Insurance Industry Associations – Seven Reasons Why You Should Become a Member

Although there are many thousands of agents in the United States, only a few of them belong to professional insurance industry associations. While some agents may not wish to pay the monthly fees, others might wonder what it would mean to spend a few hours each month with other agents. If you are an agent, here are some reasons to join an association.

1) Continuing Education — Many insurance associations offer CE classes to their members. Many local chapters offer classes on a variety topics monthly. The state chapter usually offers opportunities to earn CE credits at their annual convention. Members can earn credits by simply being members of certain associations such as the National Association of Health Underwriters.

2) Networking — Insurance is a wide industry that covers many niches. Agents can sell individual, group, and cancer insurance, as well as long-term and whole life insurance. They also have the ability to sell annuities, medicare supplements and long-term care insurance. Agents who are licensed as property and casualty agents may also be able to sell general and commercial liability insurance, home and auto insurance, worker’s comp insurance, and other property lines. Each market is unique so most agents only specialize in one or two lines. You can meet other agents and get trade referrals by attending membership meetings.

3) Compliance — Membership in an association will allow you to access many different ways to stay compliant and learn more about the industry regulations. Many associations have websites that provide information about the industry. This includes information on the latest legislation, industry events, and information about products and carriers. There are also forums where agents can exchange information. Industry magazines offer news, perspectives, and alerts about the constantly changing insurance industry.

4) Designations — An agent might look for specialized courses to learn more about the laws and regulations of insurance. These courses, along with passing the exams, will give you an industry designation that you can put after your name to make sure your clients are aware. These classes are often sponsored by associations so members have easy access and affordable prices.

5) Representation — Many associations have lobbyists who work at the national and state levels to represent insurance agents’ interests. These lobbyists are constantly in front of your legislature to make sure that lawmakers are aware of any issues that you or your clients face. These dues are, in a way, a form of insurance for your career.

6) Leadership — Your membership is a sign that you are a leader among your peers, despite the fact that very few agents join associations. Agents who are willing to invest in their education and continue to support their industry for the long-term are those who care enough. These members are leaders in their industry and their associations. While you may not be able to learn much from them immediately, you will eventually become one.

7) Mentors & Friendship — It is a difficult and long process to become an insurance agent. In the insurance industry, few people make it beyond a few years. You can join an insurance industry association to meet people who are already professionals in the field and can help you learn. You will make lasting friendships with your colleagues, which can be mutually rewarding and beneficial over time.

Insurance groups can offer many benefits to agents. You will be a better agent by being informed and more knowledgeable for the small monthly fee.