If you are wondering what career you want to choose for yourself coming out of college, or you are thinking about a career change, the intent of this article is to give you some food for thought about why being an independent insurance agent is an excellent career.
- Helping people. People need insurance. Okay, maybe insurance in and of itself isn’t all that exciting to talk about. In reality however, when you are an insurance agent you are providing a valuable service to the public. People need insurance, and not just because, in many cases, the law says they have to have it, but because it protects them financially. Its very satisfying when you are able to witness someones life being rebuilt after something terrible happened in their life. If their house burns down for example, you get to help them rebuild that house, get them back on their feet. That is why insurance matters and it is fun to help people protect their assets and their families.
- Being an independent agent gives you and the people you are helping choices. There are two basic types of insurance agents, captive agents and independent agents. Captive agents work for just one company and can only provide the products of that one company. They really represent that company to the public. Those products might be good products but the choice is limited. An independent agent on the other hand represents his client to the insurance companies. The independent agent has many insurance carriers they work with. They quote not just one product but many products. They work to find the product that provides the best value for the client. Having so many options allows the independent agent to be more valuable to the consumer by presenting more options for the consumer to choose from.
- Time. The independent insurance agent career is one that allows time for family, hobbies and other activities. It is true, the fist couple of years in the business, you wont’ have much time for anything. You will work harder than you have ever worked if you want to be successful, but the rewards are worth it. Once you build a base of clientele, you don’t have to be tied down all day to an office. If you need to leave work to go to a child’s school play, no problem. If you want to play a round of golf, take a client and go play a round of golf. I don’t know very many careers that allow you the flexibility you can have as an independent insurance agent. The quality of life it provides is unmatched. Many agents work from home. You can work remotely from almost anywhere as long as you have internet connection. For this reason, it can be a career for even a stay at home mom!
- Income. How much money would you like to make? Insurance is one of those careers, as with many sales positions, the sky is really the limit. The more you sell, the more you make. There really is no limit to your income potential. If you want to make a six figure income, you can. If you want to make a seven figure income, you can. The more policies you sell, the more commission you can earn. Its not easy, that is not what I am saying; but the potential is there and it is attainable if you want it.
- Residual Income. Part of the reason being an independent insurance agent gives you time is because the income is residual. When you write an insurance policy for a client, you receive a commission from the insurance company for doing so. Part of this commission is received because the insurance company knows you will service the policy for the remainder of the policy term. If you do a good job, the client will likely renew with you and you earn commission again. Each time the policy renews you earn a commission. So lets say you sell 100 policies in year one of your career and earn commission on those policies. Then in year two, you sell 100 policies, you earn commission on those 100 policies from year two, plus commission on the 100 policies you wrote in year one (as long as they renew) and so forth. So by year 5, if you kept the same pace, you are receiving commission on all 500 policies. The residual revenue builds on itself which is why there are many insurance agents who are very successful and financially well off.
- Challenging. If you want a career that is challenging and engages you, insurance is a good career. Every day is different. You are working with different people solving different problems. You will continually be learning and be challenged intellectually. You can challenge yourself to see just how far you can go in the business of insurance. How much you can learn and use that knowledge to help more people.
- Job Security. As mentioned above, because in many cases the law requires people to have insurance, and if they own a home, the mortgage company requires the owner to have insurance, everyone needs insurance. This provides job security. If you know the business of insurance you services are needed. No matter what town or state you go to, people need insurance and so you will have job security. Insurance is also somewhat recession proof. When economic downturns happen people will look for ways to reduce their expenses, like they might stop going out to dinner and the movies so much, but they have to maintain their insurance so insurance is somewhat recession proof.
- Giving back to your community. All of these things discussed, especially income and time, allow the insurance agent to give back to their communities. Many insurance agents are very charitable. They donate money to many different causes. They use their time to serve others in their communities. They are proactive, often times, in other causes outside their insurance business.
- Mentoring. After you become a successful insurance agent, you can help teach and train new agents coming into the business. If you like to coach others, or teach and train by sharing your knowledge, you can help others in the business. Show them what you did to become successful. Help them get a start in the business. Just two days before writing this article a young man I helped get his start in the insurance business sent me a text thanking me for my help. He and his wife had moved out of state and I had lost contact with them. Then out of the blue he sent me a text telling me he had found his niche in commercial insurance and thanked me for helping him get started and teaching him; it was a rewarding message I receive from that young man.
I frankly love being insurance agent for all the reasons I mentioned here and I’m sure there are many others I did not think of. For me, solving problems and helping people is the most rewarding part of my career. Building a staff and helping them work towards their dreams and goals has also been very fulfilling for me.
If you are a young college student wondering what you want to do with your life think seriously about insurance. If you need a career change, think seriously about insurance. Its hard, its challenging but the rewards are rich. What could be better than helping others while earning a living and having the time to do what you want to do in life.