Becoming a Life Insurance Agent: Everything You Need to Know

A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Life Insurance Agent

Are you considering a career as a life insurance agent?

There is still a lot of untapped market potential in the insurance industry. As an insurance agent, you will have tremendous opportunities for personal and financial growth. When you understand the steps involved, getting started is simple.

The life insurance business can be lucrative. Insurance agents earn an average salary of $106,428 per year, according to estimates. Those are substantial earnings and have great potential.

Don’t worry if you aren’t entirely sure what the job involves but are interested in becoming an insurance agent. In this guide, you will better understand life insurance and see if a career as an insurance agent is the right fit for you.

The primary function of a life insurance agent is to sell life insurance policies to customers on behalf of the carrier or brokerage. Understanding the bare basics of selling insurance is the first step.

Step 1: Qualities of an Effective Life Insurance Agent

Any job in sales requires the right level of attitude, approach, skills, and personality. The ability to work well with people is essential if you’re considering a career in life insurance. Before beginning your journey into the insurance industry, you should determine whether you possess the skills required in order to achieve success.

Enjoys a challenge

The ability to persevere through mental challenges. Life insurance can be a challenge to sell, despite its importance. A life insurance policy is a long-term investment with a long-term benefit, but the short-term deterrents of purchasing insurance can overwhelm the long-term benefits. Life insurance is frequently seen as a second thought, particularly if one is young and healthy. It requires a long-term vision. 

Get comfortable with the word “NO”

No’s are inherent to all sales work. Particularly true for life insurance agents. Consistency and a determination not to give up are two of the most important qualities an insurance agent should possess to succeed in their profession.

Even if you have an outstanding reputation as an insurance agent, you will still face rejection from clients. It is a numbers game, so mentally prepare yourself for it. The more no’s you get the closer to a sale you are.

Opportunist to help

Due to the fierce competition in insurance sales, being alert is essential. Life insurance agents often have to meet with clients after work hours and on weekends. In addition, you must constantly look for new opportunities and consider life insurance as an important aspect of your life. Energy is involved in all of these activities. However, if you have a high level of energy, this may help you maintain the drive to keep selling.

A people person

Any profession that revolves around sales requires you to be personable. You must invoke trust and overall likeability in order to network and close clients successfully. Listening carefully to your clients and prospects is key to building trust. A charismatic personality as an insurance broker can be a great asset in growing your business.

 Step 2: Get licensed

College is not necessary to become a life insurance agent. As an alternative, you’ll have to complete some coursework before you can take your license exam.

Licensed life insurance agents must adhere to different requirements according to their state/province. Make sure you check what your state’s requirements are before you select a course. A background check is also generally required by most states.

Following your licensing and training, you will also want to decide if you want to be an independent agent.

Step 3: Independent or captive

Many people find that working as an independent agent allows them to earn more money. Independent life insurance agents enjoy higher incomes and more freedom as well.

Insurance agent careers are attractive to most people because of their flexibility and freedom. Working as an independent agent means working the hours that are convenient for you, dedicating as much or as little time as you want, and fitting your life insurance agent work around other responsibilities.

Captive agents are employees of only one insurance company, whereas independent agents can sell insurance policies from various companies. A resume is essential for anyone looking for a job with an insurance carrier or broker. The majority of insurance agents earn commissions, and on rare occasions will also include a retainer, rather than a salary.

Step 4: Contracts

If you are leaning on the independent broker side, then the next step is to contract with an upline agent to sell products. Understanding releases is crucial to this process.

Independent agents do not typically work directly with insurance carriers. Instead, they contract with Insurance Marketing Organizations (IMOs) to work with companies.

A General Agent (GA) works with an IMO to recruit new members. The GAs send out contracts to sell specific products in partnership with other independent agents. They earn a percentage of your sales and they have invested the time to recruit and contract you.

When it comes to terminating a contract with an IMO, you need to get the release from them in writing through a written form or letter. Make sure you read your Release Policy before signing a contract with an IMO.

Step 5: Recipe for success

What Does Success Look Like?

A life insurance policy may not instantly satisfy your client, but it will greatly enhance their quality of life.

You have the character traits, the license, picked a direction, and now it’s time to sell. A key ingredient to success is making your clients feel as though life insurance is an essential part of their lives. For success in this field, it is imperative to effectively understand and address the pain points of each client and better understand the insurance industry trends.

To make your product attractive enough for them to feel like they can’t live without it, you must step into their shoes and think of how to sell it to them. This requires empathetic qualities, good listening skills, and character judgment.

Consider selling life insurance in the same way as selling cars. Having a new car is a very exciting experience. New cars represent both a sense of accomplishment and pride. The process of buying a life insurance policy won’t be as exciting as driving somewhere in a smart car or going on a luxury vacation.

A policy on life insurance may not immediately give satisfaction to your client, but it can provide them with peace of mind and security. Consider how you can apply your strong traits to your business. Use your strengths to improve your business.  


Get the support you need to launch your life insurance agent career

If you can break into the life insurance market, you can build up a real and passive stream of income. A life insurance agent career is a great career decision, and we can help. 

We at Finaeo are dedicated to helping you accomplish your goals and build the insurance career you’ve always wanted. Easily quote and compare hundreds of insurance products from multiple carriers, build custom landing pages, manage your contact information and give clients access to an encrypted portal to share documents safely, all in one centralized location. Finaeo offers ways to customize the platform to help you seamlessly run your business and look professional. Check out Finaeo here to learn more about Finaeo features.