A high school diploma is the minimum education requirement in most cases, though many employers give preference to candidates with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, especially in fields like business or finance.
Generally, you’ll also need to be licensed to sell insurance in the state where you work, based on your chosen specialty or “line of authority.” Enrolling in pre-licensing courses while you complete your education can help you get your foot in the door. For more information, check with organizations like the National Insurance Producer Registry, a national not-for-profit insurance licensing clearinghouse.
As somebody exploring an insurance sales career, you’ll need to present well, both in person and over the phone. That means being well-spoken, courteous, a good listener, and responsive in conversations. It helps to know what to expect in a job interview. Remember: you’re selling yourself first and foremost.
Employers will also try to suss out your knowledge of the industry. Be upfront if you’re just beginning on your insurance sales career path. If you have experience as an insurance sales agent, be prepared to talk about your background, your past sales successes, and salary expectations, including asking (preferably not too early in the interview process) what the employer’s top agents earn.
Types of Insurance Sales Jobs
Your targeted specialty area and insurance licensure can guide you as you explore how to become an insurance agent and the types of insurance sales jobs. Many insurance jobs fall under these general categories:
Life insurance sales agents sell life insurance policies and annuities that pay beneficiaries when the policyholder dies. The pay is often on a straight commission, often at a high rate compared to other insurance sales jobs, in part because life insurance can be difficult to sell and prospective customers can be harder to find.
Property and Casualty Insurance
The role of property insurance agents involves helping customers protect property, including homes, vehicles, jewellery and other valuables. Casualty insurance specialists offer clients liability coverage against financial losses related to accidents involving their property, and includes auto, homeowner’s, and renter’s insurance. Property and casualty are usually combined into one general area of expertise.
Health and Long-Term Care Insurance
A health insurance sales agent works on behalf of health insurance companies, selling health-related products and services to consumers. By contrast, a health insurance broker works on behalf of consumers, assisting them in finding and enrolling in qualified healthcare plans. This category can also include agents who help clients find long-term disability insurance and coverage for assisted living care.