A life insurance agent markets and sells insurance that pays beneficiaries a lump sum of money when the policyholder dies. A person in this position may work for one company or as an independent agent, selling insurance for multiple companies. Agents may sell policies solely to individuals or companies or equally serve both sectors. The agent is commonly expected to be knowledgeable about a variety of plans and options to assist her customers in purchasing insurance products that suits their needs.
Her customers frequently purchase other types of insurance from her, as buying multiple plans from the same company often saves money on total monthly premium payments. These insurance options often include fire, home and casualty coverage. Health insurance is also generally available from a life insurance agent. Some agents are licensed to sell securities and other financial products as well.
A customer who has expressed interest in buying life insurance is regularly asked to complete a questionnaire by the insurance agent. The questions usually focus on family health history, personal health history and lifestyle habits. This assessment helps the agent make sound recommendations on what plan is best for the customer.
It is customary for the life insurance agent to require the insurance purchaser to undergo a physical examination by a physician or health care facility chosen by the insurance company. This health review is generally considered superior to information provided by the customer’s family physician, as the chance for bias is normally believed to be virtually eliminated. Undiagnosed chronic conditions or proclivities for future health problems often significantly affect the monetary premium the insured person pays.
When a life insurance agent presents the different policy options, she traditionally explains them in simple terms to help the customer fully understand the policy. The highlights of the explanation ordinarily focus on monthly premium payments, policy exceptions and the amount of money paid to the beneficiaries. A competent agent is commonly expected to be able to answer most questions about her products.
A successful life insurance agent typically has great communication skills and a comforting demeanor. Being able to put people at ease is important when attempting to sell them a product that will only be valuable after their demise. The ability to clearly explain the intricacies of premiums and exclusions also generally attracts and retains a solid client base.
A college degree is normally required to be considered for a position as a life insurance agent. A concentration of studies in statistics, economics or business administration is desirable. A license issued by a local or regional agency is normally required to work in this profession.