Insurance Agent or Broker
Whether a customer obtains an insurance policy through a website, phone call, or personal visit, they tend to work with someone to move the process forward. This individual (or a group of people) helps the consumer know more about what they purchased and how it covers them. These are known as insurance agents or insurance brokers.
What does an Agent/Broker do?
The primary goal of an agent/broker is to help clients through the process of obtaining a policy. They also help if the insured wants to make a change or needs to file a claim. Furthermore, the agent/broker is available to answer any questions along the way.
Are They Individuals or Work In Groups?
In the past, a consumer would work with one individual through the life of their policy. This agent would be the go-to individual at a specific office and be available via a phone call or in-person visit. In certain situations, the agent/broker would ask the insured to reach out to a regional or national office to speak with a professional with more knowledge than they had.
While this is still the case, a majority of agents/brokers work in larger call centers. Instead of dealing with one person throughout their coverage, customers work with different individuals when it comes to payments or questions. The only exceptions are the times when the insured has to work on a claim.
Responsibilities of an Agent/Broker
These are some of the responsibilities of an insurance agent/broker:
Help the insured find a policy that suits their needs.
Adjust the policy due to a customer’s life changes.
Answer questions related to a current or new policy.
Help the insured file a claim and track its progress.
Direct policyholders to other resources when information is unavailable.
Identify opportunities for new forms of insurance.
Calculate dividends and determine payment options for whole-life insurance policies.
Qualifications to Become an Insurance Agent/Broker
To become an insurance agent/broker, an individual must have a high school diploma. However, many firms hire those who have a bachelor’s degree or higher, preferably one that’s related to finances or business administration.
Regardless of the degree, those who wish to work in this sector need to be licensed. This requires a series of classes followed by an exam. In most cases, this license is only good within the state they work. Insurance agents/brokers must get a new license if they relocate to another area.
On top of these qualifications, a person who wants to be an insurance agent/broker needs to have excellent customer service skills. This includes interactions in person, on the phone, or via email. Having the comfort to speak with others helps gain and maintain clients.
While not mandatory, an individual should have some form of sales experience. Though it is taught when hired at their firm, previous experience in this field helps an insurance agent/broker start quicker.