While advances in technology means many jobs are no longer needed, that has not been the case for the insurance field. True, technology is changing how the industry works, but it has not done away with the need for insurance agents. In fact, the insurance industry in America continues to grow alongside the population and the economy. That growth means there is a continuing demand for insurance agents. So, if you are considering a career move in this field, you can rest easy that you will find work. “Great,” you think, “but how much do they make?” That’s a good question. Before diving into how much they make, let’s first understand what an insurance agent does.
What do insurance agents do?
Put simply, insurance sales agents sell policies on behalf of insurance companies. These could be new policies or renewals. But there’s more to it than simply saying “Buy this or that policy.” As part of their work, they analyze customers’ needs and explain the different policies available. They then help the customer choose the right one for their situation. Where there isn’t a standard policy that meets the customer’s needs, the agent can help tailor one.
If you’re wondering where these customers come from, then you’ve hit upon another aspect of the insurance agent’s role. They source customers in a variety of ways. This includes cold calling or referrals from existing customers. However, most agents get customers by marketing their services. No matter how they get their customers, an agent must keep his or her customers happy if they want to be successful.
As with other jobs, specialization is also possible in the insurance industry. An agent may decide to focus on selling only one type of policy, such as casualty insurance. In addition to selling insurance policies, they could also sell other financial products like mutual funds provided they have the right licenses. The last aspect of an insurance agent’s work is record keeping either electronically or in hard copy or even both.
Where do insurance agents work?
Insurance agents may work exclusively for one insurance company. These are referred to as captive agents, and they only sell policies provided by their employer. And then there are independent agents who work for an insurance brokerage that sells different policies offered by different companies. Since these agents have access to a wider variety of policies they can offer their customers more options. Regardless of which type of agent a person is, he or she must be licensed to practice in the states where they work.
What is the average insurance agent salary?
According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, in 2017, the median annual salary for insurance agents was $49,710. Since median salary means 50 percent of a company’s salaries are higher than this figure and 50 percent of the company’s salaries are lower than that, it is obvious that there are big differences in actual earnings. The BLS statistic shows that the lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,180, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $125,190.
Furthermore, the median wage itself varies. For those working with direct health and medical insurance carriers, the median wage was $58,630. It was $52,640 for those working with direct insurance other than life, health, and medical carriers. The lowest median wage of $47,880 was found among those working with insurance agencies and brokerages.
Using salary estimate from over 77,000 employees, users, and job postings over the last three years, Indeed estimates that the average annual salary for insurance agents is $74,381. One must also bear in mind though, that agents are often paid by commission or a combination of salary and commission, which impacts how much a person actually earns.