A brokerage general agent is an insurance professional who sells products to other industry participants. The brokerage general agent does not deal directly with individual customers or corporate clients, however. Instead, this individual sells insurance products to other brokers and financial managers who in turn represent individual and corporate clients. A general agent conducts business through live meetings as well as over the Internet and might sell life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance or other insurance products. This professional is a licensed agent and typically represents many insurance carriers.
The job of a general agent in the brokerage industry is primarily making sales. A general brokerage agency might decide which insurance products a representative can sell to other brokers based on price, the quality of policies and relationships established by individual broker agents. Agent salaries are often commission-based, although there might be a flat-rate option based on agreements with other brokers.
Included among the job tasks for a brokerage general agent is the process of providing insurance quotes to other financial professionals. Typically, the general agent will require that some application be processed first with the necessary information tied to the client who is looking for an insurance product. Based on the details provided in this form, the brokerage general agent can give the other insurance professionals a financial estimate for an insurance product.
A general agent typically is familiar with the insurance underwriting process and might field inquiries by other insurance professionals on this process. Insurance underwriting involves assessing the risk of insurance customers prior to issuing a policy. The brokerage general agent often serves as an educational resource to the industry and can provide support to other insurance brokers when an insurance claim is processed.
It is common for brokerage general agents to hold meetings with other representatives to discuss the various product options and the needs of the clients. In these meetings, there often is an exchange of marketing material so that the general agent is aware of what the broker needs and so that the outside broker has a list of options. The sales process could unfold over several meetings between parties before decisions are made and any product is sold to the outside broker.
There are various financial professionals, including wealth managers and certified public accountants, who might sell insurance products to clients. These industry participants might purchase a specialized type of insurance from a brokerage general agent. For instance, a general agent might specialize in selling long-term care insurance. When another financial professional has a need to include this product in a client's portfolio, the general agent is able to provide that representative with a list of carriers and prices.