How To Be An Insurance Agent?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by OV1kenobi, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. OV1kenobi

    OV1kenobi

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    Assuming that my Grandson has a few hundreds of thousands of US Dollars in free assets, and he wants to have his own insurance agency some day.

    Should he acquire a C.P.A. or M.B.A. first?

    Can he purchase a territory from a premium company and receive training when he is of the legal age?

    How should he go about this?
     
  2. norton

    norton

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    If he plans to sell P&C I would suggest a C.P.C.U. degree . There are university programs specializing in Insurance majors.
     
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  3. Wishoot

    Wishoot

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    No need to be a CPA to own an agency. Although it certainly won't hurt.
     
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  4. Ross-in-Pa

    Ross-in-Pa Western Pa

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    I guess I am old fashioned, but how about your Grandson shadowing an actual Agent, and finding out from the source what degree (If any) is needed. Maybe work in some capacity at the agency.

    I would guess several years actual experience would be significantly more valuable than a degree.

    I have 2 insurance agents in my extended family, and neither have a college degree.
     
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  5. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    Just get one of them "Name Your Price Tools" and start shooting away.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Slackinoff

    Slackinoff Bathed in lavender and gasoline

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    I'm an agent in Tx. I would just get my license and get to work somewhere. Either a captive agency or independent, doesn't matter. All my insurance magazines talk about is the lack of new blood coming in to take over and buy books of business. At the same time, books of business are going for more than they ever have, 2-3 times commission. So IDK, I believe that is from the general lack of guys wanting to sell. Many agents are well past retirement but would rather keep ownership and working

    There are a lot of independent agencies with no legacy in place other than to sell them to the highest bidder. Many owners wanting to retire are willing to work out owner financing their book of business, but they need to trust you. You need experience first.

    Tell him to take some license prep classes and get licensed. Then apply for a job and get some experience. No degree needed at all, but a business degree for sure would not hurt.
     
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  7. capnjim01

    capnjim01

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    Just get a business degree, doesn't need college but it can't hurt. I'm an independent agent is TX also, and I've been captive also , independent is better. when he gets older I'll talk to him glady. As Slackinoff said we need new agents. He doesn't need to buy a book of business.
     
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  8. Wishoot

    Wishoot

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    Yes Sir! Arthur J. Gallager is buying up those independent agencies like there's no tomorrow. I'm a Life & Health guy and darn near every one of my independent agencies has been scooped up by them or Marsh.

    Kids just aren't interested in this business anymore.
     
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  9. Kevinr20

    Kevinr20

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    I'm of the opinion that local insurance agents will fade into obscurity within 10 to 15 years. Newer generations want to buy online or on the phone. It's mostly the older generation who still prefer an agent whose office they can visit.
     
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  10. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    I work for a private homeowners insurance carrier in Florida. We tried to do away with agents and the state said no. We wanted to do direct sales or internet sales all in house. I am not sure of the reasoning why the state thinks agents are needed/required.



    /
     
  11. jimcorbin

    jimcorbin

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    My youngest son is an agent here in Ohio. He works with an independent agent. All he had was a BS in Business and was hired on. They got him whatever he needed to be able to sell. They are also setting him up with his real estate license too. He’s making damn good money for a 23 yr old kid.
     
  12. Miguelito_

    Miguelito_

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    While College is not technically needed to become a licensed insurance agent, it certainly does not hurt. Owning an insurance agency is NOT simply automatically successful if the person in question is an excellent insurance salesman. A degree in business would be quite helpful to have some of the basic skills to own and operate an independent insurance agency. A minor in Risk Management, (typically provided through the Finance School of a University that has a Risk Management program) would also be helpful. Not to mention the much-needed skill set of being able to construct a business letter coherently. Any such degree would likely ensure the individual would have the latter skills, regardless of which business degree program was chosen. (Finance, Accounting, Marketing, etc.)

    Running an independent insurance agency requires HR management skills, finance/bookkeeping skills, sales skills, and social skills. Years ago, companies like The Hartford Insurance Group and Travelers had programs that would take a college graduate (you had to be a college graduate to make the cut for initial consideration) and put them through about a year of on the job training, routing them through all the various operational departments in the company. (Marketing, Underwriting, Payroll Audit, Claims, HR, etc.) before they would be assigned a geographical territory with the job of calling on a group of independent agents with the responsibility of managing the group of agents and persuading them to write their client's insurance through the company in question. These positions had several names, "Special Agent, Field Production Underwriter, Marketing Rep, etc." If the individual were good at this job, eventually, the independent agents would begin offering them a position in their agency. Often, the position included a method to own a portion of the agency. Agency perpetuation was and still is a challenge, especially in the small towns.

    I started in that position 42 years ago and am still active in the business and have a number of the professional designations referenced above, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM-P, ARe, AIC, etc. It is true, they are helpful, but certainly not mandatory to be a successful agent. As described, I was then able to join one of the agencies that I knew with the possibility of being able to purchase an equal share of that company. This is, in my opinion, the BEST way to learn the business, as you are getting the perspective of MANY different independent insurance agents in your territory, and THEY are the ones that actually end of teaching an individual the insurance business. I doubt this route is readily available any more, but if it is, that is my recommendation.

    The future possibility of the independent insurance agent being phased out is a possibility. Still, complicated risk management programs designed for the complex commercial account are always going to need individuals to be able to market, explain and service them, as they are too complex to quote and write over the phone or via the internet. I do think personal lines insurance will, for the most part, become direct sales, but we are still likely at least ten years away from that being the majority. If an individual stays computer literate, including in the social media areas, they should be well-positioned to be successful in at least the immediate future.

    Good luck, it has been an exciting and rewarding career for me, that has taught me a great deal about all kinds of businesses. One needs to understand how another commercial business operates to devise an insurance and risk management program for them. I would do it all again, given my career path if I could, and that speaks volumes of my path through the previous 42 years.
     
  13. Slackinoff

    Slackinoff Bathed in lavender and gasoline

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    Cool! I have my life and health license only as a formality. I only have it so I can legally discuss the available products to customers if they are interested. If a conversation goes well, then we can sit down with an actual dedicated Life and Health guy who works independently in our office. I always thought Life Insurance was an interesting product. The guy that sells it here is a great guy. Been here 25 years.

    I don't agree with that. I have a bunch of young customers that want to know where they can find and talk to their agent, day in day out. If anything right now, the younger crowd cares more about local business than the prior generation. Yes, all generations shop around and buy on price, but if they happen to come across me, or someone like me - someone that lives nearby, actually cares, and is here at the office 8-5 M-F, they buy. Hell half the the time I am cheaper anyways than those big captive agencies.
     
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  14. Wishoot

    Wishoot

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    I don't do much in the L&H world any more. I gravitated to medical reinsurance and that's pretty much all I've been doing for 25 years.

    Still, lots of $$$$$ to be made selling life insurance.
     
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  15. Slackinoff

    Slackinoff Bathed in lavender and gasoline

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    Cool, and yea I agree. There is money to be made in insurance products! What freaks the young folks out I think, is how boring insurance sounds and also - SALES. They think they are going to sit in a cramped cubicle all day on the phone bugging stangers. Far from it!

    What you said is true though. Very few young folks getting into insurance products. I am 30 and I rarely see anyone in the industry younger than me around these parts. Not exactly a bad thing if you are my age and want to grow.