Internet. Because you will meet a large percentage of potential clients in their homes, a laptop is extremely convenient for recording client information and presenting policy concepts and illustrations.
Make sure you have a reliable vehicle. Insurance agents travel quite extensively, depending on the location of their prospects. A vehicle that can handle frequent highway trips is necessary.
Begin prospecting. The life blood of any insurance salesman is a constant, steady flow of new leads, called prospects. There are countless ways to begin prospecting, too many to describe here, each with its own pros and cons. The most important point is that agents should let the public know they are available to assist with their life insurance needs.
Tips & Warnings
- Find a general agency. For independent life insurance agents, especially newly licensed agents, it is impossible to keep current on every company's new products, updates and other changes. By contracting with a general agency (GA), an insurance agent can focus his efforts on what pays him the most -- selling more policies. The role of the GA is to act as an intermediary between the agent and the insurance companies, provide any necessary paperwork or documents, and help research or generate quotes for prospective new clients. In exchange for their services, the GA will have an agent's commission routed through their own systems, wherein a small percentage will be deducted as payment for their services. In the long run, the haircut taken by the GA is well worth every penny. Have a respectable-looking vehicle. Because many insurance meetings are held in a client's home, their first impression of a new agent comes when they peek out their window as you pull into their driveway. Driving a well-maintained and professional-looking vehicle might just be the difference between closing a sale and leaving empty-handed.
- Never attempt to sell a life insurance policy until you are properly licensed by your state's insurance department and appointed with the company whose products you are soliciting. Fines are heavy and can result in serious problems with your insurance career.
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