Insurance Sales Agent Job Description
Insurance sales agents work directly with clients to promote and sell a wide array of insurance products, including auto, home, and life insurance. While some agents may specialize in just one type of insurance, most maintain a number of product lines and sell clients bundled products to enhance their coverage while keeping overall costs down.
Many insurance sales agents work as independent contractors and earn money solely on commission, so they need excellent lead generation and sales skills, as well as the ability to successfully explain to potential clients how one or more insurance products can benefit them, their families, or their businesses.
Insurance Sales Agent Duties and Responsibilities
Based on job postings that we analyzed, most insurance sales agents share several core duties:
Identify Client Needs
One of the central duties of an insurance sales agent is assessing client information to determine their insurance needs and identify opportunities to bundle multiple products. If a client has a home and a vehicle, for example, an insurance sales agent may identify insurance plans that cover both and provide the customer with a balance of protection and affordability. Insurance sales agents also identify areas where clients may be exposed to excess liability.
Complete Insurance Product Sales
Another central duty of an insurance sales agent is completing insurance product sales, whether in person, over the phone, or using a combination of online and phone sales techniques. If a potential client fills out an information form online, for example, the insurance sales agent may follow up with them on the phone to discuss their needs and options and provide pricing and coverage information.
Network with Potential Clients
Insurance sales agents need to maintain a steady stream of new and renewing clients, so networking and client research is essential to generate leads and build a database of potential clients. An insurance agent may network in person or send out periodic mailers and promotional emails to highlight new products and services, for example, or use their existing client base to build their network.
Outline Product Information
Frequently, insurance sales agents assist clients with decision-making by outlining several different insurance product options and providing details about each. This may involve providing the client with brochures or marketing materials or developing insurance quotes for various products based on different factors. Additionally, the insurance sales agents may provide potential clients with information regarding savings and comparisons to products offered by competitors.
Submit Client Insurance Applications
After completing a sale, the insurance sales agent submits the application to underwriters for final approval. In this aspect of the role, the insurance sales agent ensures that client information is complete and free of errors while also providing any necessary supporting documents such as proof of home ownership or vehicle registration information. Typically, an insurance sales agent also confirms this submission with their client.
Maintain Client Records
Finally, insurance sales agents maintain detailed client records and periodically check in with clients to make sure that their needs have not changed and that their information remains up to date. This aspect of the role can also relate closely to marketing and promotional activities, since a client that moves from an apartment to a home or adds dependents may need more extensive insurance coverage.
Insurance Sales Agent Skills and Qualifications
Insurance sales agents work directly with clients to sell insurance products. Workers in this role typically have a bachelor's degree and the following skills:
- Sales skills – insurance sales agents should have the ability to follow sales leads, initiate discussions, and land sales with a wide variety of clients and with many different insurance products
- Industry knowledge – insurance industry knowledge is essential in this role, and insurance sales agents should be familiar with a wide variety of products and how they can benefit potential customers
- Negotiation – insurance sales agents frequently negotiate rates and offerings with clients, so they should have excellent negotiation skills
- Client service – client service in central to this role, so insurance sales agents should have some experience providing excellent customer or client support
- Time management – insurance sales agents must be highly organized to keep track of client conversations and meetings and to ensure that they follow up with potential clients to offer the latest products
- Communication skills – effective written and verbal communication are both central to this role, since insurance sales agents need to communicate with clients through the phone, e-mail, and in-person meetings
Insurance Sales Agent Education and Training
Insurance sales agents need at least a high school diploma, although most have a bachelor's degree in a related field such as business, finance, or economics. Additionally, insurance sales agents need to be licensed in their state and may need different licenses depending on the type of insurance they sell. While there are few opportunities for direct on-the-job training in this role, most insurance sales agents learn effective techniques and best practices while working in the field.
Insurance Sales Agent Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), insurance sales agents earn a median annual salary of $49,710. The highest-paid workers in this role earn more than $125,190 per year, while the lowest-paid insurance sales agents earn less than $27,180 per year. It is also worth noting that many insurance sales agents are paid solely on commission, so actual salaries can vary.
The BLS expects employment in this field to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 10 percent through 2026.
We searched the web and found many resources if you'd like to learn more about working as an insurance sales agent:
Insurance Information Institute – the III is a professional and advocacy organization for the insurance industry that provides news and information, professional development materials, and conferences and meetings around the United States
Secrets of Successful Insurance Sales – read this book, based on decades of industry experience and growth, to learn how to effectively connect with customers and sell them insurance products
Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers – insurance sales agents can join the CIAB to access career development resources, connect with companies and professionals, and stay updated on the latest industry news and regulations
Getting "Yes" Decisions: What Insurance Agents and Financial Advisors Can Say to Clients – this book presents five questions that insurance clients consider when deciding whether to buy, and explains how insurance sales agents can use these questions to land sales