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Insurance Agent - A Lucrative Career
Insurance agents sell insurance to people. They require a good personality, people skills, perseverance, and professionalism to succeed. Insurance agents have several options when it comes to selling insurance. They can work for insurance companies on a salaried or commission basis. Alternatively, they can represent brokerage firms or work as independent insurance agents. No matter what, insurance agents are always in the frontline for insurance agencies.
Insurance agents sell insurances to individuals and companies based on their needs. Vehicle insurance, life insurance, medical insurances and so on are the different types of insurances that they sell. Agents can specialize in fields such as life, property, health, disability and so on. Agents also help beneficiaries by assisting them in their claims according to their situations be it death, thefts, or illness and so on.
A college degree is usually preferred by companies looking to hire agents. However, high school graduates with a good track record are also considered. Knowledge of multiple languages and information regarding insurances will definitely be a plus. An exam needs to be cleared before a person can become an agent. Furthermore, separate licenses need to be obtained to sell different insurances like health, property, and casualty insurance.
Experienced brokers are the best mentors especially when one is looking to join an insurance company. After picking a specific subject, agents can apply to companies, firms, and brokerages that deal with the specific insurance sales. Study further and clear exams so that they can evolve according to the changing times. Agents who pass exams conducted by the state licensing authorities are eligible for promotions. On the career ladder, an agent can move on to become an underwriter and move on to a managerial position. With the right attitude, some could even end up running their own brokerage firms.
Different types of insurances require different methods and approaches. Life insurance requires a sales oriented approach while clients for property and health insurances are easier to make deals with. Insurance agents make have to work beyond their stipulated time of forty hours per week. Part time agents can put in more hours to earn more pay. Working on weekends may also be necessary when according to the situational demands.
The selling skills and capabilities usually determine the level of pay for an agent. While independent agents earn commissions, those who work for insurance companies receive a salary along with a bonus and other incentives for reaching targets. The percentage varies with each company however generally they receive about 55% in the first year then 3 to 5 % in renewal commissions for the next 5 to 10 years. Agents receive about 7 % commission of the annuities that the customer invests in. This percentage also varies with different companies with rates going up to 15%. Most annuities have a surrender period of seven years or less, with the surrender charge decreasing by one percentage point per year. The surrender charge usually indicates the percentage of the agent's commission.
An agent may have to face hardships but with a little patience and perseverance, success is a definite possibility.