Who Are Insurance Agents?
If you’ve ever purchased insurance or have considered it, one thought that has likely crossed your mind is – what does an insurance agent actually do?
An insurance agent is a person who can help individuals and companies obtain life, health, or property insurance policies and other insurance products, including different types of annuities.2
Who Regulates Insurance Agents?
Every state, along with the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, has an insurance commission that licenses the insurance agents and insurance companies who do business in that jurisdiction.2
State insurance commissions also impose sales and marketing rules and require companies to file financial reports to assess their ability to honor claims.2
If you need to contact your state insurance commissioner, you can visit the website for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
What Insurance Agents Offer
Typically, insurance agents will sell one or more types of insurance. These can include property and casualty, life, health, long-term care, etc.1
Agents may specialize in selling any of these products or function as generalists providing multiple products.1 They usually offer multiple services to their clients, particularly focusing on those approaching retirement. One of the main services they may offer is comprehensive financial-planning services, often including retirement planning and estate planning.1
In addition to offering insurance, insurance agents may become licensed to sell mutual funds, variable annuities, and other securities.1
Types of Insurance Agents
These agents may work for a single insurance company or for an insurance brokerage.1 The two main types of insurance agents include captive agents and independent insurance agents.
A captive agent is one who works exclusively for one insurance company and can only sell the policies and products that particular company offers.2 On the other hand, an independent agent can represent multiple companies and typically tries to find insurance policies that offer the best coverage for your circumstances.2
What Insurance Agents Do
The duties of insurance agents can vary. They may include:
- Calling potential clients in order to expand their customer base1
- Interviewing prospective clients to get information about their financial resources and discuss existing coverage1
- Explaining the features of various policies1
- Analyzing clients’ current insurance policies and suggesting additions or other changes1
- Customizing insurance programs1
- Handling policy renewals1
- Maintaining electronic and paper records1
No matter what type of help you’re looking for, a licensed insurance agent will be there to help you with your needs.
Navigating the Insurance Process
When it comes to purchasing insurance, you’ll want to make sure you’re receiving the best coverage possible. In order to do that, you’ll want to make sure you find the right agent, who goes above and beyond to help you fulfill your needs.
Once you’ve found an agent to work with, it’s important you educate yourself on the buying process and expect yearly check-ins to review your policy. By understanding how this process works, you’ll be more successful in navigating the insurance process.
Bls.gov, What Insurance Sales Agents Do, 2019
Finra.org, Insurance Agents, 2020
Money.usnews.com, What Should Your Insurance Agent Do For You?, 2018
Categories: Career Opportunities, Careers in Insurance