Insurance Agents

An insurance agent is person who works for an insurance company. The work is by way of selling the insurance products of the insurer or insurers he works for only. In order words, he does not and ought not to work for two insurance companies at a go. However, independent Insurance agents sell insurance policies, acting as a representative of insurer or insurers with whom they work. This is because independent insurance agents are not under any contract to work for only a single insurance company.  These agents educate clients about the product available to them and their options provide them with price quotes and as well as assist them to locate the best price for the coverage they need. They also assist in sealing the contract of insurance with the insurance companies and the customers.

Thus, it is not of interest to him comparing the prices and features of other insurance products on the market. They also handle renewal of policies for Holders and assist in processing insurance claims. And also risk management for their clients. Agents are different with insurance brokers who do not work for a particular insurer and as such can compare various insurance products to find out which one suits his client’s needs.

An insurance agent gets remuneration on salary basis or commission basis or bonus from the insurer he works for depending on their agreement.

Types of insurance agents

Knowing the types and features of insurance agents is of utmost importance to anyone who wants to be an insurance agent. The two main types of insurance agents and they are captive insurance agents and independent agents:

Captive insurance agents

This is a class of insurance agent that works for a single insurance company only. They sell insurance products of only the company they work for and cannot retain clients outside the boundaries of the employer insurer. They are also referred to as direct writers they are most times paid commission or salaries and other accompanying benefits. As a captive insurance agent, you will have the opportunity of doing administrative tasks for the insurer you work for and others. On the other hand, being a captive insurance agent presents a demerit of selling specific insurance products which clients may not have interest for.

Independent insurance agent

Independent agents as its name implies manage their own business and represent multiple insurance companies. They sell insurance products of various insurance companies and not just one insurance company. Their agency work serves to connect insurers and policyholders so as to build a contract of insurance. They are not employees of the insurer they represent and as such do not receive salaries but commission.

Qualities of a good insurance agents

There are a number of good qualities which a good insurance agent must possess in the discharge of his duties to clients and some of these qualities includes;

Ability to improve customer service skills

Insurance agent should have strong client service skills. This is the ability to interact, understand and attend to the need of customers. The agent must possess skills capable of making his customers feel highly valued. Good customer service skill will afford the agent the opportunity of gaining the trust of customers and on the long run, have the chances of gaining more clients. This is because clients who well attended to by agents are more likely to stay happy and confident. The agent must be capable of responding to inquiries of clients in time and must be able to keep to his words anytime he enters into an agreement with clients.

Ability to focus on customer interest

A good insurance agent should not just be interested in selling his insurance products to client and receive his commission. He should necessarily consider the interest of his client and what they need. This is one of the surest ways of establishing good relationship with customers. You are to put the interest of the client.

Suffice it to say that an agent who sets out only to earn a commission without considering the interest of the customer will most certainly not succeed in the business of insurance agent.

Ability to proofread all correspondence/pay attention to details by insurance agents

An insurance agent must be careful in his written communication to clients. He must be able to pay attention to its details and be able to correct grammatical errors and spellings before sending out correspondences. Ability to do this will show that the agent is not a care free person but one with good attention and professionalism.

empathy/emotional intelligence

This is the insurance agent’s ability to listen as well as show empathy to his clients. This quality will enable him discern what his client really wants and what he does not.

Ability to maintain high hopes

A good insurance agent should always try to appear in high spirits at all times especially when he is with clients. He should be excited and optimistic at all times. This is because worn-down or poor disposition will be discouraging to clients. It will equally make them lose confidence and trust on such agent.

Persistence ability

Notwithstanding the fact that insurance agents experience rejections on daily basis, a good agent must always stay focus and hopeful.  This quality represents one the most important qualities of good insurance agent. He must be able to handle rejections and not chicken out.

Honesty and truth

An insurance agent must not be deceitful when dealing with clients. The quality of being truthful to clients will certainly win more clients to such agents as they will always refer other clients to him.

Technical know-how

He must have a good understanding of taxation as well as legal aspects of the insurance products they are offering for sell to clients. He should also know how they are designed to fit into a client’s overall financial situation.

Benefits of an insurance agent

Here are some benefits to becoming an insurance agent:

Avenue to provide help

The services offered by insurance agents have the ability to afford protect to their clients uncertain future financial problems in their life.

 Job stability

This is because there is high demand for insurance policies around the world. Therefore, becoming insurance agent mean job independence, flexibility and with potential of a high financial earnings.

Potentiality of income increase

With clients, an insurance agent has the potentiality of increasing his income base. The more clients he gets the more income to his pocket

Flexible work hours for insurance agents

Insurance agent jobs allow you the opportunity to manage your time as you deem fit. This will give the agent the ability to comfortably combine work life with other extracurricular activities.

Specializations for insurance agents

Insurance agents have the liberty to sell all classes or types of insurance products. They also have the discretion to specialize in only one insurance business. However, the agent must prior to taking decision on his area of specialization, consider the target class of customers who need the policies in that area of specialization. For instance, you must consider and decide if you want clients such as families or individual clients. It can also be small businesses or large corporation’s clients. Types of insurance an agent can sell includes but not limited to; Health insurance, Life insurance, Home and auto insurance, Property insurance, Product liability insurance, Worker’s compensation insurance, Travel insurance etc.

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