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January 15, 2021

A Day in the Life of a Life Insurance Agent

life insurance agent careers

Life insurance is an important component of a long-term financial plan, its purpose being to help provide financial protection for loved ones upon the death of an income earner. Life insurance is a contract in which the policyholder agrees to pay premiums to the insurance company. In return, upon the death of the policyholder, the insurance company agrees to pay the designated death benefit to the policy’s named beneficiary (provided the policy is payable under the specified terms).

American Income Life Insurance Company (AIL) has been serving working families in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand with our life and supplemental health insurance since 1951. In the state of New York, our customers are served by our wholly-owned subsidiary, National Income Life Insurance Company (NILICO). More than 9,500 agents in more than 240 local and regional offices1 are dedicated to helping working families protect their loved ones financially.

Like most businesses, AIL had to adapt quickly to survive the challenges and changes of COVID-19. We are among the industries that not only managed to remain in business but posted a record year for sales and double-digit growth in 2020.1 Rather than operating at a reduced capacity, we found that the virtual model we adopted was embraced by our sales agents and our customers. In a time when many businesses have been forced to furlough workers, we continue to recruit to fill sales and management positions.

In the worst of times, people are reminded of their mortality and the need to protect the things that give them the most meaning in their lives. For many people, that means making provisions to take care of loved ones when they are no longer here. When you think of it in those terms, it’s not surprising that consumers, especially younger adults, began buying life insurance in elevated numbers last spring when people began getting ill and dying from the virus.2 This fact might suggest that those searching for career opportunities take a closer look at a life insurance sales career with American Income Life and National Income Life.

What do life insurance agents actually do?

The primary job of a life insurance agent is to help people obtain life insurance policies. They explain various options available and help clients choose life insurance coverage that fits their needs and budget. Life insurance agents must be licensed by each state in which they sell and are subject to the regulations in each of those states.

The duties of a life insurance agent don’t end after the sale. When they submit the application for insurance to the insurance company, if there are any questions or if clarification is needed, the agent may act as a liaison between the company and the client. Once the policy is issued, the agent may personally deliver it. The need for life insurance coverage is not static. Periodically, an agent may reach out to clients to assess the coverage and make adjustments if the client’s circumstances have changed; for example, if a client gets married, welcomes a child, or buys a home. If the policyholder passes away, often it’s the insurance agent who delivers the death benefit check to the family.

What does a typical day look like for a life insurance agent?

Busy! See the condensed version of what some AIL-NILICO agents’ typical day might look like.

Not everyone’s day looks exactly like this, but successful agents make a plan and work their plan. They take a holistic approach to their career, as it can be demanding. They understand the need to be the best they can be physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Getting energized for the day means something different to each person. It might be as simple as downing an energy drink or having a complete breakfast, but it can also be a spiritual or inspirational reading, meditation, even a full-on workout at home or the gym. Whatever it is that inspires and motivates, many agents choose to start the day off by filling themselves with energy and positivity.

Often the first official task of the day is setting up appointments. All in-home visits are currently being done virtually, which means agents can serve more clients because there are no travel logistics involved. This makes arranging appointments easier but agents must still carefully manage their time so they spend adequate time with each client they see.

Next up: it’s showtime! AIL has a digital presentation tool that includes a needs-analysis survey to objectively outline the client’s insurance needs based on their responses to a survey. The agent presents the options and can make adjustments according to the client’s wishes. This is what it’s all about: helping to protect working families.

Not all an AIL-NILICO agent’s duties are centered around clients. Their local office may provide sales training to help agents get better at what they do, or an agent may contribute to the training by helping newer agents overcome challenges. This is also a good time to interact with fellow agents. It’s this interaction that helps create a family culture.

Successful agents also recognize the value of free time and time spent with loved ones. However one defines quality time — date night with their significant other, attending kids’ sporting events, taking a long walk with the dog — it helps an agent stay grounded and connected.

It’s also a good idea to top the day off with a good night’s sleep to prepare to get back up and do it again tomorrow!

Though demanding, you may find insurance sales satisfying and rewarding. Learn more about a life insurance career with American Income Life or National Income Life.

  1. Internal company sources

  2. CNBC, Americans are ‘panic buying’ life insurance due to coronavirus pandemic, 2020

Categories: Careers in Insurance, Insurance Agents

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