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What Does an Insurance Agent Do?

a couple discussing insurance policies.

Posted by: Kaplan Financial Education
Published: July 24, 2018

An insurance agent is defined as a person employed to sell insurance policies to clients. While this may give you a broad overview of the job, it doesn’t disclose specific tasks or detail what an insurance agent does on a day-to-day basis. If you’re interested in becoming an insurance agent, but aren’t specifically sure what the job entails, this article will provide a glimpse into the career. 

Insurance Agent Job Description

Insurance agents sell and negotiate life, health, property, or other types of insurance to match the needs of their clients. As an insurance agent, you may work for an insurance company, refer clients to independent brokers, or work as an independent broker.

Marketing also plays a large part in the day-to-day duties of an insurance agent. Successful insurance agents implement marketing strategies to promote new and current insurance policies. Marketing activities are also crucial to bringing new customers to your agency.

As an insurance agent, you develop relationships with prospective clients through networking and referrals. Those relationships are the bedrock of your business. You can develop a long-term base of clients through many channels, including referrals, cold calling, email, social media, and postal mailing. You can also present to groups at work-related gatherings or speak publicly at an insurance-related event. In addition to finding new clients, as an insurance agent, you must maintain relationships with existing clients. Your reputation as an insurance agent depends on you being a reliable first point of contact when your client needs to file a claim or increase their coverage due to major life events, like purchasing a new car or having a child.

Insurance agents must evaluate the needs of their clients and propose plans that will meet the criteria, as well as the clients' financial status. You will develop an understanding of your clients’ needs and financial capacity by scheduling meetings, determining the extent of present coverage and investments, and building long-term goals. In addition to determining client needs, you should also develop a  protection plan by quoting rates for immediate coverage and long-term goals.

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Additional Responsibilities of an Insurance Agent:

  • Attend meetings, seminars, and programs to learn about new products and services
  • Calculate premiums and establish payment methods
  • Report the progress of initiatives to stakeholders
  • Maintain bookkeeping systems, databases, and records
  • Monitor insurance claims
  • Meet customers’ expectation to ensure satisfaction of insurance coverage
  • Continuously educate yourself on the industry and learn about new products and services
  • Fulfill all policy requirements
  • Help clients settle any claims on their insurance
  • Customize insurance programs to suit individual customer needs
  • Ensure that policy requirements are fulfilled, including completion of the appropriate forms
  • Inspect property in order to examine its overall condition and decide its insurance risk
  • Make sure all paperwork is filled out and filed to put insurance policies in place
  • Assist customers in properly completing insurance applications in order to act as an intermediary between the customer and the insurance company

Qualifications to Become an Insurance Agent:

  • A high school diploma, although many start with a bachelor’s degree
  • Licensure is required to work as an insurance agent
  • Good customer service skills—must be comfortable speaking with others
  • Experience working in a relevant field, such as sales (not a requirement)
     

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