Insurance Sales is an upcoming and growing job opportunity for many graduates and other professionals. Selling insurance covers and other financial products is the main job responsibility of insurance agents. In India, the number of people already under insurance covers is much less than the potential number of people who require such a cover. Thus, demand for insurance agents and job opportunities for them are rising.
Nowadays, the job of insurance sales agents is not just limited to selling insurance policies. They are diversifying their profile to sell more and more financial products. Mutual funds, retirement funds and other securities are also now sold by insurance agents. Thus, the purview of their job is expanding.
The job of an insurance agent is very client oriented. Insurance sales agents are the first point of contact between a consumer and an insurance company. These agents help businesses, individuals, and families in selecting insurance policies that best suit their needs. These insurance policies are meant to provide the best safeguard for their health, lives, and property.
Insurance sales agents could be of two types: independent agents, and captive agents. As the name suggests, independent insurance agents work independently. They are not bound by any company instead represent several different insurance companies. They are also referred to as brokers. Their job includes making the client buy product from such an insurance company whose policies, rates, and coverage best satisfy the needs of that particular client. On the other hand captive insurance agents or dedicated agents work only for a specific insurance company that has hired them. They find policies within their company to fit the needs of their clients. Although the function of both types of agents is more or less the same, their mode of payment is different. Both are required to maintain records, prepare reports, find new clients, and help policy holders settle their insurance claims. Independent agents work on commission basis whereas captive agents work on salary plus incentives basis.
In the job of insurance sales, the agent sells insurance policies such as property, casualty, life, health, disability and long-term care. Property and casualty policies are sold to individuals and businesses who want to protect themselves from financial loss due to fire, theft, natural calamities, automobile accidents, and various other things that can cause significant damage. Some insurance agents specialize in selling life insurance polices that provide beneficiaries with income when a policyholder dies. Health care agents find clients who wish to insure coverage for medical care in the case of illness or injury. They may also sell dental insurance and short- and long-term disability policies.
The first task of an insurance agent is to convince the client that the financial product offered by the company is useful for the client. Once the client is convinced, the insurance sales agent helps the client select the best policy that suits his needs. This could be buying insurance cover for self, spouse or children, mediclaim policies, child education policies, pension plans and so on. After this, the agent helps the client through all the paper work and legal formalities that are involved. Then, the agent has to maintain relationship with the client for reminder of premium deposits, any other settlements, claims or if the client wishes to upgrade his policy. Also, since much business is generated through referrals, it is always important to maintain a good relationship with the client.
These days, the job of an insurance agent has become relatively simpler with the advent of technology. Internet enables easy access and regular communication with the client. It is also easier to keep records and make reports using increasing technology advancements. This improves the efficiency of insurance sales agents allowing them to take on more and more clients and servicing them well.
With the increasing competition in the insurance domain, there is need for aggressive insurance sales agents. With so many players in the market, it is the agents who can ensure a customer’s satisfaction with the services of the company. The agent should be smart, pleasing to talk to and convincing enough. He/she should also have thorough knowledge of the products of the company. There should also be certain quickness and the ability to think on feet while processing claims, answering questions, making changes in policies, and selling more products.
The job of an insurance agent is both rewarding and challenging. As long as one keeps getting clients and the business keeps flowing in, it can be monetarily very rewarding but if the clients dry up, it becomes very frustrating. One can enter this job as a graduate and entry level and grow to a higher level. There are opportunities galore and for aggressive young people with good sales ability, this could turn out to be a long-term career with ample scope of growth.
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