All You Need to Know About Insurance Agent Jobs
TLTR: If you’re looking for a career change, or simply testing the waters to see if the insurance industry is for you, look no further. This article discusses different insurance agent jobs available in 2021 and explains how lucrative they could be for you.
The insurance industry is built on the principle that we need to be prepared for the worst, and that’s exactly why it’s a career for thoughtful people who appreciate the importance of being cautious and prudent.
There are quite a few career paths you can take in this challenging and lucrative industry.
Insurance producer jobs listings are a dime a dozen. But do you qualify for any of the listings? Or are you better-skilled for insurance consultant jobs? If you don’t know the difference between the two, this article will help you understand insurance jobs better. The next time you’re looking through job ads, make sure you’re sending your resume for the position you’ve got the skills for.
In this blog
Best Insurance Jobs In 2021
There is no hard-and-fast rule for determining the best overall insurance job. Your skill-set has a lot of say in what job you’ll be good at. Let’s look at four promising insurance jobs with high-paying salaries.
Insurance Sales Agent
Insurance sales agents generate leads and sell insurance to their clients while maintaining records and handling policy renewals. A large part of being a successful insurance agent is having the ability to develop strong client relationships.
You can choose to sell personal lines such as health, life, homeowners, auto, and/or commercial lines like property and casualty insurance. Additionally, many agents find it profitable to sell niche insurance products like cyber insurance.
There are two types of insurance agents—independent insurance agents and captive agents.
Independent agents work with multiple carriers, while captive agents only work with one. It is essential to understand the differences between them if you want to make an informed decision as to which you’d rather be.
Requirements and relevant skills
- A high school diploma but a college degree is preferred
- A state-issued insurance agent license
- Perseverance and a positive attitude
- Excellent communication skills
- Knowledge of Business Management
Insurance Sales Agent Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2020 median annual salary of an insurance sales agent was $52,180. The lowest 10% of agents earned around $29,000, while the highest 10% earned more than $127,840 a year.
Some captive agents may be salaried employees, but the majority of insurance agents earn money through commissions. Commission rates vary depending on your contract with the carrier and the type of insurance you’re selling.
For example, commissions for the first year’s home and car insurance premiums range from 8% to 15%, while life insurance commission rates range from 40% to more than 100% on the first year’s premium. Commission rates for renewals are generally a lot less, with the car and home policies typically paying 2%-5% per renewal and life insurance paying 1%-2%.
Insurance Underwriters make the vital decision of whether to approve the client’s insurance application. They also decide on the premium amount. Their basic job is to assess the risks and screen potential clients.
An underwriter’s job is more technical and requires strong computer skills and an understanding of certain insurance software. They need to collect relevant data from the applicants, plug it into their software, and analyze the risk involved. The underwriter must make decisions accordingly.
Insurance underwriter jobs are high-paying and equally demanding. If the underwriter approves too many applications for high-risk customers, then the insurance company stands to pay out too many claims. However, if they don’t approve enough applications, the company won’t receive sustainable premium payments.
Requirements and relevant skills
- Strong computer and software skills
- A state-issued insurance license
- Excellent judgment and analytical skills
- At least a bachelor’s degree with some risk management courses
- Good communication skills
Salary for Insurance Underwriter
The BLS states that in 2020, the annual median wage for an insurance underwriter was $80,390. While the lowest 10% of underwriters were paid annual salaries of $43,210 and the highest 10% were paid $129,550. The majority of underwriters work as full-time employees.
The job outlook rate for this career is a negative 6% between 2018 and 2028. Even though a career as an underwriter is promising, there is projected to be a decline in the number of underwriter openings.
An insurance adjuster (aka insurance claims representative) is a bridge between the insurance agent and the insurance company because they work for both parties. Policyholders who file damages and compensation claims get in contact with an adjuster who handles and reviews their case.
The adjuster needs to assess the situation and give an unbiased decision regarding whether the company can compensate for the loss. They act as investigators and inquire into the matter until it is evident that the claim is fair. They often work irregular hours, such as evenings and weekends, to conduct surveillance and meet with contacts.
Next, they negotiate the settlement amounts and keep records of all developments in the clients’ cases. They also need to be adept at conflict resolution, as both parties might have strong differences amid an ongoing investigation.
An adjuster needs to be fair and unbiased, as people who pursue these insurance agent jobs work for both the claimant and the insurance company.
Requirements and relevant skills
- A high school degree
- A state-issued insurance license
- Investigative and analytical skills
- Conflict resolution and communication skills
Salary for Insurance Adjuster
Per the BLS, $68,130 is the median annual salary for an independent insurance adjuster. While salaries may be as high as $103,610, they can go as low as $41,950 for independent adjusters.
The job outlook rate for this insurance career is -3% between 2018-28. Even though a career as an adjuster is promising, there is projected to be a decline in the number of adjuster openings.
An insurance actuary, one of the best insurance agent jobs, is debatably the most crucial position in the insurance industry. Their work is mainly analytical and comprises compiling information, producing viable data, and relaying their findings to the insurance company.
They work with accountants, financial analysts, and market researchers to forecast potential future demands. This information is vital to a company’s longevity and profits.
Actuaries work to minimize risks in the company’s business strategies by forecasting them. They evaluate the probability of an event occurring and the settlement needed to pay out in such situations.
Requirements and relevant skills
- Excellent analytical and mathematical skills
- Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, actuarial science, statistics, or a relevant analytical field
- Proficiency in computer and software skills such as ARCBase and RMISWeb
- Certification from Society of Actuaries and/or Casual Actuarial Society
- Excellent understanding of risk management
Salary for Insurance Actuary
Insurance actuaries are highly skilled and have the salary to match their skill-set. The BLS states that the 2020 median annual pay for an actuary is $111,030. Over the next ten years, the market for actuaries as insurance agent jobs is projected to grow 24%, which is comparatively much faster than other occupations in the insurance industry.
However, since the number of actuary positions is relatively small, the projected 24% growth will result in only about 6,800 new jobs over the next 10 years. While the pay is lucrative, getting hired as an actuary may not be easy, as it is a highly competitive field to break into.
What is Your Decision?
The insurance industry offers many choices and is well-equipped to provide job seekers with a fulfilling career. Even though some of the above career options aren’t the highest paying jobs, they provide personal and professional growth and can act as stepping stones into more fulfilling positions.
While it is evident that working as an underwriter and adjuster may be beneficial now, the markets for those jobs are projected to shrink. Actuaries are paid the highest salary, but the field requires technical skill and knowledge and is the most difficult to break into.
A career as an insurance agent is viable for most people seeking a career in the insurance industry. While it does not have the best median salary, it doesn’t require a college degree and it gives you the most room to grow.
Insurance Agent Jobs In Conclusion
The market for insurance agents is projected to improve over the years. There will be a rising number of openings in the next decade. Working as an agent has the potential to pay well for those who are disciplined self-starters. Additionally, this job is the easiest to break into and offers independence and flexibility, provided you become an independent agent.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is selling insurance a good job?
If you’re trying to change careers, you’ll find that selling insurance is quite easy to get into. Your skill-set must include being great with people, risk management experience, and a high school diploma. Of course, a winning sales pitch can be hard to perfect, so patience is key.
Captive agents get salaries on top of their commissions but don’t get to own their book of business. Independent insurance agents, on the other hand, get no salary. However, they own their book of business and get to work with as many carriers as they like. If you’re considering insurance agent jobs, selling insurance is a good career.
How do I become an insurance adjuster?
If you’re not sure how to become an insurance adjuster, the process is quite easy. You need a high school diploma or a GED. You must also pass a licensing exam as per your state’s requirements. As an insurance adjuster as one of the insurance agent jobs, you’re going to apply for insurance risk manager jobs. That’s why you need to be good at time management, risk management, and paying attention to detail.
What is the most profitable insurance to sell?
Whichever insurance your clients prefer is the most profitable. Of course, niche products may be harder to sell as per insurance agent jobs due to limited demand. Car insurance is mandatory in most states, so it can easily be seen as the most profitable insurance to sell. However, life and health insurance are also important, if not mandatory.
Depending on your location, you can determine the most profitable insurance you could be selling at any point. For example, you’re located in a college residence, and not many of these people own a car or drive around. However, you could be selling renters insurance, landlord insurance, or health insurance very easily.
Are insurance sales a stressful job?
Working as an insurance agent can indeed be stressful at times. As an insurance agent, you’ll be working 40 hours a week addressing risks, identifying insurance fraud, answering your clients’ distressing claim calls, and filing piles of paperwork.
However, you have to understand that creating a security web for your clients is an important task and that you’re improving their quality of life. Your work is important, and you matter. Of course, there’s stress in everyone’s workplace, but time management is key.
Do you need a degree to work in insurance?
One of the great reasons why people prefer working in the insurance industry is that the entry requirements aren’t too high. You need a high school degree or a GED. A college degree is preferred, but not mandatory. If you have great communication skills, the ability to convince people, time management skills, and risk investigation skills, then you could be a great insurance agent.
How do I apply at an insurance agency?
Insurance agencies will help you with lead generation and marketing. As an independent agent, you’ll need help with handling customer care as well. You could be good at selling insurance, but are you good at generating leads? An insurance agency helps you with things you aren’t particularly good at.
You can contact the insurance agency of your choice and talk to them before you join. Some of the best agencies to consider are:
Remember to ask about commission splits and ownership of your book of business before you sign up with any agencies. Since the pandemic, the scope of remote insurance jobs has spiked dramatically. With insurance jobs, work from home opportunities is common. You can save money on commuting expenses and office setup.
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