How to Become a Property/Casualty Insurance Agent

How do you get started if you’ve decided to become a professional Property/Casualty insurance agent? These are the steps:

Get a Broker/Property/Casualty agent license. You will need to obtain your license from the state where you live. Insurance is state-regulated. Schools are available that offer the required continuing education hours to obtain your license. These schools often offer preparation classes for the exam and continuing education to renew your license every 2 years. Many classes can be accessed online.

Learn how to become an insurance professional. Although some universities do offer insurance degrees, they are still very rare. Although insurance companies used to offer training for agents, this is no longer the case. Although insurance agencies may sometimes hire inexperienced people, the training might be uneventful. A “Producer School” is a program that provides a basic education and allows you to gain experience.

How to get access to markets. There’s a variety of options.

o Become a producer at an established independent agency. The agency will handle the business, provide market access and office space. You don’t usually “own” your business.

o Join an “Aggregator.” These are operations that have access to the markets. They allow you to run your own business, but do not give you any binding authority or direct access to the markets. You can provide coverage without having to consult with the carrier. You do not usually “own” your business.

o Join a “Cluster.” These agencies work together to share their business and create a greater “presence” for a carrier. This allows them maximize growth and volume bonuses. This is not a common option for new agencies.

o Join a Captive. These insurance companies hire agents to represent them. These companies provide the infrastructure necessary to manage your company, but they also limit your ability to represent one market. You might or not be eligible for renewal commission. You might or may not be able to grant “binding authority.” Your business may be yours or not.

o Start your own independent agency. To be considered “appointing” an agency, preferred insurance carriers need at least 3 years of loss ratio experience. It is easier to be appointed in “standard” markets. To maximize your chances of success, you’ll want to invest in “preferred” markets. This will allow you to earn bonuses and increase your business’s value when you decide to sell it.

Join an “Hybrid” organization. These agencies offer infrastructure for managing your business and direct access with carriers. These agencies allow you to be an independent entity, but pool your business together to maximize your bonuses. They allow owners of the business to have direct access and direct access to the carriers they represent.

Each option has a different commission level and/or fee. You will be required to sign contracts. You should compare and read these contracts before signing.

Learn how you can sell. Selling property/casualty insurance is different from any other type. You are not selling any tangible item. You are selling contracts that promise to pay when there is a problem. Insurance is not understood by the public. They need professional advice to find the best solution for them, regardless of whether they are aware of it. This sale is made by listening to the client and educating them. This is also known as “consultative” or “needs selling. Professional insurance agents put the client’s needs before their own. They don’t sell products that are too difficult to sell.

That’s it! You will find a rewarding and lucrative career if you do your research.