Insurance brokers research policies offered by several insurers, ensuring that their clients get the coverage they need for the best price. Brokers can work on behalf of individuals, companies or organizations, and are usually specialists in a particular type of policy. Most work on commission, and the median salary is $48,210. (More specific information on salaries in California is available here .) If you want to learn how to become an insurance broker in California, follow the steps below;
Planning for a Career as an Insurance Broker
Identify opportunities. – Getting your insurance license takes time, hard work, and money, so you will want to make sure that your efforts will pay off. Make sure that there are lots of good opportunities in your area. You may even consider applying to insurance companies that offer financial support to pursue your insurance license. If you are not working for an insurance company, it will be very difficult to obtain the additional training and resources that you will need to work as an insurance broker.
As an added bonus, having a job with an insurance company will help take the guesswork out of the type of insurance license you should pursue. You can simply ask your employer what type of license you will need.
Consider your skill set before pursuing a license as a California insurance broker. – Most licensed brokers recommend that aspiring brokers have certain skills and industry knowledge before embarking on a career in the industry:
1. Interpersonal skills: Brokers must be patient and considerate with clients, many of whom are overwhelmed by the process of selecting insurance coverage. Brokers also must project confidence when negotiating policies with insurance companies.
2. Strong Personality: Successful agents will appear excited, eager and positive at all times when working with clients. Agents must also be able to handle rejection. You will hear “No” on a daily basis. Successful agents see each “No” as another step on the way to “Yes.”
3. Business education: Although only a high-school diploma is required, college-level instruction in business classes can be very useful to new brokers and may lead to higher pay.
Successful brokers must understand the tax and legal aspects of the products they sell and how those products fit into a client’s overall financial situation. – Classes in tax law, accounting, business administration and investment planning can provide a solid foundation for a new broker.
Decide what kind of insurance you want to specialize in. – All aspiring brokers must take required coursework and a licensing exam in the area of specialization they choose. Specialties in California include:
Life insurance brokers sell products providing coverage on human lives, including life insurance (protects against the risk of early death), annuities (guaranteed income that protects against outliving one’s financial resources), and funeral and burial insurance, which provides for the cost of funeral and burial expenses.
Accident and health insurance brokers sell mostly health insurance, which pays the medical expenses incurred by the policyholder as a result of accidental injury or illness; and disability insurance, which covers lost income.
Property insurance brokers provide coverage for the loss or damage of property of any kind, including insurance for business property, crop insurance, livestock insurance, earthquake insurance, equipment breakdown insurance, flood insurance, homeowners or dwelling insurance, and inland marine insurance (covers movable property like jewelry or unusual risks).
Casualty insurance brokers, often called liability insurance brokers, provide coverage against legal liability, including that for death, injury, disability, or damage to real or personal property. The most common form is automobile insurance, but there are many other lines.
Personal lines brokers provide insurance specifically for individuals, as opposed to companies, and can includes the following policy types: automobile insurance, residential property insurance, including earthquake and flood insurance, personal watercraft insurance and umbrella or excess liability insurance.
Limited-lines auto brokers sell, solicit or negotiate automobile insurance for private use, liability coverage, physical damage coverage and collision coverage.
Bail agents issue bail bonds on the behalf of insurers. – A bail bond is an insurance product that guarantees the appearance of a defendant in court.
Speak with an insurance broker. – There is no better way to get a feel for the type of specialty that suits you than to talk with a practicing insurance broker. He or she can give you details on the nature of the work, pay, hours and more.