How To Become a Licensed Insurance Agent

How To Become a Licensed Insurance Agent

A job in the insurance industry can be very lucrative and enjoyable. If you're looking for a new career path, you might be interested in knowing that insurance agents don't need years of training or education. Typically, the process is simple, and the job is flexible. Although the requirements for agents vary by state, you can follow these steps to become a licensed insurance agent.

Decide on a Type

There are two main types of insurance agent jobs. First, you can work as a captive insurance agent. This type of agent works with one company, and usually, the company is quite large. To start off as a captive agent, you'll take the company's training program. You'll also have to sign a non-compete agreement that limits you from working for another company.

Often, commissions are lower for captive agents than for other agents. However, agents have more support and training from their company. Meanwhile, independent insurance agents work for more than just one company. They give their customers quotes from multiple companies and move forward with the policy that the customer wants.

As an independent agent, you won't receive much training or support from insurance companies. Instead, you're on your own to succeed.

Pick Your Products

In addition to picking the type of insurance agent you want to be, you need to pick your products. You could sell commercial insurance, like property or errors and omissions insurance.

If you want to sell private policies, you could sell anything from life insurance to car insurance.

There are many differences between the types of insurance. If you want to make your life much easier, pick a specialty first and then look into the licensing requirements in your state.

Research the Requirements

After you pick your niche, it's time to research your state's requirements. If you want to sell home, auto, or business insurance, you need a property and casualty insurance license. To sell insurance, you need a life, health, and accident license.

It's important to note that you can have a license in more than one type of insurance. Whether or not you should carry multiple licenses depends on your career goals. If you fail to meet your state's licensing requirements, you risk high fines and possible jail time.

Take the License Exam

In most states, you need some type of pre-licensing class to take the exam. You can often take them online. The length of the class could be as short as one day or as long as 40 hours.

Once you're able to take the licensing exam, you need to schedule it. Typically, a company proctors the exam while you take it. You need to go to a testing site and pass the exam in front of the proctor. If your state requires the class, you also need to show the proctor proof of completion.

The exam is relatively simple. However, you should consider studying if you didn't take a pre-licensing course. Look for study tips and read up on the exam itself. If you fail your first attempt, you can take the exam a second time.

Apply for Your License

It's not enough for you to just take the exam. Once you pass, you need to submit an application for your license. This could mean doing a background check, giving fingerprints, and more. After a quick online search, you can find out the process in your state.

You can't start selling insurance until you receive your license. Although you might be eager to start selling, you must wait until the process over and you have the license.

Work with a Company

You can't actually sell insurance until you're appointed with a company. First, you must complete the application with the insurance company. As an independent agent, you'll want to sell insurance for multiple companies. Pick the companies you want to sell, and start the process.

If you plan on working as a captive insurance agent, you simply apply for a job with the insurance company. Because you only sell for one company, you don't need to worry about becoming appointed to multiple companies. You also don't need to worry about the following steps because you'll have leads coming to you and your own insurance coverage through your employer.

Get Your Own Insurance

Ironically, insurance agents need insurance too. Unless your company provides you with commercial insurance, you should take measures to protect yourself. There are a few different types of commercial insurance, so be sure to pick the best type for your business.

For instance, general liability insurance protects you from a bodily injury claim. If a client falls in your office, this insurance gives you protection in the event of a lawsuit. Errors and Omissions insurance protects you if you make a mistake. No matter how closely you pay attention to details, you could make a significant mistake that affects a client. Errors and Omissions could save you from having to pay a considerable sum of money for an honest mistake. Typically, insurance companies require independent agents to have this type of insurance.

Other types of insurance include workers' compensation, commercial auto, and cyber insurance. Just as you researched your state's licensing requirements, you should familiarize yourself with the types of insurance you need as an agent. Once you're insured, it's time to do business.

Find Clients

As an independent agent, it's up to you to find clients. You can start with your friends and family members. Make a social media post and share the news of your new license. If anyone close to you is looking for insurance, they'll know where to go.

Since this is your new career, you need to find other clients as well. You can use digital and print marketing to advertise your services. Because you're not taking a big cut on commission, you should be able to budget money for marketing methods. With that said, you can still take advantage of free marketing. If you don't have any marketing experience, you should look into taking a digital marketing course.

Now, you can embark on your new career path. Being an insurance agent could be the change you need.

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