Insurance Sales Agent  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insurance Sales Agents Career Video

Insider Info

dotInsurance brokers and agents sell insurance to clients so that their cars, property and even lives will be insured in the event of an accident or natural disaster. Insurance means you will be financially compensated if something awful happens.

"Insurance is designed to identify and protect assets. I get an opportunity to help people secure their future and achieve their goals," says insurance agent David Creighton.

dotInsurance agents and brokers help people and businesses insure themselves. The agent or broker helps clients select the type of insurance that provides the best protection for their lives, health and property.

dotThey sell many different types of insurance. There is a type of insurance for just about everything. Some of the more common types of insurance are automobile, fire, health, property, casualty, travel, household and life insurance.

dotAgents may work for an insurance company or they may work as an independent agent who sells for several companies. Brokers don't work for any particular company. They are independent and work more directly for their clients. They place insurance policies for their clients with the company that offers the best rate and coverage.

dotHow does an agent or broker know what kind of insurance is needed? They discuss a client's needs with a client. This involves asking questions and listening carefully to the answers. It may also involve assessing the financial status of the client.

After this process, the agent or broker does some research into the different types of policies available. Then the agent or broker meets with the client again to give information about the policies. They may recommend a policy or suggest how much insurance a client should have.

dotAgents and brokers also prepare reports, maintain records and assist their clients in filing claims.

dotThe most important skill for success in this field is excellent sales ability. Your job will depend on it, say agents. They suggest you try out your sales abilities in a retail job first to see if you enjoy sales work.

dotAn insurance agent or broker's livelihood depends on their ability to make contact with people. Therefore, you must be good at networking and working with people.

"If you're able to master this part, companies and branch offices will bend over backwards to help a new agent," says Diana Kiengersky. She is a broker.

dotEmployers want professional people as their agents.

"People don't buy insurance, they have to be sold on it. Trust is very important," says agent Brian Moir.

dotInsurance brokers and agents work from a "home base" in an office. Yet they spend a lot of time traveling to the homes and businesses of their clients.

They must arrange their working hours around the schedules of their customers. That means a lot of evening and weekend appointments. Many agents work 40 to 60 hours a week.

dotMost brokers and agents work in large cities. While some work in the headquarters of insurance companies, most work out of local company offices or smaller branches.

dotSelling means communicating. There are no physical requirements other than the ability to communicate effectively in spoken English. But selling isn't as simple as it sounds.

"Rejection can be hard. You don't always have a victory for everything you do," says Abby McDowell. She is an insurance agent.

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this career is about?Check out Just the Facts for simple lists of characteristics.

At a Glance

Sell all types of insurance

  • Agents and brokers tend to specialize in a particular type of insurance
  • You have to be a strong salesperson
  • A degree in commerce or insurance pleases employers