One suit does not fit all. With insurance sales you have three major choices to take. Each has advantages along with a whole list of disadvantages. Ignore the local insurance ads, first you have to decide what type of agent you want to become. The three types will be examined, and you will see the differences. All 3 types are consistently looking for new agents to replace those that did not make the grade.
Property Casualty Insurance Agent These are companies well known by the tremendous amount of advertising they do on television and in magazines. You should recognize many of the names like Allstate, Nationwide, SF, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Farmers to name a few. As a total force they compose one fourth to one third of the entire agents in the state.
Another name for a property casualty agent is fire and casualty. The of course they write a major portion of the automobile, homeowners, liability, and business coverage. Most additionally have a license to write life insurance and health insurance. The main word in describing these agents is Captive. Very, very few of these agents broker business. In fact their contract usually does not allow them to place coverage with another insurance company.
The other big distinction is that they are almost always a one man office. They could also have a main agent who is assisting another agent that someday may get their own office. If you look in the phone directory under one of the above named insurance companies, you will see the office name is their agent’s name. For example: John Smith Insurance Agency. The one man property casualty shops, are very male orientated and very company dictated. If the constraints of running a business can be handled, these agents rarely switch companies.
Independent Multi-Line Insurance Agent This type of insurance operation sells auto insurance, house coverage, business liability, life insurance, health insurance and more. The key word here is independent. There are many contracts with insurance carriers competing for their business. Calling them for an auto quote might have the agent research six or eight companies for the best rates or best coverage for you.
Some agent owners are very strict on requiring their agents only write coverage with companies they have major contracts with. Other agent owners will allow their agents to sell life and health insurance policies with any of over 500 companies of this style that they choose. You might have to work first for a few years as a customer service representative at an hourly rate. At some point the owner may allow you to get your own insurance agent license. If they don’t drop out, at least half stay with the agency an entire career.
The customer services representative are almost entirely female. The owner agent is usually male, and may own a few more offices in other small cities. His agency force, unless business insurance is a priority, averages about 80% female.
Insurance Captive Career Agency One major life, health, and annuity insurance company is represented by the agent. Newspaper ads and campus recruiters draw oodles of potential representatives constantly to their door. About 20% of the agents are female and the first year turnover is horrendous. Agencies may range from a dozen agents to two or three hundred. Some provide initial subsidies, others provide little more than promises. Only a few somehow find a way to make it past years one, two, and three. At least 75% or these agents will switch to another firm, or if successful enough they go fully independent on their own.
This mega size group of agents carries they highest amount to pitfalls and dropouts. However the wealthy, experienced agents have the grit and determination to start in this category, and then move unto greener pastures.