A separate license is required for different insurance jobs, no matter how educated or experienced a person might be. The majority of insurance jobs that legally require an insurance license are sales positions, but there are other insurance jobs that also require an insurance license. These include claims adjusters, appraisers, and insurance instructors. The license requirements for all of these jobs are discussed briefly below.
Insurance Sales Agent Licenses
Anyone who intends to become an insurance sales agent must first hold the appropriate insurance license(s) from their state. Agents can get licensed in a variety of specialties like: health, life, property and auto, title, motor vehicle rental, industrial fire and burglary, and surplus lines insurance.
Some states consolidate licenses for insurance jobs like life and health insurance, commonly called “life and health”. Instead of issuing two separate licenses, one license allows the agent to sell both life and health insurance policies. Likewise, some states also consolidate the licenses for property and casualty insurance into a single license.
Sales Agent Jobs
The majority of insurance jobs as sales agents are held by agents with licenses to sell health, life, automobile, and property insurance. These insurance jobs require agents to spend most of their time in prospecting for clients, making sales pitches, and communicating with clients and insurance carriers. There are two types of sales agents:
- Captive agents — Captive agents work exclusively for a single insurance carrier. They can only sell the products offered by that particular carrier and those they are licensed to sell. Captive agents earn lower commissions compared to independent agents because of their association with a single carrier.
However, captive agents can still boost their compensation based on their production through bonuses. Similarly, these insurance jobs have the advantage of clerical and marketing support, and sales leads are provided by the company.
- Independent agents — Independent agents don’t work for a single insurance carrier. Instead, they represent multiple carriers and thus, have a more extensive range of products to sell. This arrangement gives them the freedom and flexibility to better meet their clients’ insurance needs at the best possible price. Since independent agents are not beholden to one carrier, they have the opportunity to earn more commission compared to captive agents.
Claims Adjusters and Appraisers
Claims adjusters are the insurance jobs that deal with evaluating the damage done to the insured’s property. They conduct research on claims made by the policy holder and obtain all necessary information for their analysis. Adjusters also assess the severity of the loss by taking interviews, to better understand the events that led to the loss.
Appraisers, on the other hand, are responsible for cost and value estimation of the insured item. They inspect damaged properties or vehicles during a claim and ascertain the total cost of repairs or replacement.
Insurance companies that provide in-house agent training may require their instructors to have insurance licenses. Having licensed instructors ensures that the instructors are knowledgeable about the subject matter they are teaching, and makes them appear more credible to the agents that they are training.