Home / Career Guides / How to Become an Insurance Sales Agent

How to Become an Insurance Sales Agent

If you have a knack for networking, an interest in insurance, and you are a good salesperson, a career as an insurance sales agent might be a great fit for you.

Insurance sales agents advise clients on their insurance needs, explain their options, and present policies and coverage options to meet their needs. Insurance sales agents typically work for insurance companies where they specialize in a particular type of insurance, such as auto, home, health, or life insurance. 

An insurance sales agent must have outstanding verbal and written communication skills and be adept at relationship-building. Their people skills should be top-notch as they need to cultivate a network of prospects for new policies, and influence existing clients to renew their insurance plans. Insurance sales agents must have an excellent understanding of all types of insurance, including auto, fire, life, property, and medical.

Sample job description

An insurance sales representative is needed to work at [Your Company Name] full-time. As an insurance sales agent for [Your Company Name], you must contact potential clients, network with potential clients, and ensure these clients use our service through cold-calling and referral contacts. As an insurance sales agent, it will be your responsibility to design and use marketing strategies as well as the strategies in accordance with our policies. It will also be your responsibility to collect information from clients, create reports on your success, check claims, and ensure you have access to the latest insurance sales techniques. If you are capable of doing all this, as well as applying yourself full-heartedly to a sales position, this job may be for you. You must be confident in your cold-calling and contact ability, as well as your ability to form new relationships with customers and improve existing relationships. If you can do all this, we would love to have you on our team.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Assess client needs and promote suitable insurance products
  • Seek out and network with potential new clients
  • Fill out and submit applications
  • Issue quotes, maintain client records and prepare reports
  • In the event of a claim, help clients file and receive financial compensation for their loss

Education and experience

A high school diploma or its equivalent is required for this position. However, some companies and insurance agencies may prefer agents to have an associate or bachelor’s degree. Employers prefer coursework in sales, business, finance, accounting, and related subjects.

Required skills and qualifications

  • A high school diploma or its equivalent is required for this position. However, some companies and insurance agencies may prefer agents to have an associate or bachelor’s degree. Employers prefer coursework in sales, business, finance, accounting, and related subjects.

Preferred qualifications

  • Strong background in insurance
  • 3+ years of experience working in sales

Typical work environment

Insurance sales agents are required to seek and hook new clients for insurance companies. As an insurance sales agents, having previous experience with sales or cold calling can be immensely beneficial to your position. Oftentimes, insurance sales agents will work in an office or remote environment. Your responsibilities as an insurance sales agents will include contacting new and existing clients, including collecting information relating to risk profiles, consulting with new clients in order to refer them to the proper plan, and several more tasks which relate to the clients you will be in charge of. Because of this, a sales representative must have good interpersonal skills and must be goal-oriented.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for an insurance sales professional are usually from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Available certifications

An insurance sales agents may benefit from certificates in both the insurance and sales fields. These specialists may also benefit from having certificates relating to cold-calling or a similar field. Some of the most common certificates for insurance sales representatives are:

  • Health Insurance Associate (HIA). The Health Insurance Associate certification program is one of the most comprehensive and well-recognized programs currently available. This certification program can prove to be immensely beneficial to an insurance sales representative as it is perfectly designed to teach the representative about all aspects of the position.
  • Certified Customer Service Representative (CCSR). A certified customer service representative will be tested to ensure the quality of their customer service as well as their mastery of common customer service techniques. This certification can be immensely useful to insurance sales representatives and the nature of their job is in line with the customer service industries. This certification is offered by the American Association of Health Plans and can be immensely useful to any sales representative who has to deal with customer service as an aspect of their position.

Career path

Insurance sales agents can either work for an independent insurance agency, sell plans from multiple companies or be captive agents, work for one large insurance carrier, and sell products only from that company. Employers prefer sales experience, in addition to education and training, when they hire insurance sales agents.

All insurance sales agents need to obtain licensing in their state to sell insurance. Requirements and testing procedures vary from state to state. Some Insurance Sales professionals also branch out into selling financial products and securities as part of their practice. Those who do must also obtain the proper licensing and certification to sell securities products, such as those administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 41-3021

2020 Employment507,200
Projected Employment in 2030542,700
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 7% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift35,500 increase

According to the publication Insurance Journal, one trend insurance industry professionals should be aware of is the increasing financial impact of natural disasters. As the population grows, housing developments are spreading into areas that were once rural, meaning there are more losses than when similar disasters have happened in the past. The growing use of technology to make insurance companies and agencies more efficient, known as insurtech, is another trend that changes the way insurance companies do business, especially in the ways customers buy and search for insurance policies.