Insurance agents help keep insurance companies open and thriving by selling insurance policies. Every year, more individuals decide to be part of this industry and become insurance agents. Learn a little about what insurance agents are and what type of salary they earn.
What is an Insurance Agent?
An insurance agent is a trained professional who works for an insurance company and sells insurance policies for the company. An insurance agent may work for several different companies, so the agent can offer the customer the best policy for the best price.
In addition to selling insurance policies, an insurance agent explains different policies to potential clients and also helps them choose the policy that best meets their needs. Insurance agents may sell the following type of insurance policies:
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Property and casualty insurance
- Disability insurance
- Business insurance
- Auto insurance
- Long-term care insurance
What Do Insurance Agents Do?
Although the number one thing insurance agents do in the course of a work day is sell insurance policies, they also have many other work tasks. Insurance agents go through a potential client’s insurance needs and discuss current coverage, as well as any other coverage they may need. They maintain both paper and electronic paperwork and take care of insurance renewals.
They explain the ins and outs of each insurance policy for the customer. Insurance agents also help clients make and settle claims. In an effort to save their customers some money, insurance agents communicate with many underwriters to find a policy that can be customized to the customer’s needs while saving them money at the same time.
How Much Do Insurance Agents Make?
Insurance agents made an average annual wage of $48,210 as of May 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Insurance agents in the lowest 10% earned $26,030 while those in the top 90% earned $117,830. The mean hourly wage for insurance agents in 2013 was $30.58.
The earnings for insurance agents are different from state to state. Listed below are the states where insurance sales agents earned the highest wages, along with their 2013 annual and hourly wages, accordingly, as reported by the BLS.
- Rhode Island: $88,670/$42.63
- Massachusetts: $79,950/$38.44
- New York: $75,800/$36.44
- California: $74,010/$35.58
- Illinois: $73,760/$35.46
Does Location Affect Earnings?
U.S. News & World Report states that an insurance agent’s wages can be affected by both the type of business and the geographic location. The types of businesses where insurance agents earn the highest wages are securities and commodities firms, outpatient care facilities, and insurance and wholesale electronic markets.