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|A Career in Insurance|
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Job DescriptionsSales (Producer)
The job of the producer in an insurance agency is to sell or produce the business that enables the agency to prosper and grow. The producer often responds to requests from clients who need insurance, as opposed to the stereotypical salesman who goes door-to-door to market their products. These professionals act as a consultant for businesses and families, evaluating needs and recommending the most appropriate means of meeting those needs.
Essential qualifications: A degree in business or a related field is very helpful. This individual needs to be intelligent and have a thorough understanding of business. Equally as important are motivation, a desire to succeed, good communication skills and a willingness to work hard.
Earning potential: As a producer with an independent insurance agent, your financial destiny is limited only by yourself. You will be provided with the opportunity to develop your own clients and accounts, referred to as your book of business. The position often offers the opportunity to set your own schedule and work at the pace that is most productive to you. After the initial development period, the typical producer’s earnings are comparable to professionals in industries such as law, accounting, architecture, etc. As a producer, there is no limit to your earning potential. The harder you work, the more you earn.
Advancement opportunities: Producers are often the highest-earning individuals in an agency. Therefore, many individuals chose to remain in this position for the majority or duration of their career. On the same note, most executive and management positions are filled by successful producers, and most agency owners are established producers who established or acquired their own business.
Customer Service (Account Manager)
Teamwork is essential to success in an insurance agency. The customer service professionals who service the clients and their accounts are just as crucial to the agency as the producers who bring in the business. The CSR or account manager deals with clients, customers and insurance companies to assure that the needs of the clients are being served. CSRs become licensed insurance agents to assist customers with the addition of insurance coverage to existing policies, to renew policies, or to write new insurance policies that may be requested by customers. CSRs create and maintain good relations among clients, agencies and insurance companies.
Essential qualifications: Intelligence, the ability and willingness to solve problems, and the ability to work well with many types of people are crucial to the success of a customer service representative. Although many CSRs have college educations, and most continue their education after joining an agency, a high school or GED diploma are required.
Earning potential: Salaries for customer service representatives at independent insurance agencies are comparable and competitive with those earned by teachers, nurses and similar professions. In addition, employee benefits such as paid vacations, health insurance and educational assistance are usually generous. Commissions on sales, profit sharing plans and employee stock ownership options also significantly increase the overall compensation package offered by most agencies.
Advancement opportunities: Many CSRs become customer service team leaders, office managers and producers (sales agents).