This article covers how to become a Insurance Broker, including basic requirements, education, skills, work experience, and salary information.
Insurance Broker Job Description
An insurance broker is a person who sells insurance, but represents an individual or a company seeking to become the policy holder, and not the insurance agency.
A customer buys into a policy and becomes the policy holder, having insurance or a policy that will provide compensation or coverage in the event of an accident or the unfortunate event of illness, etc.
Types of Insurance
Now as for types of insurance, there are many types that brokers sell. Here are a few:
- car insurance
- life insurance
- medical insurance
- catastrophic insurance
- renter's insurance
- home owners insurance
- marine insurance
- workmen compensation
Insurance Broker Requirements
In order to become an insurance broker, you will need to pass a criminal background check. If you have a felony, you are not qualified to become licensed by any state. A misdemeanor may not disqualify you, but lying about one will for sure.
You will need to contact your local state department of insurance to find out what licensing body they go through in order for you to take your licensing exam. Some states require class room hours, other states allow independent study prior to taking the licensing exam. Check just to be sure.
You will need a high school diploma or GED to be an insurance broker. However, many brokers have a bachelors degree in business or a related field.
As an insurance broker, most agencies offer on the job training for your field, and will have you go through a certification program. Otherwise, prior experience is not required.
Having computer skills, excellent communication skills both written and verbal, and the ability to relate well to others is essential. Your primary customer is relating to individual people, understanding their insurance needs, and recommending a plan that best suit their needs.
People often feel insurance agents are out to make as much money as possible by selling them plans and services they do not truly need. Or perhaps they want to avoid the high pressure sales, so they avoid seeking out much needed life insurance or the like. If you can relate well to others, be sincere and genuine with them and have empathy, you may find being your authentic self is the best way to disarm a persons emotional resistance guard and aversion to insurance agents.
Being well dressed and groomed does help reinforce people's confidence in your competency. Being well dressed doesn't mean you have to wear a suit, but
image does convey a message to people about you, so keep that in mind when you meet clients.
Since your primary clients are individual people, your work hours will need to be flexible, as you will be working around their work schedules, to include evenings and weekends (potentially).
Being an insurance broker is like owning your own business and being your own boss. You have to be disciplined and willing to work hard for leads and connecting with people. Many insurance agencies that you can be employed with will provide you with tools needed to expand your customer base. How you use them is up to your creativity, and will determine your success.
Insurance Broker Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in the year 2010 insurance brokers and agents (these categories are mixed together) made and average of $30.24 an hour and $62,900 a year.
On the high end of the salary scale, some brokers and agents make an upwards of $115,300 a year. And on the other end of the spectrum, 10% of brokers or agents only made $25,910 or so a year, perhaps because selling insurance is a part time job or supplemental income for them.
Insurance Broker Jobs
Being an insurance broker is a pretty independent field, and not many job posting are available. Essentially you are your own boss, creating your own business, being your own advocate. There are brokerage firms you can apply with for a position. Check your local listings and contact a local insurance broker and ask them how they came into their line of work and whether they enjoy it or not.
Insurance Broker Jobs
In deciding whether or not to pursue a career as an insurance broker, consider contacting a few local brokers in your area and ask them about being a broker. Here are some examples of questions you can ask them about their job:
- What are the advantages to being an insurance broker over an insurance agent?
- What are the disadvantages to being an insurance broker over an insurance agent?
- What do they like most about being and insurance broker?
- What do they like least about their job?
- How did they obtain their brokerage license?
- How long have they been in the insurance industry?
- What inspired them to become an insurance broker?
- What advice could they offer you if you decide to pursue a career as an insurance broker?
- Is starting out in the beginning, building a customer base the most challenging?
- What tools do they have to increase a client base?
- Would they recommend this job to others?