There are a number of reasons to love being an insurance agent – monetary perks, flexible work hours, fast growth, etc. But, like any other career, this field has its own set of challenges.
Wondering whether a career in insurance sales is the right choice for you? Just like any other job, being an insurance agent has its fair share of ups and down. A job in this field could be highly lucrative or a complete disaster, depending on your personality, values and drive. Insurance agents are required to work with a variety of people. So, if you have a knack for interacting with people and selling products, then this may just be the job for you! But first, it is essential to know everything that goes into this kind of work. Here is a look at all the pros and cons of becoming an insurance agent:
One of the primary reasons why many individuals become an insurance agent is because it offers the potential to make a lot of money. Considering that you’ll be working in sales, there’s a clear incentive to generate better numbers – your commissions. While captive agents receive salaries, they can earn extra in the form of commission for the sale they make. The earnings of independent agents are entirely based on the commissions from the policies they sell. There is generally no limit on how much an insurance agent can make through commissions. The more you sell, the better the commission. There are also other benefits that companies offer to top-performing agents, like bonuses and foreign trips.
As an independent insurance agent, you get a great deal of flexibility on the hours that you put in. If you want to take a day or few hours off work, it’s completely up to you. You do not have to clear it with any superior. Additionally, you may find that many clients are only available on evenings or on weekends. You can accordingly plan your work hours depending on when potential clients are available. Studies have also shown that a flexible schedule is one of the things young insurance agents like most about their jobs.
Pro: Start earning early
According to the regulations set forth by the IRDAI, an individual who wants a license to act as an insurance agent or a composite insurance agent has to hold “minimum qualification of a pass in 12th standard or equivalent examination conducted by any recognized Board”. This is in case the applicant lives in a place with a population of 5000 or more. If the applicant lives in any other place, he or she will have to pass “10th standard or equivalent examination from a recognized Board.” Thus, it can be seen that with a modest formal education, an individual can launch his or her career in insurance. This opens opportunities for even college students to work in the sector.
Con: Build up client base
Finding clients is not an easy task. Companies invest a lot of time and resources into finding quality leads. You will have to make cold calls, build an online presence, travel and meet people, etc.- all to find potential clients. However, there is no guarantee that simply because you met a prospect, the individual will buy a policy from you. All of the tasks involved in building up a client base can consume a lot of your time. There’s also a possibility that your work timings will stretch beyond the standard 9-5 office day. Your team leader or boss may even ask you to meet clients during weekends, depending on their availability.
Con: Stress and pressure to sell
Regardless of which kind of agency you work for, there will be a certain level of stress and pressure to sell that comes with the job. If you are unable to meet the sales target, your commissions will take a hit. You are likely to make less money since your earnings are highly dependent on how many and what type of insurance products you sell. Additionally, the competition in the industry is quite tough. If you do not identify the edge you have over other agents, your approach may be completely wrong.
Con: Keep up with changing regulations
The government and insurance regulator have laid out a list of regulations for the players in the industry to follow. To meet the changing needs, rules pertaining to insurance get modified or changed, sometimes on a regular basis. Keeping up with them can seem like an overwhelming task if you’re not fully equipped and prepared. To ensure that you’re providing the best possible service to your clients, stay on top of the updates related to the sector. Keep going through insurance-related news on the internet or subscribe to blogs and newsletters that cover news on this segment.
The above-mentioned points are only few of the pros and cons of working as an insurance sales professional. Overall, there is plenty of room to grow for the right candidates. The set of skills required for this line of work is very specific. If you have good communication skills and enjoy interacting with people, you may do well in this field. You’re going to have to talk to new people on a daily basis and convince them on why they need financial protection. If that sounds like your cup of tea, you can definitely consider becoming an insurance agent.