Selling Insurance for a Living
By Eric Hammer
Do you love talking to people and getting to know their life
story? If so, you may be able to make a very good living selling
insurance to them. While the pushy insurance salesman is an unfortunate
stereotype, the reality is that a good insurance salesperson
is not only someone who is welcome, they are considered to be
a great friend of the family because they help people to obtain
a service which is absolutely vital to the and which they probably
would not like to talk about with most people.
Think about it - when you are selling insurance to someone,
you are in essence making them a bet. You are betting them that
they won't get sick, won't get into a car accident, won't get
robbed, won't die, won't get sued for malpractice or whatever
else you happen to be offering them an insurance product for.
Who really wants to think about their own death or about getting
sick or some other such thing? It's a terribly morbid subject
and as such, insurance salespeople (at least those who are good)
are able to finesse the discussion and let people schmooze quite
a little bit while minimizing the time they spend thinking about
what is really a depressing thought for most people.
How Much Can You Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, selling insurance
can be a pretty lucrative business, with the top 10% of insurance
agents earning annual salaries of over $113,930 per year. Of
course, few jobs have a wider range of earning potential since
the bottom 10% of insurance salespeople earn just $26,120 on
average for the year. Mostly, this is a matter of ability since
virtually all insurance salespeople work either partially or
completely on commission.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Bottom line, if you want to earn your living selling insurance,
you had better truly love people and love talking to them. Insurance
sales is a business where you need to meet a lot of different
people and help them size up what they need.
In fact, many insurance salespeople report that a big part
of the their job is being a kind of therapist, helping people
to feel comfortable with the decision that they make to purchase
insurance since it is sometimes a touchy subject.
Beyond that, consider selling more than one kind of insurance
(typically, you'll need to get licensure for each type) and consider
also getting licensed in more than one state, especially if you
live in an area where there are multiple states in a single area
such as the New York tri-state area.
In all cases, don't be too pushy. While you will get some
sales from being the stereotypical insurance salesman, ultimately,
you'll lose more customers than you'll gain because people will
decide they simply don't like you. Sales is a business where
you need to have a tremendous amount of finesse and selling insurance
is definitely one of those areas.
Qualifications / Requirements
While a college degree is not absolutely required, it is highly
recommended for becoming an insurance agent since most companies
prefer to hire college graduates. You'll also need to apply for
licensure in your own state (Check on Google or your favorite
search engine for the details since the rules vary from one state
to the next, though typically this involves a certain number
of courses and exams that you'll have to pass for each kind of
insurance you want to sell.). Finally, check with your state
insurance licensing board about continuing education requirements
as many states have a requirement that you take additional courses
every few years to keep up to date on the latest laws and regulations
regarding selling insurance.
Start by contacting your state licensing board to find out
what their rules are for becoming an insurance agent and get
yourself licensed. Then, look into smaller firms where you are
more likely to land a job as an agent right away. Bigger firms
tend to prefer to see a track record before they'll hire you.
Or, you can also apply for work as a customer service representative
with one of the bigger firms, which will offer you invaluable
Check out these helpful resources to find out more about selling
insurance for a living:
Investopedia: Becoming an Insurance Agent -
An excellent resource on how to become an insurance agent. This
article provides all the basics and also focuses on the increasing
role of insurance salespeople in financial planning as well.
InsureMe: How to Become an Insurance Agent -
A somewhat frothy discussion of selling insurance for a living,
but over-all, lots of useful information.