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All About Insurance Professionals
Insurance professionals are insurance experts that must undertake a broad range of capacities in order to be successful - from representing their insurance companies to selling diverse insurance policies to customers, to ensuring and providing coverage to policy holders. Agents may also provide other non-related services that individuals frequently desire when they are investing in an insurance policy, including financial advising and an assessment of risk to explaining comprehensive financial planning services, including retirement and estate planning. As a result of their multifaceted capabilities, in addition to offering insurance policies, agents often also sell mutual funds, annuities, and securities.
If you are considering becoming an insurance professional, know that all insurance brokers, including you, must hold a license that is specific to area of insurance specialty that you wish you work in. You must also have a current and valid license that is approved by the state where you are doing business. These licenses do not cross state lines. Different types of insurance that you may become involved with include: health insurance, business insurance, disability insurance, homeowners insurance, and automotive insurance.
While there are a number of insurance types, insurance professionals are expected to provide a comprehensive menu of options and services to their clients. Therefore, they are expected to be well-versed in the practices of insurance companies and in the diversity of insurance policies. As an agent, associate, customer representative, insurance broker or even simply an administrator working in the insurance industry, this expertise can include an understanding of the functions, general practices and government regulations that impact the insurance industry. All insurances professionals must also understand the basic administration methods of insurance products so that they can inform their clients about the standard practices. Because insurance professionals often work based on commission, the job of an insurance professional may not be appropriate for everyone.
The primary job of all insurance professionals is to sell insurance, whether the professional is responding to a claim or introducing an insurance agency to a potential client. Insurance professionals are often the first contact for customers who are looking to purchase an insurance policy. Brokers or agents will help individuals, families, and businesses select insurance policies that provide the best protection for their lives, health, and property.
On Your Own or With a Company
While insurance agents can go into business for themselves, many work exclusively for one insurance company and are referred to as "captive agents." "Independent" insurance agents and brokers work not only for one insurance company, but they represent the interests of multiple companies. These brokers effectively match insurance policies for their clients with the insurance company that offers the most appropriate rate for what the client desires. Often brokers and agents will sell more than one type of insurance or will recommend an insurance specialist to a particular client. Insurance professionals have additional tasks as well, including preparing reports, maintaining records, seeking out new clients, and, in the event of a claim, helping policyholders settle their insurance claims.
While the main job of an insurance agent is to sell policies, this is becoming increasingly obsolete practice as the internet allows customers to research policies on their own and find the ones that best fit their needs. As such, the agent-client relationship is gradually changing. Instead agents tend to operate on referrals from satisfied clients who purchased from them, not based on the marketing of the policy, but the assistance they received with their policy purchase. Where as the key to the success of an insurance agent was once the amount of sales and commission, it has now shifted to become the establishment of a loyal customer base.
Because of the increasing competition in the insurance field, many insurance companies are looking for ways to keep customers satisfied in the hopes that the customers will not only return to purchases, but recommending their services to new costumers. Call centers and customer services representatives that will process claims and making changes in policies 24 hours a day one way the industry is attempting to better take care of the customer.