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Working As An Insurance Sales Representative

  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $74,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Insurance Sales Representative Do

Insurance sales agents contact potential customers and sell one or more types of insurance. Insurance sales agents explain various insurance policies and help clients choose plans that suit them.

Duties

Insurance sales agents typically do the following:

  • Call potential clients in order to expand their own customer base
  • Interview prospective clients to get information about their financial resources and discuss existing coverage
  • Explain the features of various policies
  • Analyze clients’ current insurance policies and suggest additions or other changes
  • Customize insurance programs to suit individual clients
  • Handle policy renewals
  • Maintain electronic and paper records

Insurance sales agents commonly sell one or more types of insurance, such as property and casualty, life, health, and long-term care insurance.

Property and casualty insurance agents sell policies that protect people and businesses from financial loss resulting from automobile accidents, fire, theft, and other events that can damage property. For businesses, property and casualty insurance also covers workers’ compensation claims, product liability claims, or medical malpractice claims.

Life insurance agents specialize in selling policies that pay beneficiaries when a policyholder dies. Life insurance agents also sell annuities that promise a retirement income.

Health and long-term care insurance agents sell policies that cover the costs of medical care and assisted-living services in old age. They also may sell dental insurance and short-term and long-term disability insurance.

Agents may specialize in any one of these products or function as generalists providing multiple products.

An increasing number of insurance sales agents offer their clients—especially those approaching retirement—comprehensive financial-planning services. Such services include retirement planning, estate planning, and help in setting up pension plans for businesses. In addition to offering insurance, these agents may become licensed to sell mutual funds, variable annuities, and other securities. This practice is most common with life insurance agents who already sell annuities, but many property and casualty agents also sell financial products. For more information on agents who sell financial products, see the profile on securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents.

Many agents spend a lot of time marketing their services and creating their own base of clients. They do this in a variety of ways, including making “cold” sales calls to people who are not current clients.

Potential clients often use comparison shopping tools online to learn about different policies and obtain information from insurance companies. Clients can either purchase a policy directly from the website or contact the company to speak with a sales agent.

Insurance agents also find new clients through referrals by current clients. Keeping clients happy so that they recommend the agent to others is a key to success for insurance sales agents.

Insurance agents may work for a single insurance company or an insurance brokerage.

Captive agents are insurance sales agents who work exclusively for one insurance company. They can only sell policies provided by the company that employs them.

Independent insurance agents work for insurance brokerages, selling the policies of several companies. They match insurance policies for their clients with the company that offers the best rate and coverage.

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How To Become An Insurance Sales Representative

Although most employers require agents to have a high school diploma, many agents have a bachelor’s degree. Agents must be licensed in the states where they work.

Education

A high school diploma is the typical requirement for insurance sales agents, although a bachelor’s degree can improve one’s job prospects. Public-speaking classes can be useful in improving sales techniques, and often agents will have taken courses in business, finance, or economics. Business knowledge is also helpful for sales agents hoping to advance to a managerial position.

Training

Insurance sales agents learn many of their job duties on the job from other agents. Many employers have new agents shadow an experienced agent. This practice allows the new agent to learn how to conduct the company’s business and to understand how the agency interacts with clients.

Employers also are increasingly placing greater emphasis on continuing professional education as the variety of financial products sold by insurance sales agents grows. Changes in tax laws, government benefits programs, and other state and federal regulations can affect the insurance needs of clients and the way in which agents conduct business. Agents can enhance their selling skills and broaden their knowledge of insurance and other financial services by taking courses at colleges and universities or by attending conferences and seminars sponsored by insurance organizations.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Insurance sales agents must have a license in the states where they work. Separate licenses are required for agents to sell life and health insurance and property and casualty insurance. In most states, licenses are issued only to applicants who complete specified courses and who pass state exams covering insurance fundamentals and state insurance laws. Most state licensing authorities also require agents to take continuing education courses focusing on insurance laws, consumer protection, ethics, and the technical details of various insurance policies.

As the demand for financial-planning services increases, many agents also choose to get licensed and certified to sell securities and other financial products. Licensing and certification requires substantial study time to pass an additional exam—either the Series 6 or Series 7 licensing exam, both of which are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The Series 6 exam is for agents who want to sell only mutual funds and variable annuities. The Series 7 exam is the main FINRA series license, which qualifies agents as general securities sales representatives.

A number of organizations offer certifications that show an agent’s expertise in insurance specialties. These certifications are not required for employment, but they can give job candidates an advantage over other applicants. Certifications also can be a source of continuing education credit. For details on specific designations, contact The Institutes and The American College of Financial Services.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Insurance sales agents must evaluate the characteristics of each client to determine the appropriate insurance policy.

Communication skills. Insurance sales agents must be able to communicate effectively with customers by listening to their requests and suggesting suitable policies.

Initiative. Insurance sales agents need to actively seek out new customers to maintain a flow of commissions.

Self-confidence. Insurance sales agents should be confident when making “cold” calls (calls to prospective customers who have not been contacted before). They must speak clearly and persuasively and maintain their composure if rejected.

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Insurance Sales Representative Career Paths

Insurance Sales Representative
Account Executive Sales Manager
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager Regional Sales Manager
National Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Insurance Sales Agent Sales Agent Sales Specialist
Territory Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Insurance Sales Agent Loan Officer Senior Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Insurance Sales Agent Loan Officer Credit Analyst
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Inside Sales Representative Sales Specialist Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Inside Sales Representative Sales Specialist Sales Manager
Regional Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Inside Sales Representative Buyer Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Personal Banker Credit Analyst Account Manager
Regional Accounts Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Personal Banker Loan Officer Senior Account Executive
Senior Sales Executive
8 Yearsyrs
Personal Banker Finance Analyst Owner
Owner And Sales
7 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Executive Assistant Customer Service Manager
Inside Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Consultant Case Manager
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Consultant Management Consultant
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Finance Advisor Sales Consultant Internet Sales Consultant
Internet Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Finance Advisor Business Developer Senior Account Manager
Manager, Account Executive
5 Yearsyrs
Finance Advisor Business Developer Territory Sales Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Claims Representative Field Specialist Energy Consultant
Lead Generator
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Insurance Broker 3.6 years
Insurance Agent 2.7 years
Sales Producer 2.7 years
Licensed Agent 2.5 years
Insurance Producer 2.1 years
Insurance Adviser 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Insurance Sales Representative
Cashier 6.6%
Manager 4.4%
Owner 2.7%
Internship 2.4%
Server 2.3%
Supervisor 2.2%
Top Careers After Insurance Sales Representative
Cashier 4.8%
Owner 4.1%
Manager 2.4%
Agent 2.4%

Do you work as an Insurance Sales Representative?

Average Yearly Salary
$74,000
Show Salaries
$63,000
Min 10%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
NetSuite
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.2 years
How much does an Insurance Sales Representative make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Insurance Sales Representative in the United States is $74,767 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $63,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $87,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Top Skills for An Insurance Sales Representative

  1. Life Insurance
  2. Customer Service
  3. Auto Insurance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Directed customers to appropriate departments for specific information concerning life insurance and mutual fund investments.
  • Worked with delivery and merchandise installation personnel to ensure items were properly installed and customer service was satisfactory.
  • Meet auto insurance quotas through phone calls then establish customer satisfaction
  • Reached out to all new clients to obtain a client profile and obtain information for further potential business opportunities.
  • Interview prospective clients to obtain data about their financial resources and needs, and to discuss any existing coverage.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Insurance Sales Representatives

  1. Iowa
  2. Idaho
  3. Kansas
  4. Wyoming
  5. Illinois
  6. Minnesota
  7. Arizona
  8. Alabama
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Nevada
  • (1,211 jobs)
  • (318 jobs)
  • (535 jobs)
  • (127 jobs)
  • (3,106 jobs)
  • (1,262 jobs)
  • (995 jobs)
  • (612 jobs)
  • (1,047 jobs)
  • (383 jobs)

Insurance Sales Representative Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,257 Insurance Sales Representative resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Insurance Sales Representative Resume

View Resume Examples

Insurance Sales Representative Demographics

Gender

Male

50.6%

Female

45.2%

Unknown

4.1%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

17.2%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.9%

French

7.0%

German

3.5%

Italian

2.8%

Mandarin

2.8%

Portuguese

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Russian

1.4%

Serbian

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Swedish

0.7%

Swahili

0.7%

Romanian

0.7%

Gujarati

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Hmong

0.7%

Hebrew

0.7%

Hungarian

0.7%
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Insurance Sales Representative Education

Schools

University of Houston

8.2%

Ashford University

6.6%

Temple University

6.6%

Kaplan University

6.6%

Michigan State University

5.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.7%

Ohio State University

4.9%

Walden University

4.9%

Miami Dade College

4.9%

Florida State University

4.9%

Ohio University -

4.1%

University of South Florida

4.1%

University of Southern Indiana

4.1%

Montgomery College

4.1%

Illinois State University

4.1%

Nassau Community College

4.1%

West Virginia University

4.1%

University of Iowa

4.1%

Kent State University

4.1%

Eastern Michigan University

4.1%
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Majors

Business

32.4%

Insurance

7.9%

Marketing

5.7%

Management

5.0%

Psychology

5.0%

Finance

4.7%

Accounting

4.6%

Communication

4.2%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Nursing

3.7%

Liberal Arts

2.9%

Economics

2.8%

Political Science

2.6%

General Studies

2.4%

History

2.4%

Medical Assisting Services

2.2%

Education

2.1%

Health Care Administration

2.1%

English

1.9%

Legal Support Services

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.2%

High School Diploma

16.7%

Associate

16.6%

Masters

9.0%

Certificate

5.4%

License

4.4%

Diploma

2.0%

Doctorate

0.8%
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Updated May 18, 2020