Entry-level insurance agent jobs include sales positions that involve working for a general agent or a captive agent. General agents sell policies for various insurance companies. Captive agents work for a single insurance company. Insurance agent jobs for more experienced sales people include sales manager, district manager, and insurance agency owner.
General agents, also called independent insurance agents or insurance brokers, are business owners and are not employees of an insurance company. Insurance sales jobs under a general agent are generally independent contractor positions. This means that the salesperson is not an employee of the insurance agency or the insurance company. Insurance salespeople are usually called producers.
Typically, the general agent pays the producer a small base salary, plus a commission on each policy sold. Once the salesperson has a large client base, the base salary may be discontinued. Due to this, it may take some time to earn a living wage with these types of insurance agent jobs.
In addition, independent contractors are responsible to pay their own income taxes. In other words, the employer does not withhold taxes from the salesperson’s paycheck. Independent contractors must also pay all of their own expenses. These expenses can include paying for office space, computers, phone service, and Internet connections. Some expenses, such as mileage and business meals, may be reimbursed by the insurance agency.
Other types of insurance agent jobs can involve working for a captive agent. These professionals are generally employees of an insurance company. Captive agents direct their salespeople to sell policies from a single insurance company. This means that a salesperson that works for a captive agent will have a limited number of products to sell.
A down side to this type of arrangement is that selling only a limited number of policies from a single insurance company could make it challenging to find the best policy, at the right price, for each customer. A benefit of working for a single insurance company is that the captive agent and salespeople will receive more resources and marketing support from the company.
Salespeople with a few years of experience have more opportunities to work in insurance agent jobs, as well as other insurance careers. A good salesperson can move into a sales management position. Sales managers generally train and monitor the sales staff to ensure that sales goals are met.
Successful managers can then move up into a district or area manager insurance career path. These managers are responsible for the sales goals of several insurance offices in a specific geographic region. Much higher salaries and bonuses usually come along with this added responsibility.
Seasoned insurance agents and managers may want to open their own insurance agencies. The business owner can decide whether to be a general or captive insurance agent. Salespeople who aspire to these types of insurance agent jobs must be able to run a business. This includes having the resources available to open and run an office, hire employees, and hire managers who can help manage the sales team.