Insurance is a competitive industry to get into, but if you've got the knack for it, you can make some serious money. Follow this guide on how to become an independent insurance agent.
Do some research. Standards for insurance jobs are different in every state and country, so it's important to research what qualifications you'll need to become an independent insurance agent in your area. Start with an online search. You can also talk to local brokers and ask about licensing.
Get your qualifications. Depending on what is required of you in your state, you will need to get licensed as an independent insurance agent. You will have to take a short course and then pass a test. Once you have your license, you are legally able to start selling insurance.
Understand what you're getting into. Insurance agent careers involve a lot of perseverance, especially if you desire to stay self-employed. Starting up as an independent insurance agent is an uphill battle. Compared to working for a company where all licenses, franchises, enrollment dues and so on are covered, all this is up to you. There will be other hidden fees like membership dues to industry associations, as well as omissions insurance. Initial start-up costs can be extremely expensive, so be prepared for this expense and the responsibility of what goes along with starting a new insurance business.
Decide on your specialty. There are many insurance industry jobs from which to choose. The key to success as an independent insurance agent is finding your niche in the market. If you think you can cover all types of insurance (life, boat, house, business), reconsider because you'll drown. Instead, explore insurance careers and then commit to offering personalized, specialized assistance to your customers by focusing on a specific aspect of the insurance industry. For example, only offer life insurance, but have many different life insurance packages to choose from. You'll have greater success this way, and you'll be able to focus your attention and training on a specific area.
Become affiliated with an insurance company. Even though you want to work as an independent insurance agent, you still need to be affiliated with an insurance company. Before you do this though, you need to research which company you want to be linked to. Some offer better packages than others, some have happier employees, and some just have a more popular name. Decide what is important to you in an insurance company, and then join their program. (This can be done online.)
Start up your office. Your next step to becoming an independent insurance agent is to prepare your work space. The set-up will be simple. You'll need a computer, printer, telephone and internet access, along with all of the other little supplies that go along with an office (pens, paper, etc.). To make your independent insurance office seem more professional, you'll also want to have personalized cards and letterhead made up bearing your name and company logo.
Do some marketing. Since you're a new independent insurance agent, you may not be well known. Get your name out there and let people know about your services. Put ads in the local classifieds, send out flyers in your area, post advertisements in areas where you clients frequent, or rent a billboard. Any exposure you can get your new company is good and will bring you customers. You'll also definitely want to invest in a professional website, as this is the primary way people search for independent insurance agents. Once you've got your marketing strategy in place, your customers will start calling and you'll be well on your way to a successful career as an independent insurance agent.