Insurance Agents work for insurance companies and their job is to sell life, property, health, or car insurances. They offer all the products provided by the company they work for to individuals, companies, commercial businesses, or other organizations that may require their services.
Being basically a Salesperson, an Insurance Agent must possess extensive knowledge of all the products and policies available in the company they work for. They are usually the people that directly interact with clients and customers. An Insurance Agent will evaluate the clients’ necessities and other aspects of their profile in order to offer them the product that is best suited for them.
A common mistake is confusing Insurance Agents with Insurance Brokers. While the two work by selling all kinds of insurance policies to their respective clients, Insurance Agents work directly for a single insurance company, only promoting and selling their products. Insurance Brokers, on the other hand, work independently from insurance companies and may promote and sell products from different companies. The two often work closely together; Insurance Agents promote their company’s products to Insurance Brokers, who then, in turn, sell them to their clients.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Insurance Agents are required to complete.
- Selling different types of insurance policies available in their company:
- Promoting their products to new and existing clients;
- finding the best policy for each client;
- explaining each point of the policy to their client; and
- carrying out the necessary paperwork to sell the insurance policy.
- Interviewing new clients to assess their risks when selling a life or health insurance:
- Investigating the client’s personal background;
- evaluating financial records, medical histories criminal records, or other documents when necessary; and
- deciding on the best policy available for them.
- Inspecting assets when selling a property or car insurance:
- Determining the state of the property or vehicle;
- looking for signs of previous damage;
- assessing possible risks (e.g. main driver, mileage, and even colour of the car); and
- deciding on the best policy available for them.
- Ensuring all policy requirements are met:
- Checking medical records for life or health insurance;
- checking inspection reports for property or car insurance; and
- verifying that all paperwork is completed according to applicable regulations.
- Contacting Insurance Underwriters to conduct coverage evaluations:
- Preparing and drafting insurance agreements and policies together.
- Customizing or creating special coverage packages for clients when allowed by the company:
- Creating a coverage plan that satisfies all of the client’s needs.
- Calculating payment plans, methods, and premiums:
- Taking all costs into consideration; and
- processing payment transactions.
- Handling insurance claims:
- Recollecting information on client and policy coverage;
- explaining coverage to client; and
- monitoring claims to ensure an equitable payment.
- Performing administrative tasks:
- Keeping records of all clients and transactions;
- contacting clients when there’s an issue with their payment; and
- processing policy renewals.
- Selling insurance policies and plans.
- Working alongside Insurance Brokers in order to negotiate and promote their products.
- Meeting and assisting new and existing clients, answering their questions about coverage, if any.
- Interviewing clients to assess their necessities and risks and collecting information on their backgrounds.
- Contacting health and property evaluators.
- Offering the policy or plan best suited for each client.
- Contacting Insurance Underwriters to process a contract.
The average Insurance Agent salary is $43,192 per year or $22 per hour. This is around 1.3 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $30,000 while most experienced workers make up to $60,000. These results are based on 21 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Outstanding customer service and sales skills:
- Being aware of client activity and responding with a sense of urgency, prioritizing assisting clients over other tasks;
- providing high levels of customer service to existing and potential customers;
- being persuasive enough to be able to convince clients;
- being polite and patient while dealing with difficult clients; and
- identifying and assessing customers’ needs and concerns.
- Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills:
- Communicating in a clear manner, both in writing and verbally, to effectively explain their recommendations to clients using non-technical language so they can easily understand;
- having a friendly and appealing personality to engage in positive interactions with clients, customers, and coworkers; and
- listening carefully and understanding clients’ inquiries in order to be able to assess any issues promptly.
- Excellent time management and organizational skills:
- Being capable of taking on several tasks at the same time;
- being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment; and
- being able to work both independently and as part of a team.
- Problem-solving and decision-making skills:
- Identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner.
- Adaptive personality with the ability to learn and apply new sales strategies quickly:
- Being resilient when facing challenges.
- Being resourceful, energetic, driven, structured, and displaying a strong desire to take initiative.
Insurance Agents work as part of the staff of an insurance company. They are tasked with promoting and selling their products to clients or Insurance Brokers. Most entry-level jobs as an Insurance Agent often require applicants to possess a college or university degree in Business Management, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Finances, or Administration.
Other than a degree, most companies prefer hiring candidates that also possess some experience in areas related to the Insurance industry field. One (1) or two (2) years of previous work experience in Sales, Retail, or Customer Service can be a great asset for applicants.
All Insurance activity in Canada is governed and watched over by provincial regulators. The provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec each have their own regulatory bodies tasked with, among other things, issuing the necessary licences that all professionals working in Insurance need. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and the Northwest Territories are all under the jurisdiction of the National Superintendent of Insurance.
Depending on their client’s needs, Insurance Agents may be required to travel from their company to their client’s premises in order to negotiate details of a contract. This is more often done for big clients like companies or VIPs.