What Does an Insurance Sales Agent Do?
Selling various types of insurance policies, such as life, property, auto and casualty, is the main job of an insurance sales agent. Agents also refer their clients to independent brokers or act as independent brokers themselves. Otherwise, they’re employed by an insurance company. Additional duties include developing industry knowledge by attending events, ensuring business transactions are accurate, overseeing the condition of a property, customizing financial products and seeking out potential customers.
Insurance Sales Agent Abilities and Skills
Skills an insurance sales agent needs in order to carry out his or her job include reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, persuasion, time management and being able to find ways to aid others. Common abilities required on the job include written comprehension and expression, speech clarity, and oral expression and comprehension. Economics, accounting, sales, personal service and customer service are some of the different types of knowledge an agent needs on a daily basis.
Insurance Sales Agent Duties
Common day-to-day duties for insurance sales agents consist of interviewing potential clients, contacting existing policyholders to suggest changes to their insurance, customizing policies according to the policyholder’s lifestyle, suggesting companies that are the best fit for potential clients and taking care of administrative tasks. An agent may also work alongside underwriters, create marketing/advertising strategies, use bookkeeping systems, and ensure insurance claims are thoroughly, quickly and fully processed.
Insurance Sales Agent Tools and Technology
Various types of technology often used by insurance sales agents includes:Word processing softwareCygnus software and other types of financial analysis softwareEnterprise resource planning (ERP) software, such as AMS Service, Advantage Information Systems and Agency MasterCustomer relationship management (CRM) softwareExamples of tools agents often use on a day-to-day basis include:Postage or franking machinesDesktop and notebook computersLaser fax machinesDigital cameras
Education and Training for Insurance Sales Agents
As of 2015, a majority of insurance sales agent have a high school diploma or its equivalent, but there is a sizeable percentage (39%) who have earned a bachelor’s degree. The next most prevalent level of education for agents is some college courses, but that doesn’t mean a degree was earned. A small percentage of agents have either an associate’s or a master’s degree. Before applying to job positions, agents don’t have to have prior work experience, and they often receive some form of on-the-job training once hired. No matter the level of education, agents should strive to continue educating themselves on the latest trends, tools and technology used in the industry, in order to better serve their clients and improve their job prospects.
Insurance Sales Agent Salary
In the year 2014, it was reported that the average earnings for U.S. sales agents was about $47,900. The bottom 10% made $25,700 while those in the 90th percentile made $120,000. As with a majority of occupations, state, company and level of experience have an impact on total earnings. For instance, average earnings for agents in California for 2014 were $54,100 while those in the highest percentage took home $142,200.
Insurance Sales Agent Jobs by Geography
From 2012 to 2022, it’s predicted that insurance sales agents will see a job growth percentage of about 10%. States expected to see a majority of that growth include Arizona (37%), North Carolina (27%) and Utah (26%), and those predicted to experience the least amount of growth include Tennessee (5%), Oklahoma (4%) and Connecticut (.9%).In regards to salary, states in which sales agents earned the highest median salary in 2014 were Massachusetts ($65,400), New York ($64,000) and Rhode Island ($60,900). Locations where agents made the lowest average earnings were Arkansas ($34,900), South Carolina ($33,900) and West Virginia ($32,900).