Let’s clear up one thing before we start, the death of the Insurance Agent is not happening any time soon and will probably never happen. In fact, employment of insurance agents is expected to grow 10 percent over the next ten years, which is faster than the average job growth expectation for similar fields. New technologies have made it easier for consumers to buy direct from the insurance carrier, but this comes at a huge cost. Acquiring customers through digital marketing and traditional marketing, like TV and radio, cost insurers up to $1 billion per year. This cost is sustainable for some, but many insurance companies are still choosing local agents to help sell their products. This is especially true when it comes down to more complex insurance like businessowner policies. Now that we’ve cleared that up, we can dive into a Career in Insurance.
The number one question you must ask yourself when deciding whether to pursue a career in insurance is, “Am I willing to put in the time and effort?” Insurance is typically a commissioned based career. Those who put the time and effort in every day will succeed over the agent that is giving 80%. But isn’t that true in every career?! Every great athlete and business magnate puts in the time and effort everyday to be great at their profession. Former professional basketball player Kobe Bryant would wake up at 4am so he could get an extra training session in for the day and CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, wakes up at 4:30am to answer emails and read customer review. Effort and dedication will win every time over luck.
As I mentioned earlier, insurance is usually a commission-based career, but that is not true for all agencies. The traditional model of 100% commission-based salary has been disappearing for years. Most agencies now opt for their agents to receive a base salary plus a commission rate or bonus structure. So how much will an insurance agent make? Again, that all comes down to the “Time and Effort”. The typical agent in Florida will make $48,000 per year plus benefits, while the top 20% will make in excess $100,000 and the true hustlers will make $300,000 plus.
Insurance agencies employ more than just agents, and these support roles are just as crucial to an agency’s success. Customer Service Representative (CSR) assist in the writing of insurance policies and handle most of the day-to-day operations of the agency. In Florida they are required to hold a 4-40 insurance license that enables them to write insurance policies under the supervision of a licensed insurance agent. The Salary for a CSR generally ranges from entry level starting around $32,000 to experienced professionals making upwards of $60,000.
The day-to-day life of an insurance agent revolves around phone calls. At our agency we will typically answer well over one hundred phone calls a day. That does not include the amount of outgoing calls made to prospects, insurance carriers, and existing clients. The other part of the day includes following up with leads and making sure changes to policies are processed.
The part that scares most young professional is “Cold Calling”. This was once a standard practice in any sales position and I’m sure some agencies still use this practice, but at our agency we rely on digital marketing and content management to produce leads. Our agents quote the risk and follow up with the lead until it’s closed. We find this method produces higher results and a happier business environment.
Insurance is a career that enables you to make as much or as little money depending on the time and effort that you are willing to put forth. It is also a career where you spend a lot of time working and socializing with other team members. You will find many of our team members getting together after work and on weekends going to the beach or concerts, so it really becomes a second family.
If you are looking for a steady career with a great future and opportunity for growth, then I would highly recommend a career as an Insurance Agent or Support Staff. Just remember, your success in this field is dependent on your ability to worker harder than the next agent.