The Secrets to Success at Insurance Jobs:
Work from Home Edition
TLTR: This article discusses the pros and cons of remote insurance jobs and also how to optimize your time working from home. It’s essentially a quick guide for insurance agents who work from home.
The advent of Covid-19 brought on a complete change in lifestyle and our daily interactions with one another. For the first time since the 1918 Spanish flu, large indoor gatherings were potentially dangerous, even fatal. This accelerated an already growing shift in work culture toward an embrace of working remotely.
Today, in 2021, vaccines are readily available in America and cases were sharply declining until the arrival of the highly contagious Delta variant. This turn of events virtually guarantees that remote insurance jobs aren’t going anywhere. A recent Gallup poll found that 52% of all workers and 72% of white-collar workers currently work part or all of the time from home.
Working from home or “telecommuting” is not a new concept. According to Flexjobs, remote work has grown by 159% between 2005 and 2017. And pandemic precautions are not the only reasons people opt for remote jobs. Saving money on commuting, flexibility in daily routine and increased work/life balance are just a few reasons that younger generations in particular prefer working from home.
In this blog
Can people in insurance jobs work from home?
As an independent insurance agent, you may wonder, what does this mean for me? Is it even possible for people in insurance jobs to work from home? Insurance agents rely a lot on positive impressions made through interactions with their clients. Face–to-face meetings might feel essential for some insurance agents. But there are many ways to properly serve your clients and close great deals that don’t involve ever meeting folks in person.
Tips on working insurance jobs remotely
Improve the quality of your virtual meetings
Invest in a good webcam and headset. The clearer your image and audio quality, the more comfortable your digital call experience is for clients. This also makes you appear more professional and more trustworthy. You can also take an extra step and improve the space where you make your calls by padding the walls with audio foam for better acoustics. If you’re new to virtual meeting software, make a couple of practice calls to make sure you know how to seamlessly share screens and present documents.
Get an electronic signature system
Don’t settle for the sloppy squiggle you drew on MS Paint. Upload and authenticate your real signature. It’s a great touch, especially for work emails, contracts and any other type of documents.
When it comes to receiving signatures, apps like DocuSign, PandaDoc and FormstackSign allow you to receive authenticated e-signatures from your clients. This is very important, particularly for new plans and renewals. You need a system that can prove your client’s signature is authentic and, most importantly, legal.
Create connections digitally
Screentime is at an all–time high, so increasing your online visibility is a great way to meet new clients. Create a social media page for your brand as an agent, and make sure to include content that keeps people entertained. Whether it’s insurance tips, memes, or just cute pictures of your cat, keep a consistent feed. Reach out to the people who respond to your posts.
Also, use these platforms to keep up with your clients and co-workers on a personal level. Comment on their posts, ask them how they’re doing, put in some effort to ensure your digital connections are not just transactions.
Data security is important for insurance jobs
You might forget to keep your data secure when you’re outside the office. This can put you and your clients at risk. Keep your devices password protected and make sure you are the only person who can access your work–related files. Use separate devices for work that you don’t share with friends or family.
Also, make sure you have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in place. This will encrypt all your data and make sure your internet company can’t access any private information from you or clients.
They’re only going to see my top half, right? Wrong. You never know when you’ll need to get up at a moment’s notice. Nothing will decrease your credibility like standing up during a work call and revealing that below that crisp button-up, you’re wearing your Spider-man sweatpants or even worse, no pants at all. Dress appropriately, even at home.
Benefits of Working Insurance Jobs From Home
Once you get your act together and have all the correct systems in place to be your more efficient self, you will find that, as an insurance agent, work from home can be truly liberating. Here’s a quick list of some of the greatest benefits of remote insurance agent jobs:
Decreased commute time
The U.S. Census shows the average one-way commute in America since 2019 is about 27 minutes. That’s 54 minutes a day and 4.5 hours in a work week spent on getting from point A to point B and back.
Decreased commute costs
Whether you’re spending money on gas, bus fare or new walking shoes, the cost of commuting to work can add up. There are also opportunity costs that come with prioritizing your commute. For example, sometimes the cost of commuting can keep you from moving into a nicer home on a more affordable side of town.
More time to sleep
Cutting commute time out of the equation can give the average commuter 27 extra minutes of shut-eye. If you’re an early bird anyway, you can also use this time to exercise or meditate. The time you save in the morning can be surprisingly valuable.
Parents have more time with their children
Working from home doesn’t mean you can play with your kids all day and, with schools reopening, kids won’t be at home all the time anyway. However, working from home will give you a more flexible schedule and increase your availability to them.
Partners have more quality time together
When both partners work 9-5 it might seem impossible to spend any quality time together that doesn’t involve housework or eating. When you both work from home, you can spend more time together, even if it’s just for lunch and coffee breaks, or for the 27 extra minutes in the morning.
Offices have fewer expenses
Rent, electricity and maintenance staff can be very expensive, especially depending on the office size and location. If all employees can work from home, the decrease in costs will cause the company’s margins to increase. That means more money that can be spent on research and development, tools to increase productivity, or even salary bonuses.
Disadvantages of Working Insurance Jobs From Home
Remote working can present challenges, especially in the insurance field. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome both with your clients and in your self-discipline to be able to work at home successfully. Some of these hurdles include:
Creating a trustworthy space for clients
Your clients may not feel as safe signing and sending off critical information to someone they’ve never met or someone they can no longer see. There are many insurance scams on the internet that make remote insurance agents even harder to trust. An office space can provide a sense of comfort to people making insurance purchases.
It’s important to make sure your digital conferences are of the best quality. This means both strong image and video quality, but also presenting yourself as the trustworthy, empathetic insurance professional that you are.
Keeping up your own motivation
If clients give you significant pushback, which is not uncommon in insurance, it’s easy to blame yourself and want to spend more time watching Netflix than actually working. In a solitary environment, there’s a lot of space for developing a negative attitude when it comes to work. It’s easier to give up on a task that is difficult than to ask for help when no one is physically around you.
This is why, as an agent, staying motivated and goal-oriented is so important. You can start by achieving smaller goals every day to keep your motivation levels up.
Appealing to an older audience
Older audiences struggle with online communication. However, this is changing and more older consumers are shopping online now than ever. According to The Guardian, more than half of people over age 65 are now comfortable with making online purchases.
That means that while senior citizens may prefer to do things face-to-face, they are open to online transactions if the website is accessible and easy for them to use. A website with a great UI/UX is a good start to this. Be sure to offer services based on your clients’ level of comfort. For example, do they prefer phone calls or digital meetings? Give your clients options.
Maintaining your work-life balance
The work/life balance scale tips both ways. As easy as it is to ignore your work for other aspects of your life at home, it’s also just as easy to ignore your home and make your entire life centered around work.
When you live and work in the same place, sometimes your hours can blur and you can forget to prioritize normal parts of your routine, such as cleaning, cooking, maintaining personal hygiene and socializing. As much as you need to focus on your job, don’t forget to maintain your home and lifestyle outside of work.
Keeping track of paperwork
It’s very easy to miss out on paperwork or run into organizational problems when you’re away from the office. Make sure you and the people you work with have a good system of organization to keep the paperwork from becoming overwhelming.
Remember to focus on every individual client and have a strong system in place before searching for new clients. A backlog of paperwork can result in unhappy customers and poor reviews.
As we venture back to our pre-pandemic lifestyles of gatherings and public spaces, you may find that going to the office will have lost what little luster it had in the first place. Maybe, after following our work-from-home secrets, you’ll find that when it comes to insurance jobs, work from home is the way to go.
What’s the biggest secret to success for remote insurance agents? Online visibility. If you want to gain online visibility as a P&C agent, be sure to add your listing with us today!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the best remote insurance jobs?
Here’s a short list of some great companies that allow you to work as a remote agent:
- CVS Health.
- National General Insurance Agency, Inc.
- NTT Data.
- Renegade Insurance.
- Your own agency!
Do work from home insurance jobs need a license?
Yes, you need a license to sell any type of insurance, even for remote insurance agent jobs. You can get in serious legal trouble if you attempt to sell insurance without one.
Is the insurance industry struggling since the Covid-19 2020 lockdowns?
The insurance industry is actually thriving due to the increased convenience of buying insurance online as well as the overall decrease in cost of offices and maintenance. Forbes has multiple insurance agencies and companies on its list of the best places to work in 2020.