Is an Independent Insurance Agent Career Right for You?


Provided by InVEST and IIA Michigan’s MI Future.

Take The “I” Test and determine your “IQ” or “Independence Quotient”.

If you score high, you may have what it takes to make a successful independent insurance agent. So take the next step on your path to a successful career and ask yourself the questions below:

  1. For the most part, I would prefer work that puts me in touch with:
    1. Machines exclusively
    2. Both people and machines
    3. People exclusively
  2. For the most part, I would prefer a career where I:
    1. Work from 9 to 5
    2. Work roughly from 9 to 5
    3. Set my own schedule
  3. I would prefer the kind of career that provides me:
    1. Total job security in a big company or bureaucracy
    2. Some security in a growth industry or in a medium-sized company
    3. Limited security
  4. I would prefer a job in which I:
    1. Work in a office regularly
    2. Travel locally or regionally
    3. Travel exclusively
  5. I would prefer a career with upward mobility:
    1. In which I climb to the top of an existing structure
    2. In which I make the structure of my enterprise grow and I grow with it

Your Answers

The answers to The “I” Test are not as obvious as you may think. Each one has weighty implications.

Question 1:
This questions addresses a serious consideration. Some people prefer the limited responsiveness of the machine and are motivated by mechanical invention. Some prefer dealing with people almost 100 percent of the time. And some prefer a mix of people contact and machine technology.

If you answered "b": Your “independence quotient” is best served. You prefer harnessing technology for your people-to-people contact and you prefer working with both human and hardware resources.

Question 2:
Answer "a" - regular 9 to 5 worker, answer "a"
Answer "b" - In the center lies a happy medium; the job which relies upon your initiative and is yet part of a larger, structured system
Answer "c" - total independence of an entertainer

Question 3:
This questions illustrates your job security motivation. A career should not be a gamble. But there are extremes.
Answer "a" implies the total security situation in a large corporation or governmental bureaucracy
Answer "b" implies some security like that offered by a medium-sized company and may be headed for the security that comes from being part of the decision-making team of an independent insurance agency
Answer "c" shows you are independent, but be careful – your future is at stake and at least some security is a good thing

Question 4
The extremes of your willingness to travel:
Answer "a" - virtually none
Answer "c" - exclusively
Answer "b" - you are ready for the success that comes from personal contacts on a local and regional level

Question 5
This question asks if you prefer...
Answer "a" - climbing up an existing corporate ladder or
Answer "b" - making your own enterprise grow – and you growing with it; the independent thinker will probably chose "b"


The purpose in illustrating these choices is to interest you in a career that combines the following opportunities:

  • Working with people and with the latest technology
  • Advancing within a growth system in which you are your own boss but not totally alone
  • Relying upon your own initiative but not starting from zero all by yourself
  • Traveling locally and regionally to make personal contacts
  • Using all of your abilities to make it on your own, instead of climbing an existing corporate ladder

The career that offers these opportunities is that of an independent insurance agent. Independent agents are entrepreneurs who . . .

  • Represent several insurance companies
  • Hold written contracts allowing them to represent these companies
  • Select from these companies the kinds of insurance and policies that suit their clients’ needs
  • Work for their own success directly, as part of the independent agency system

Many independent agents own their own businesses and work for themselves and their clients. But they also work with the companies they represent, including some of the largest and most prestigious insurance companies in the world.

And, there’s much more to it. The insurance industry needs bright, forward-looking young people who can be INDEPENDENT and make lifelong careers in this rapidly growing, demanding field.

Thank you for taking The “I” Test. If you feel you measure up, there may be a great career awaiting you as an independent agent.