Industry insights

5 Steps to Become an Independent Life Insurance Agent

What is an Independent Life Insurance Agent?

Life Insurance agents assist customers in finding the right policy that fits their insurance needs. While the independent agents explain the policy terms, premiums, and coverage benefits to the buyers, they also represent the insurance company during the selling process and afterward.   

Independent insurance agents enjoy the flexibility of working for more than one insurance agency while enjoying the diverse roster and earning potential of being self-employed. If that sounds like an amazing career path for you, it’s time to learn how to become an independent insurance agent.  

Starting a career as an independent broker can be challenging, but it’s rewarding as well. Once you know how to get there, things become easier. In this article, we will discuss the process of becoming an independent insurance agent and the benefits of being one. 

Benefits of Becoming an Independent Life Insurance Agent

Since independent life insurance agents are not bound to work for one insurance provider, they enjoy a number of benefits over captive agents (who are working full-time for a company). 

When becoming an independent agent, you’ll reap benefits such as:

  • Increased flexibility. This is the foremost advantage of working as an independent agent. You can manage your own schedule, make decisions on partnerships, and so much more in a manner that fits your needs. 
  • Sales focus. Your primary focus can be on sales as you don’t have to deal with administrative tasks or backend formalities. You can decide what companies you want to collaborate with for building your book of business. 
  • Industry knowledge. You’ll gain the opportunity to learn insider industry knowledge as you work with a variety of other insurance agents. Meeting with insurance industry experts from different companies will allow you to expand your insight on a range of insurance products. 
  • Partnerships. You’ll open yourself up to options for partnerships with major brands as you can work with a variety of insurance carriers. Offering a list of insurance options to your clients results in building trust and long-term relationships with customers. 
  • Higher commission. Independent life insurance agents often earn higher commissions as a token of their valuable services, such as informing the customers about in-depth insurance coverage options, premiums, and other details from a variety of providers. You’ll earn a commission on selling life insurance policies, renewals, and more. 
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How to Become an Independent Life Insurance Agent 

If selling insurance policies and advising prospective buyers with in-depth industry knowledge matches your interests, then this career might be a great fit for you!

Want to become an independent life insurance agent? Check if you have what it takes to be successful in this career. 

1. Meet Education Requirements

You need to have a high school diploma or GED, at a minimum. However, a college education, particularly a degree in sales and marketing or business administration, can help you build trusted relationships with customers. The skills you learn throughout your college journey will help you grow further. You’ll also need to learn state-specific insurance guidelines to assist customers accurately. 

Meeting minimum education standards is the prerequisite for both captive and independent life insurance agents. Regardless of the types of insurance products you sell, achieving the required education benchmark is essential. Whether you are looking to sell term life insurance, health insurance, auto insurance, or any other offerings, make sure you meet education requirements.

2. Complete the Insurance License Exam

You need to successfully complete the license exam to get a producer license. By obtaining an insurance license, you become a licensed life insurance broker and can sell insurance products related to life events, such as whole life insurance, health insurance, or accident insurance. Depending on your state, licensing requirements vary, so be sure to check.

An insurance license is another essential requirement that you need before you start selling your life insurance policy to potential buyers. The two main types of insurance licenses include life, accident, health, and property and casualty (P&C). Check out the insurance producer licensing requirements for your state to ensure you meet each one.  

3. Determine What Products to Sell

Whether you want to sell products and earn commission from different life insurance companies or you want to start an independent insurance agency, you need to pick a product. You can also select to sell personal or commercial products. Research and analysis of client demographics and common events in your area will help you select the best product(s) to sell. 

Develop a business plan for your insurance agency to determine whether you want to offer your expert life insurance consultation to individuals, families, or business organizations. Be sure to adhere to all compliance requirements that life insurance sales agents and personal financial advisors must follow. Also, review state licensing requirements for the product you intend to sell. 

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4. Get Appointed to Providers

As an insurance agent, not only do you need to schedule appointments with your customers, but insurance companies too. Research what insurance agencies sell multiple lines of coverage that you want to offer to buyers and select top contenders. To become an independent broker for a specific insurance carrier, you need to check their official life insurance website for detailed information and schedule appointments to meet with each one.  

Being an independent life insurance agent, you have the flexibility to partner with top brands like MassMutual, American Amicable, and more. The insurance carrier will evaluate your fit with the product you’re selling and the target market you’re aiming to reach before appointing you as an independent agent. You’ll earn a commission on your monthly insurance sales for each provider. 

5. Grow Your Clientele

Once you are done with education, certification, licensing, and other requirements, the next step is to grow your customer database. The more insurance products you sell, the higher the commissions you’ll earn. Ask your friends and family for referrals. Additionally, market your products and services on social media platforms to reach out to a wider audience base. 

Developing a strong client base does not happen overnight. It’s an ongoing task that you will learn as you gain experience. Once you understand how to approach clients, ask for referrals, build rapport, gain qualified leads, and offer post-sales services, you will notice that your client base online is expanding gradually. Invest in your skills to achieve your goals. 

Become a Successful Insurance Agent with iLife

To become a successful insurance agent, you will need to work hard day in and day out to achieve your goals. Once you become a licensed insurance broker and have a good clientele, you will need an automated tool to manage everything from calls to appointments. 

iLife is a life insurance software that connects you with qualified leads. Being an independent agent, you need to market your own business online. Having a website is your first step towards expanding your reach, as it helps visitors understand your offerings. 

Provide in-depth information on your website along with your contact details so that the prospects can call you directly. iLife is your all-in-one life insurance agency planner that allows you to manage everything you need to run your business smoothly. 

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