What Is an Insurance Consultant?

Insurance consultants help determine the best policies based on age, income, health and other factors.
Insurance consultants help determine the best policies based on age, income, health and other factors. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Insurance consultants advise customers and clients interested in life, health, property and casualty insurance. Once the insurance consultant has identified the client’s needs, she can sell or recommend an insurance policy to fit those needs. Typically, insurance consultants offer their services for a fee. Insurance consultants are required to be licensed and may also benefit from a college education to increase their credibility.

Required Education

Some insurance consultants are hired without a formal education, but the majority of employers prefer candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree. Degrees in economics, business or finance are all acceptable for this profession. Degrees in insurance are rarely offered, though any coursework involving insurance is extremely useful for people pursuing a career as an insurance consultant.

Required Skills

Insurance consultants should have sales and communication skills. Sales experience is often more important than a formal education for this profession. Insurance consultants may receive sales experience from an internship with an insurance or sales company; however, any sales position helps the consultant gain experience and demonstrates sales ability to potential employers.

License and Certification

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all insurance consultants must be licensed in order to sell insurance. State licensing examinations cover the fundamentals of insurance sales and laws. Prior to taking the exam and acquiring licensure, applicants must complete classes. Unlike licensure, insurance consultants are not required to be certified; however, those who are show their dedication and professionalism and boost their credibility with employers and clients alike.

Career Outlook

The BLS reported a projected 12 percent growth in employment from 2008 to 2018, so the employment outlook for insurance consultants is positive. As the population ages and increases, the demand for insurance will rise. Growth of businesses expanding their insurance coverage will also create an increase in sales for insurance. Insurance consultants with a formal education and excellent interpersonal and sales skills can expect the best prospects.

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