So you want to know how to become a life insurance agent. A lot of people will tell you that all you have to do is apply for an exam, take a pre-licensing course, ( if your state requires it) pay some fees, and pass a state approved exam.
The problem is this couldn’t any further from the truth. As someone who has worked in the life insurance business I can tell you their is a lot more to becoming a life insurance agent than just passing an exam. Once you’ve passed the exam you need to find a company to represent or work for, learn how to properly asses peoples needs and sell them the correct product, and if all that isn’t enough you need to complete a continuing education course that allows you to keep your license.
So in this article I’m going to briefly cover each part to give you a sense of what’s involved in being a life insurance agent.
Pass The Exam
The first thing you obviously need to do is pass your states required life insurance exam. In order for you to get paid you will need to be licensed. The issue with this is that every state has different requirements to get your license.
Some states will require you to take a pre-licensing education course between 20 and 40 hours, on top of that you will varying exam fees, and even the test will vary. To figure out what your states requirements are start here and pick the state you reside in.
Landing The Job
Once you’ve passed the exam you need to find a job. This can usually lead to one of two ways. The first is to start your own agency and work for yourself and even hire other agents to work out of your agency.
The second option is to work for another agency, and sell products through them. The great part about this is that you don’t have all the overhead when it comes to running your own agency and gives you a chance to get up and on your feet.
In fact, some agencies will even allow you to work part time till you get up and running. Doing this will allow to transition into a position a lot more smoothly rather than all at once which could be tough when getting started.
Learn To Sell
Up until this point to become a life insurance agent all you had to do was get a license, and either find a job or start your own insurance agency. However one of the most overlooked points of becoming a life insurance agent is learning how to educate and sell the product.
When I first started in the business I thought all I had to was get a license and hang a sign on my front door and the clients would come running. This just isn’t so. In fact, my first few years in the business were brutal, only bringing in a handful of clients, but once you become established and you build trust with other you will continue to sell more and more.
When it comes selling to life insurance knowing little about personal finance, and having good communication skill will take you a long way in this business to making you a success.
Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is continuing education, which is the constant education of the insurance laws and regulations in your state. Most states carry different requirements for this as well, for example in Ohio they require you to complete 20 hours of continuing education over a 2 year period and also take an exam.
The up side to all of this is that some companies will pay for a majority of your CE credits as long as you sit in on seminar about the various products they offer, which is a great way to not only get your CE in but also learn about the products that you can offer your clients and improve their lives as well.
How To Become A Life Insurance Agent
In the end if you want to be a successful insurance agent you need to make sure each of these 4 pillars are a strong point in your business. Without any one of them your business is at risk and could fail.
So take some time now and asses your business, whether you are just getting started or if you’ve been doing it for years, and determine where your weak points are and put a plan together to improve them today.