Insurance is a general term for a type of prepaid policy that provides a policy holder with a financial benefit in case of calamity. Common kinds of policies include auto insurance, health insurance, life insurance, long-term disability coverage, and property/renter's insurance. An insurance agent typically sells one or more type of policy from an office environment such as an agency, brokerage firm, or insurance company. Insurance agents who work for a brokerage firm will likely sell policies from several different insurance companies, while those hired by an insurance company serve as salespeople for their company's products.
The agent works with their clients (individuals or businesses) to pick out specific policies and might also sell other related financial packages or products. They typically explain the various insurance policies available to the client and help them pick out which policy best suits the client's needs. They might be asked by their employers to acquire new clients from phone, mail, and/or online media solicitation. Agents also contact policy holders or their beneficiaries to update or verify information when an insurance claim is processed or needs to be renewed. They are often required to attend company meetings, file reports, and demonstrate excellent communication and customer service skills.
Insurance agents typically work standard business hours from an office or possibly a home office. Some positions require special licenses, which some companies will pay new employees to obtain. Some employers prefer to hire bilingual candidates or those who have a bachelor's degree in business or economics. Sales experience in a related industry can also be useful to someone looking for their first position as an insurance agent.
Insurance Agent Tasks
- Process the paperwork to enroll customers in policies and calculate premiums.
- Explain insurance policies to customers and help them customize policies to fit their needs.
- Sell insurance policies to businesses or individuals.
- Utilize referrals, phone calls, mailings, and other forms of advertising to generate new customers.