how to become a independent insurance agent

Last Updated on December 28, 2022

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how to become a independent insurance agent

How to become an independent insurance agent

Here are steps to take if you are interested in learning more about how to become an independent insurance agent:

1. Complete your education

If you want to become an independent insurance agent, you typically need a high school diploma. The insurance market is very competitive, and employers may only consider candidates who have completed high school. Some employers may prefer to recruit those who finished college or university, so you can consider getting a post-secondary qualification to advance your career. Most provinces require prospective agents to pass the provincial exam to apply for their independent insurance agent’s license. Before taking the exams, all candidates may complete a course covering non-test insurance topics and the test material.

The exact requirements to write the provincial exam vary between locations. Some provinces expect candidates to finish a training program first. For instance, in Ontario, candidates need to pass the qualifying examination for general insurance. These examination results are valid for a year and need to be sent to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) when applying. The Insurance Institute of Ontario administers the examinations rather than FSCO. You can check with your province or territory’s licensing body for their specific requirements.

2. Satisfy requirements for licensure

Writing the exam is the first stage of gaining a license. If you have any criminal record, provided it is minor, you may still become a licensed independent insurance agent. Some provinces may approve candidates with minor offences on their criminal records, such as non-violent offences and traffic violations. You can check with your province’s licensing board to review its unique policies. You may also need to pass a background check, and many licensing boards keep records of applicants’ fingerprints.

If you already have a license in any province, you may not need to take additional exams or courses when applying to practice in another province. You can often get additional licenses in a different province by providing a Certificate of Authority issued in your home province to the province in which you want to apply.

3. Get a license

Once you have passed the insurance test and submitted your information to the provincial licensing board, you can now request and obtain a license to sell insurance products. Try to determine what types of insurance you want to sell to help ensure you have the proper certifications. Depending on the situation, you may need a specific license to sell certain insurance, but this is a rare requirement. For example, according to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario if you want to sell life insurance in Ontario, you have to obtain the license of a general insurance agent.

4. Search for a job

Getting clients as a new independent insurance agent may take some time but is attainable. Contact people in your professional network to see if they know of potential clients. Your family, former colleagues, and friends are all people who you can consider approaching. By providing reliable services, you can build a positive reputation and gain more clients.

5. Advertise your services

New individual insurance agents may need to market themselves to both potential clients and insurance companies. Advertising yourself online may be cheaper than local advertising, but it is highly advisable to do both to reach as many companies and people as possible. New agents may wish to request recommendations and referrals from existing clients to get more prospective clients. When you’re beginning your career, personal recommendations and testimonials are essential.

6. Continue to learn

If you want to keep providing the best service to clients, you can continue to study industry changes and legislation. Agents can develop their career prospects by continuing their education. You can achieve this by taking courses and attending lectures and seminars. Most provinces have a continuing education requirement as part of their conditions for granting you a license. If you hope to develop your reputation, you can benefit from staying up-to-date on current industry standards and trends by taking regular courses.

Related: How To Improve Your Learning Skills

7. Insure yourself

All independent insurance agents can benefit from purchasing general liability insurance errors and omissions policies. By insuring yourself, you can protect your business from financial risk. An “errors and omissions policy” is for independent insurance agents and those in similar professions. It protects agents from client claims that arise due to mistakes made by the agent or their employees that leave the client uninsured.

insurance agent salary

Salary and job outlook

The national average salary for an insurance agent is $48,576 per year and according to Job bank, their job outlook is good Commissions received by independent insurance agents are a percentage of the annual premium for the insurance policies they sell. As an independent insurance agents, the actual commission rate you earn may be around 15%. Independent agents typically earn a much higher percentage of the commission than captive agents. This is because of diverse agreements between insurance companies and each agent, the number of clients they have, the policies offered, and service location.

Independent agents work as independent contractors for the insurance companies they represent and have no entitlement to receive wages or salaries from these insurance companies. The insurance market has recently restructured operations, leading to far more profitable operations. There is an anticipated rise in demand for insurance products, so agents who desire a long career in the insurance sector are likely to find several opportunities.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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