The first thing you want to do is decide what type or types of insurance you’d like to specialize in. In the industry, these are referred to as “lines of authority.” Here’s a rundown of the most common:
Another option is becoming an adjuster, which is the business of investigating and adjusting claims on an insurance policy. Insurance adjusters also solicit for the adjustment business.
In a number of cases, you don’t have to pick just one line of authority. Individuals often combine certain lines, such as property and casualty insurance.
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After you’ve decided what kind of insurance agent you want to be, the next step is to understand the basic requirements:
Now that you have a basic idea of what you need to do, it’s time to decide whether you want to sell insurance in your home state or some other state. (You can sell in more than one state, but you must abide by the rules for each.) As you saw in Step 2, each state regulates its own insurance licensing process, and each state’s regulations or rules are slightly different, so this is why deciding on where is so important.
Each state's website will also tell you what kind of continuing education you need to keep or renew your license.
Now is also the time to research any agencies for which you want to work. Many have additional requirements for candidates or agents to follow that you’ll need to be aware of if you want to work there. Also, some agencies will hire you before you have a license, and they might have specific processes you need to follow.
You’ve done your research and know what you want to do. So, it’s time to get out there, get the hours of education required by the state and agency of your choice, take the exam, and pass it. Armed with your license and your knowledge, you’re ready for an exciting and rewarding career as an insurance agent. Good luck, and don’t forget about keeping up with your continuing education.