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Any Insurance Agents Here? Career Question..

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Jul 30, 2009, 5:46pm   #1
buzzytoes's Avatar
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buzzytoes
Dog Chauffeur
I have an interview this afternoon with a well known insurance company. I am not into the whole cold calling thing but do ok with the rest of sales. Just wondering how much actual sales you think are involved vs. upselling products. Also what you love or hate about that job. Give me the good, the bad and the ugly!
Jul 30, 2009, 9:12pm   #2
NVMyLV's Avatar
NVMyLV
The Undertaker
I'm a licensed life insurance agent....no health or property and casualty license though. I mainly deal with funeral pre planning insurance sales. You must be hard working and motivated to make $$ in the insurance biz. You will starve at first until you build your clientele. You need patience and perseverance.
Last edited Jul 30, 2009 at 9:15pm.
Jul 30, 2009, 11:04pm   #3
buzzytoes's Avatar
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buzzytoes
Dog Chauffeur
Thanks for the response NV!
Jul 31, 2009, 10:25pm   #4
C
Choo It Up
Account Deactivated
I'm not a licensed agent, but I'm the office manager for a certain supplemental insurance company (hint: QUACK) lol, and I've seen the best and the worst.

As long as you're willing to really work at it and you don't expect to become a millionaire within your first year, then you'll do fine. Its like owning your own business; focus on income and how to get it.
Jul 31, 2009, 10:50pm   #5
PurseXaXholic's Avatar
PurseXaXholic
Pretty Young Thing
I'm not an insurance agent, (i'm only 15!) but my mom and dad are both in the insurance industry, so I think I can help! Acctually judging by your avitar, if you're in pittsburgh, that's where we're from Hahaha. My mom works in excess casualty, while my dad sells insurance. They've both been in the insurance industry for years, and this industry can acctually pay off. But you have to work hard at it!
Jul 31, 2009, 11:11pm   #6
C
Choo It Up
Account Deactivated
Thats so weird, I'm from Pittsburgh too! I mean, I don't live there anymore, but my whole family is rooted there! I'm sensing that this must be some kind of sign that maybe the Steelers will get their seventh ring this season...?
Aug 1, 2009, 9:16am   #7
Odette's Avatar
Odette
<3 life
I worked in the insurance industry (until yesterday), but I was in claims. However, I did work with a lot of agents when they had to step-in to get answers to questions, etc.

My experience is that agents need to be (1) knowledgeable about the products they sell, (2) focused on the customer's needs and not just what the best sale is, (3) motivated and hard-working.

My biggest pet peeve as a claims adjuster is when agents literally didn't know what coverages they were selling - third party liability vs. first party, etc. The customer then gets upset when they have a claim and the loss isn't covered, and the agent is mad at me? If you're going to sell a policy you really need to know it inside and out so you can make sure that your customer is going to be covered, and if it's something that isn't covered, you can steer them into a policy that is right for them.

Insurance can really pay off as a career but I know agents work on a commission basis and it's hard to get your client-base going. My advise would be to start with a well-known insurance company so you have the support and the advantage of having a well-known name to present to customers.

Good luck!
Aug 1, 2009, 10:20am   #8
wordbox's Avatar
wordbox
so in love!
^ Well said. My fiance is an adjuster and has had the same problems with agents. It seems some want to be the "good guys" and are content letting the adjusters be the "bad guys" and act appalled when something obvious isn't covered. Others are great to work with, of course, but just don't tell your insureds that something is covered if you don't know! It won't fly once the claim gets rolling, as adjusters have to go by the policies and don't get to pick and choose what they cover. And they can turn around and say, "Hey, your agent could have suggested you add this to your policy and saved you a lot of money." Work WITH the adjusters, not against them. They know the policies well and deal with YOUR clients.
Aug 11, 2009, 11:32pm   #9
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gettinpurseonal
Can I bathe in them?
Was previously a licensed insurance agent with USAA. It is different there because they carry an excellent product with virtually no competition. People called me to ask for coverage, not the other way around. I would hate to work on commission in that industry, and I did do that as a licensed loan officer a couple years ago and it was awful. It's not about the product, but about $sales$. I would rather counsel people about a product I believed in than worry about if I was going to make enough to feed my family at the end of the day.
Aug 12, 2009, 12:40am   #10
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Classic Chic
Member
Originally Posted by gettinpurseonal
Was previously a licensed insurance agent with USAA. It is different there because they carry an excellent product with virtually no competition. People called me to ask for coverage, not the other way around. I would hate to work on commission in that industry, and I did do that as a licensed loan officer a couple years ago and it was awful. It's not about the product, but about $sales$. I would rather counsel people about a product I believed in than worry about if I was going to make enough to feed my family at the end of the day.
OMG, I'm w/USAA too! I hold P&C license in all the states except MA (it's PITA). Like gettingpurseonal said, USAA is the odd ball in insurance industry- reciprocal interinsurance exchange, not commission based, so not much help from me ^^; We receive extensive training and always ongoing workshop/CEs. I'm happy to be a salary based insurance agent than commission-much more stable especially in this economic environent!
Aug 12, 2009, 1:10am   #11
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declaredbeauty
Addict
I'm not a licensed insurance agent. Rather I sell Health Discounts mainly to those that can't afford insurance or just looking for an additional discount on insurance... I LOVE it. You aren't going to make a million in your first year but over the years it is a very lucrative career. I love it. Plus residual income is

I do recommend that you know what you are selling, have an idea what your competitors rates are, and keep up with your client base. And being money motivated is probably one of the best assets to have.
Aug 12, 2009, 8:53am   #12
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Charles
Sucks at budgeting
I'd say it depends on which product you're wanting to sell and who you work with. I would think working with a larger company like BCBS would be more presentations at fairs or dealing with HR reps from companies as opposed to cold calling. Also a lot of servicing (ie keeping the customers happy). If you're with a smaller broker, I'd think more cold calling would be involved.
Aug 12, 2009, 9:39am   #13
queennadine's Avatar
queennadine
♥ LoVe ♥
I'm a licensed Life & Health Agent as well as Property & Casualty...and I do like it so far.
I've been doing it for 2 years now and while I'm not getting rich (ha!), I can definitely see my hard work paying off and am making plans for mu future in the industry.

Pros: set your own schedule (if you're self-employed), renewals start building, clean work environment
Cons: paperwork, having to talk to people aaaaall day long, people get mad at you, etc.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head right now. It's not easy to get started by any means, and I'm thankful that I don't have to be the primary breadwinner at home! But I've seen what people make after 5, 10, and 15 years and it's def. worth it. If you're self-employed you can set your own schedule. I think that's nice especially for a woman, if you have kids or are planning on it.

If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me =)
Aug 12, 2009, 9:54am   #14
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ILuvShopping
★☆★★☆★★☆★
what type of job within the company are you applying for?? most major insurance companies have their separate departments for cold calling and for incoming calls. both probably require you to work really hard as you have a quota to keep. i dont' work for one, but I have a friend and her husband that both work for a major insurance company. They both started in the call center (almost everyone has to in order to get a job there) and she has worked her way up into a different job entirely while her husband is still in the call center. He did very well and for awhile even tho she made a better base pay than him, he was making more money because of all his bonuses. however, he had a couple of months where he didn't meet quota and while most people would have been fired, they gave him another chance because they knew what a hard worker he was. he was one of their top policy sellers for a few years.

in about a month or so he's finally breaking away from the company to become an independent agent and start his own business.
Aug 12, 2009, 11:52am   #15
buzzytoes's Avatar
Thread Starter
buzzytoes
Dog Chauffeur
Gosh I'm so sorry I never came back to this thread - I thought it got lost in the shuffle and no one had any answers for me!

The position was as an insurance agent for an office of a well known casualty company. I would have gone to paid training for seven weeks and would have had to take the WY state licensing test. I don't think that I would have been a good fit for the business because she was trying to still grow her office and I am not the type who is comfortable with pounding the pavement and doing a lot of cold calling. The customer service part of it sounded great but my strength is definitely NOT sales and I kind of got the feeling that it would involve a lot of that. I do appreciate everyone's feedback though!!

PurseXaXholic I'm not from Pittsburgh - just a big Pens fan!
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