Did you know that there are well over 160,000 insurance producers in America? Some of these producers are top agents with excellent insurance career training that allows them to be successful. But what is this training, and what else do you need if you are looking to start your career as an insurance agent? Continue reading below to find out!
This brief insurance career training article will cover all you need to know about becoming an insurance agent and what type of insurance career training you can use to become a successful agent in your field.
What Do I Need for Insurance Career Training?
Before you become an insurance agent, you must first complete your high school education. This means you just need a high school diploma or a GED to start your career as an insurance agent. Beyond that, you must pass your state licensing exam.
Pre-licensing Education Requirements
Before you can sit for your exam, you must take a few courses in life insurance. This includes knowing the ethics and codes of your state’s insurance codes.
Additional courses needed:
- Accident and Health
- Life/Accident and Health
- Personal Lines
- Property and Casualty
Each state has its requirements for how many hours you need in each subject. For example, if you were going for a P&C license, you would need at least 20 hours of property and casualty training in California.
It is imperative that you track your hours and keep the certificates you earn after each course. When you go to apply for your licensing exam, you must have proof of your courses.
Take Your Licensing Exam
As mentioned earlier, you will need copies of your certificates before you apply for your exam. Depending on your state, you can take your exam through the PSI.
They offer remotely proctored exams that you can take at home. If not, you can go to a testing exam where there will be a proctor watching you take the test. You can register online for the exam, and it is a computer exam. Once you complete the test, you will receive your test results right after.
What Do I Need To Take for My Exam?
When you appear for your exam, make sure you bring a valid ID. This can be a military ID, driver’s license, or passport. If you recently moved into a new state where you plan on taking the exam, make sure you speak with your test provider before you show up.
Some testing centers won’t accept an out-of-state ID. Don’t bring any personal items with you. If you need any calculators, papers, or pens, the testing center will give that to you.
Insurance Coverages You Must Be Aware Of
If you decide to be a life insurance agent, you must be well aware of the different coverages and types of life insurance you can offer. For example, you have the opportunity to provide your clients with term life insurance.
Term Life Insurance
Term life is coverage provided at the end of one’s life. Unlike whole life insurance (which we will get into shortly), there is no cash value. The sole purpose of this insurance is to pay out a death benefit to designated beneficiaries. Most term policies have a level premium, meaning your clients pay a specific amount each month.
Whole Life Insurance
A whole life insurance policy includes a death benefit and a cash value option. This coverage provides protection for your clients for the entirety of their life.
With the cash value option, a portion of your client’s premium dollars are placed into an account that grows on a tax-deferred basis. This means your clients have the opportunity to develop a savings account without having to worry about paying taxes on any gains.
Benefits you can tell your clients about whole life:
- Level premiums
- The death benefit is guaranteed
- Guaranteed cash value that continues to grow
Although it takes a few years for the account to grow at a guaranteed rate, your clients will know that there is a promised cash benefit. This is a substantial financial benefit that can help their beneficiaries when they pass away.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is another excellent policy you have the opportunity to sell to your clients. Like whole life, it offers a death benefit and a cash value portion. The only main difference is that the premiums may vary each month.
With this policy, your clients can raise or lower the amount they pay within the limits of the policy. For example, if your client needs to pay less each month to keep up with their other bills, they can do that.
The only problem with paying less is there is a trade-off in the later years of the policy. They may pay less for a couple of months, but they will have to pay more during the policy term.
Final expense insurance, as the name states, it pays for the final expenses around a funeral and burial. There is no cash value or investment option for this type of policy, but it does help pay for any funeral costs.
The monthly premiums stay level, and your insured will have coverage so long as they make their monthly payments. If they don’t, the policy will cancel.
Many people opt for this coverage because it helps cover unexpected out-of-pocket expenses surrounding funerals. Most funerals cost about $6,000 to $7,000, depending on the type of funeral.
Where Do I Find Insurance Career Training?
There are several excellent online insurance career training programs you can use to kick-start your career. Even if you’re a seasoned insurance agent, you could also benefit from insurance career training.
Many reputable websites, such as Insurance Sales 101, provide life insurance agents with excellent resources to improve their business practices. Our courses cover advanced sales strategies, ways to bring in more revenue, and more.
The information you learn in these courses will help you get leads, secure clients, and better your business as a whole. The course also includes discounts for overhead costs, technology, and other things you need for your insurance business.
How Much Does a Life Insurance Agent Make?
Depending on how many policies you sell, you can earn over $50,000 as a life insurance agent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the life insurance agent profession will grow by 7%, which is an excellent sign. There will be thousands of agencies looking to hire new life insurance agents to join their brokerage.
Is a Career in Insurance Right for Me?
Working as an insurance agent takes a lot of patience and understanding. To be successful, you need excellent people skills. Working as an agent is more than completing a sale and offering the best insurance. Instead, working as an agent is about being that family’s ally and trusted advisor in the event the worst happens to their family.
Excellent Communication Skills
To work as a successful agent, you must have top-tier communication skills. Whatever message you’re trying to get to a person, no matter if it is verbal or through written communication, needs to be straightforward and easy to understand.
You want to sound professional and empathetic, not like someone who is trying to get a sale. Instead of approaching your clients as a salesperson, approach them as an advisor who has their best interest in mind.
If you want to improve your communication skills, you can do mock client interviews with a friend or a fellow agent. You can even record your conversations so you can play them back and see where you can improve or change.
Be prepared to hear rejections from clients. Not everyone is going to jump on your wonderful ideas. So to help with common objections, you can practice retorts and better ways to explain life insurance to a client.
Maintain Your Energy Levels
The life insurance industry is highly competitive, and it takes a lot of energy, stamina, and effort to make it in this field. Working as an agent is not like your average forty hours a week type of job. You will have to meet with clients, work over the weekends, or work long hours.
Be prepared to take drives to different clients and to do other tasks that don’t exactly produce income. Make sure you’re motivated enough to do this job as well.
As mentioned earlier, there will be times when a client doesn’t purchase a policy, even after speaking to you for days about it. Don’t be discouraged. Instead, please take it as a learning experience and know that not everyone may want to buy a policy today. Just know that if they ever consider getting a policy, they will call you right back so long as you leave a lasting impact on them.
Having confidence in any profession that involves sales is extremely important. When you speak with your clients, make sure you present yourself as confident and someone who is there to help them.
Build a Network
As someone who works independently when working on leads, you’re going to need a flow of potential clients. Referrals are an easy way to gain new business, even if some of those people don’t purchase a policy from you. Those who don’t buy a policy or those who do can recommend you to other people interested in the life insurance or other life insurance type of products.
Benefits of Working as an Insurance Agent
One of the most significant benefits of working as an insurance agent is you don’t need a degree to get started. So long as you have your high school diploma or GED, you can start as an insurance agent. As mentioned earlier, you do need to complete training courses and pass your licensing exam, but after that, you can begin producing life insurance.
As an insurance agent, you can make a lot of passive income. You receive a direct commission after you sell a policy, and you also receive a renewal commission on the policy. That renewal commission is where your passive income comes from.
For example, if a couple purchases a whole life policy and they live to be ninety, you can receive about 5% of the commission. Granted, this couple purchased it in their 30s and lived to be ninety, which is sixty years’ worth of passive income if they continue to pay on their policy.
Plenty of Jobs Available
You have the opportunity to work alone as an independent insurance agent worker for different brokers, or you can work for just one firm. Many companies offer commission-based pay, so there is no need to limit hiring.
When you work for those types of companies, you just receive your commission payments, and the broker takes a cut from your sale. Depending on who you decide to partner with, they can also help you with your licensing and reimburse the costs.
Get the Best Insurance Career Training
Working as a life insurance agent is a rewarding career that is also lucrative. Not only can you make passive and immediate income, but you also have the chance to sell a product that will protect your clients in the event of a death.
Knowing about the products you sell and having excellent insurance career training is critical if you want to be a successful life insurance agent. Check out our courses today if you are ready to start your career or improve your already-established life insurance business! We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.