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I'm licensed. Now what?

You studied hard, passed the exam, got your fingerprints done, submitted the application to TDI and now you are a legally licensed P&C insurance agent. So now what?

The insurance industry is full of opportunity. Every business owner has insurance. A plane doesn’t take off unless it has insurance for the plane and the passengers. Most events have insurance in case it is cancelled. Homeowners and vehicle owners have insurance for unexpected catastrophes. We move through our lives and sleep at night knowing that if something horrible happens we won’t lose our business, our homes, our livelihoods, our transportation, our reputation, our retirement, etc.

Insurance plays a huge part in our world’s security and stability. So how can you play your part?

Before you jump into a job, take some time to think about your natural talents. There are many different jobs and roles in the insurance industry. Set yourself up for success by knowing what you are naturally good at and what types of activities energizes you. Using your natural talents in conjunction with a new insurance license is a winning strategy.

Types of Insurance Jobs

Here's an overview of different jobs within the insurance space.

  1. Insurance Carrier & Retail Agency

    Insurance companies (carriers) issue the insurance policy. The retail agency is the intermediary between the carrier and the insured that sells the policy. The agency interacts with the client taking care of the service. The carrier underwrites and endorses the policy as directed by the agent.

    Underwrite means they evaluate all the client information and decide if they want to insure the person or operation. Endorse means to make a change to the policy. For instance, if a person buys a vehicle, the auto policy will need to be endorsed with the new vehicle. The agent will gather all the insured information and provide it to the carrier. The carrier will then determine if they want to issue a policy based on the information. If yes, they will put together all the policy contract forms that create an insurance policy. The agency will propose the policy to the prospect. If the prospect says yes, the policy is bound and the fun begins.

    Insurance carriers are usually larger organizations than agencies. They don’t work with the clients, they work with retail agents. Learning how to underwrite an insurance policy and all the mechanisms within a carrier are great skills to have.

    Agencies can be any size -- from a one-man operation to thousands of employees. Learning how to sell and or service clients as well as learning about all the different types of policies are great skills as well. The agencies may sell only personal lines policies like homeowners and auto or they may sell commercial insurance to businesses. They could sell a combination in addition to bonds or life and health insurance.

  2. Service

    Typically, people within the service side of insurance, whether it’s on the carrier side or agency side, are detail oriented, fact finders and like to take care of people. Job titles for these positions can include account manager, client manager, account executive, assistant account manager, and processor.

    Details and accuracy are critical in insurance. Keeping the name of the insured, the address, the operations among other information all correct as the business grows is critical. There is typically a lot of structure to the service role.

    Policies renew every year, so depending on the type of clients you have and your role, your day could be very predictable, structured, and repetitive. Different agencies will have different levels of processes and structure. Cross selling is usually part of the service team’s role. It is important to identify any gaps in coverage for the insured and put insurance in place to protect them. The service team focuses on client retention and works hand in hand with the sales team.

  3. Sales

    The sales team (producers, advisors) is responsible for the new sales. They create the opportunities for growth. They use networking, lead generation, social media, centers of influence to connect with prospects. People that are successful in this role are usually driven to win, competitive, and like a lot of activity and diversity in their jobs. They are typically self-motivated, social, and good negotiators.

    The sales team gathers the prospect information and works with the service team to create and present the insurance proposal to the prospect in hopes of gaining a new client.

    Inside sales is another type of sales position. This person creates leads for producers to follow up on. This position is a desk job and you're usually making calls to qualified lead sources.

  4. Claims

    Insurance carriers either have their own claims department or contract with a TPA (third party administrator) to handle claims. Depending on the type of policies and clients, claims can be simple or very complicated. This is a great starting point to get foundational insurance knowledge.

    The whole reason we sell insurance is to provide a financial transfer in the event of a loss. The claims adjuster is the face of the insurance carrier. Facilitating the claims process in an efficient, fair, and compassionate manner is important in this role.

  5. Marketing

    There are three different types of marketing in the insurance industry. There is 1) agencies marketing to clients, 2) carriers marketing to agencies to sell their policies and products, and 3) agencies submit applications to carriers to get quotes to sell. All these positions require different skills.

    Agencies marketing to clients requires creative skills to acquire new clients. The role will involve a lot of technology, social media and graphics.

    The second marketing position is between a carrier and agency. As a carrier representative you are responsible to keep relationships productive and profitable with retail agents. This is a people person job. Learning the carrier products and visiting agencies to keep them up to date on all the carrier offerings.

    The third marketing position works at an retail agency with the service team and producer. This position needs a good working knowledge of coverage and carriers. A successful person in this role would be comfortable asking questions, cultivating relationships with carrier underwriters and not daunted by deadlines.

Remember, although you are licensed, there is still a lot to learn. Valuable insurance knowledge is learned through time and experience. The harder and smarter you work, the farther you will go. Entry level insurance jobs are key to acquiring solid insurance fundamentals.

ELITExas

Join the ELITE (Emerging Leaders of Insurance in Texas), IIAT's young professionals group.

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Kim Hutson

Agency Advantage Coach

Thank You to Our Lead Underwriters

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