The Insurance Industry in the United States employs about 2,378,000 people as of August 2014, according to the Insurance Information Institute. There are many types of Insurance including Life, Disability, Health and Property/Casualty. In the Property/ Casualty business (auto, home and commercial businesses), there is a tremendous opportunity for those needing a stable career. There have been several articles written recently and a great deal of concern voiced due to the fact that roughly 40% of the P&C Insurance workforce will be retiring in the next ten years.
I have worked for my entire career (30+ years) in Property/ Casualty Insurance and about 90% of that working directly with Insurance Agents. Here are a few things to think about when considering a career as an Insurance Agent:
- Insurance can support a highly desirable lifestyle. I don’t know anyone who grew up thinking they were going to make a career in insurance. People tend to “fall” into it- but the interesting thing is, they usually don’t get out of it. As you work hard and gain expertise, it can be a highly lucrative career.
- Insurance is “recession-proof.” Nothing happens without insurance. Everyone and everything that is has value needs to be insured. People can make do without buying a new car or purchasing a different home, but they must always carry insurance.
- A “Personality Assessment” can help you determine if you have the qualities needed to be highly successful. Being a good listener, detail oriented and good follow-up skills are just a few key attributes needed.
- Most Insurance Agents have bachelors’ degrees. There are many degrees that do not readily allow someone to start a career. Many people working in insurance come from creative backgrounds, such as musicians, journalism, designers and fine arts.
- People who are entrepreneurial make great agents. Agents are usually paid commission, so their pay is only limited by how hard they want to work. Unlike real estate, the business grows because commission is paid on new business as well as the business that stays with you year after year.
- It is also great for people who like flexible schedules. Insurance agents can work for agencies or work for themselves full or part-time.
- Agents are social beings. They enjoy helping people to be properly insured in order to protect assets. You need to build rapport with clients easily because people do business with people they like and trust.
- Successful agents are true professionals. It is necessary to learn the business and you should expect to continue learning throughout your career to maintain your license and progress as the industry changes.
I like to call this occupation the “best kept secret.” If you have the right personality type, this could be a good career fit for you. Do your homework and don’t let any pre-conceptions about insurance make your decision for you.