Independent Insurance Agents’ work can be pretty interesting and diverse; unlike the regular insurance agents who work for only one private insurance provider, a freelance insurance agent can suggest, market, advise and sell insurance policies offered by different companies.
Contracting with several private companies as an independent home-based insurance agent could be a great opportunity for freelance job seekers.
As a freelance agent, you will represent and sell insurance products and financial services from a variety of parent insurers. There is no limitation on the numbers you choose.
In fact, the number of companies you join, the better the suggestions could you give to your customers. With varied policy options, you can sign the ones that suit best for each individual client. The perk is instead of earning a salary you will earn commissions on the products you sell. So, if you sell a bigger valued product, your commission will also be higher.
How Can You Launch Your Independent Insurance Agent Career?
Here are a few tips that may be of great help to you.
Research The Field Extensively
Becoming an independent agent is like starting your own business, which basically means, you will have to have a fair knowledge and adequate experience in this field, including the types of policies offered, the state’s laws and legislations, your market and other company laws.
You will be working with a variety of companies and each will have something unique to offer. You have to extensively research on the wide-ranging aspects of insurance and finance if you do not possess previous job experience.
Classes Could Be Your Next Resource
If you already are employed at a private company as an insurance advisor, it should be an instinctive choice to funnel out your experience into a freelance insurance career.
People with no industry knowledge don’t feel disheartened because you can easily learn the fundamentals of insurance coverage selling, with so many online classes as well as distance learning options.
Most of these courses are provided by trade schools, either virtually or during the weekends. You have to take an insurance test and pass it before you start your freelance business.
Land Your Own Business
Since you will be working as an independent agent, without the support of any private company, you will have to consider this as your own business. So, you will need to start this from scratch.
Here are the general requirements for doing business as a home-based insurance advisor
- First, register your agency from your state’s Department of Insurance. You can register as an independent agent in several states.
- Get an insurance license.
- Insurance is generally segregated into 3 categories: Life and Health, Vehicle or Auto, and Property and Third Party Insurance.
- If you wish to set up an office, then it’s advised to purchase a Producer Bond and Error & Omissions Policy for your business protection.
Getting An Insurance License
- Get in touch with your State’s Department of Insurance and find out what is the process of registration.
- You have to submit a background check. Your new job focuses on a very sensitive field where you will be selling financial information and advice. So the Department of Insurance will go through an extensive criminal and financial check before they provide you the license.
- You need to be specialized in a particular kind. You have several options such as auto, life, health, and property. Initially, when you branch out as a freelancer, it is good to stick with one or two lines of insurance. However, once your business grows, you can definitely include all types of insurance services.
Ok, so once you have done the registration and obtained the license, you will need to start reaching out to customers. If you are planning to set up an office, buying leads would be your third step in the process. You have to buy leads and call them.
There are several companies that provide lead generation services. You pay a fair price for each lead. An insurance lead contains a customer’s name, number, address, and details of insurance policies that he has under his name and the provider’s name.
One of the best ways to find potential clients is by spreading a word of mouth to your friends, family, and relatives. You can also advertise on social media sites for better exposure.
Where Freelance Insurance Agents Can Work?
Did you know 80% of the commercial insurance policies are managed and sold by independent insurance agents who are associated with different private companies? So, you will never be out of work as a freelancer… that’s for sure.
You should target business arenas instead of individual people because as studies reveal 75% to 80% of personal insurance policies are handled by insurance agents working for particular private companies.
You have to create an insurance portfolio, which typically refers to the list of insurance coverage types, policies, and solutions that you have access to. You have to form the list by approaching insurance companies and coming to an agreement with them on adding their company policies to your portfolio. (1)
Some of the types of policies that an independent insurance agent can sell include;
- Casualty and Property Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Medical Insurance
- Disability Insurance
- Financial services like Mutual funds and Annuities
- Retirement packages and solutions
- Wealth, Asset and Estate Management
Aggregator organizations and Trade organizations support independent insurance brokers in finding work for a small amount of fee.
If You Want To Set-Up An Office… At Minimum, You Will Need
- Space. A room where you won’t be disturbed. You can set up your office in your home too, provided you don’t get distracted by family.
- A landline phone with a headset to make calls. Buy a reliable landline and comfortable headset as they will be your ally for a long time. Make sure your hands are free when making calls as you have to simultaneously work on the computer.
- A filing cabinet that will hold the contracts and other paper works of your clients.
- An efficient CRM Software. You may need this as your clientele grows. Customer management software will help track customer communication and data which lets you easily follow up, email, call and schedule appointments in minutes.