How to become a Property/Casualty Agent

You have decided that a career working as a Property/Casualty/Insurance agent is the right path for you. But how do we go about making that happen? These are the steps you need to take:

* Obtain a license as a Broker/Broker/Property/Casualty Agent. Insurance is state-regulated. You’ll need your license from the place you live. There are schools which offer continuing education to help you get your license. They usually offer preparation classes for taking the test as well as continuing education required to renew your licensure every two years. Most classes are also available online.

* Be educated in the field of insurance. Although there are some schools that offer degrees for insurance, they are rare. Insurance companies used to offer training programs for agents. However, that practice is less common today. While insurance agencies sometimes hire inexperienced personnel, their training may be less structured. The “Producer Schools” offered by local Insurance Professionals can offer you a great basic education as well as experienceChurch Insurance Agent.

* Find the best way to gain market access. There are many options.

o As a Producer, join an existing independent agency. The agency will manage your business, allow you to market and provide office space. Typically, you don’t “own” the business.

o Become an “Aggregator”. These are operations which allow you to do business independently but give you limited access to market. (Binding authorities allow you to provide coverage without first conferring with the carrier. Typically, your business is not yours.

o Join a “Cluster.” These are agencies that collaborate to make a larger “presence,” with a carrier, by pooling their businesses. This allows them the opportunity to maximize growth, and offer volume bonuses. This is typically not an option for a newly formed agency.

o Become a “Captive.” These are insurance companies who hire agents to represent them. They can help you manage your business and offer flexibility, but not the ability to cover all markets. You may receive renewal commission. You might not have “binding authorization.” You may or might not “own” your business.

o Open your own “Independent Agency.” In order to be “appoint” an agency by “Preferred” insurers, you must have at least three years’ experience with loss ratios. Appointment with “Standard Markets” can be more difficult. To earn more bonuses and have your business sell faster, you should build your business in “preferred”, or standard markets.

o Sign up for a hybrid organization. These agencies provide support for your business, as well as direct access to carriers. They usually allow you the freedom to operate as an autonomous entity, but pool business to maximize bonuses. They grant direct access the carriers they represent and give you ownership of the business.

All options offer varying levels of commission and/or fees. They will also require that contracts be signed. These contracts are varied so be sure to read them all before you sign.

* Learn how sell. Selling property/casualty is unlike any other sale. This is not a sale of a tangible property. You are selling various contracts promising to perform in the event of a loss. The public does not know much about insurance. It doesn’t matter if they know it or not, most people need professional advice to determine the best way forward. This is a sale where the client is educated and their needs are listened to. This is known as “consultative selling” or “needs sales”. Professional Insurance Agents place the client’s needs above their own. They are not interested in selling products they don’t know as hard.