The role of an insurance agent has incredible growth potential and is a great way to start your career or make a much-needed change. But if you know, believe you have what it takes, and have considered making this career change, you’re probably wondering how to go about it. In this article, we outline the five basic steps to becoming licensed and starting your insurance career.
how to become an insurance agent
step 1: decide what type of insurance you want to sell
The first thing you need to do is decide what type(s) of insurance you’d like to specialize in. in the industry, these are known as “lines of authority.” Here is a summary of the most common:
life insurance: sale of policies and annuities related to the benefit of a beneficiary in case of death of the insured.
health insurance: sale of medical, disability, medicare supplemental and long-term care policies.
Property Insurance: Selling homeowners, commercial property and inland marine policies.
accident insurance: auto sales, workers’ compensation, crime coverage, and professional liability policies.
Surplus Line Insurance: Selling coverage for unique or unusual situations with risks not covered by standard insurance, such as day care insurance, oil drilling rig insurance, and special events such as state fairs, horse races, cars and outdoor activities. amusement parks.
variable product insurance: sale of insurance products with an investment element. to sell this type of insurance, you need certain securities licenses.
Personal Lines Insurance: Selling products such as auto insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, and boat, motorcycle, and snowmobile policies to individual consumers only.
Another option is to become an adjuster, which is the business of investigating and adjusting insurance policy claims. insurance adjusters also apply for the adjusting business.
In a number of cases, you don’t have to choose just one line of authority. people often combine certain lines, like property and casualty insurance.
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step 2: understand the general requirements
After you’ve decided what kind of insurance agent you want to be, the next step is to understand the basic requirements:
You must be at least 18 years old to become an insurance agent.
You must complete pre-licensing education for your line of authority, which is determined by each state. the number of hours you will need to complete and the cost also varies by state.
You must pass the state insurance licensing exam for your line(s) of authority. An insurance test prep packet can help.
must pass a background check. the process varies by state and in some cases includes fingerprinting.
you need continuing education to maintain or renew your license.
step 3: decide on a state and know its requirements
Now that you have a basic idea of what to do, it’s time to decide if you want to sell insurance in your home state or some other state. (You can also sell in more than one state, but you must also abide by the rules of each state.) As you saw in step 2, each state regulates its own insurance licensing process, and each state’s regulations or rules are slightly different, which is why deciding where is so important.
After you’ve made your decision, check with that state’s insurance department for the rules. State government agencies that regulate insurance have different names, so a good way to find out the name of the state’s insurance agency is to go to the state’s official website and look up the insurance licensing rules. Most state insurance websites are quite helpful and often have manuals that you can download and read to get all the information you need to become an insurance agent in that state. You’ll find out exactly how many hours of education (if you need them) you need, how to register for the test, where to go for the test, how you’ll get your score, and if you pass, how you’ll do it. get your license.
Each state’s website will also tell you what kind of continuing education you need to keep or renew your license.
step 4: investigative agencies
Now is also the time to research the agencies you want to work for. many have additional requirements for candidates or agents to follow that you will need to be aware of if you want to work there. Also, some agencies will hire you before you are licensed and may have specific processes you need to follow.
Step 5: Pass your state exam and apply to insurance agencies
You’ve done your research and you know what you want to do. then, it’s time to go out, get the education hours required by the state and the agency of your choice, take the exam and pass it. Armed with your license and your knowledge, you are ready for an exciting and rewarding career as an insurance agent. good luck, and don’t forget to keep up with your continuing education.