How do I get Insurance Agent Training?

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  • Written By: Angela Atkinson
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 19 February 2018
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An insurance agent is a trained and state-licensed professional who assists people in choosing and purchasing insurance policies that are appropriate to specific needs. Some agents, often called captive agents, work for individual companies and only sell the products of that company. Others, known as independent agents or brokers, represent several companies and products. Insurance agents generally sell several types of insurance policies to meet the needs of their clients, including health, disability, property, and car insurance. Some agents also sell investment policies such as annuities and mutual funds; they may also offer financial planning services such as retirement or estate planning.

While a college degree isn’t necessary to receive insurance agent training, many companies require it as a prerequisite for potential agents. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), insurance agent jobs are plentiful for those who have a college degree along with strong sales and interpersonal skills. Desirable degrees include those in finance, business, and economics, although other degrees are acceptable. The BLS reports that while a degree is preferred, some companies will hire a high school graduate with proven knowledge and experience.


Since insurance policies and related issues are complex, many colleges and universities offer insurance agent training courses. Potential agents typically take courses in math, accounting, and finance, as well as economics, marketing, business administration, and law. They may also choose to take psychology, public speaking, and sociology classes. Some students also take computer courses, especially if they are not already intimately familiar with the use of computers and various programs.

Every US state has a licensing program with which insurance agents must comply, and different licenses are required to sell different types of insurance. Life and health insurances are generally covered under one license, while property and casualty insurances are covered under another. Most states also have an educational requirement for licensing, which may include certain pre-licensing classes. The majority of US states also require potential agents to take and pass a licensing exam, which covers topics including insurance laws and ethics, and consumer protection, along with technical details associated with insurance policies and the business as a whole. Plus, most states require agents to comply with continuing education requirements biannually.

Once a potential agent has completed the required insurance agent training coursework and exam, a license may be obtained through the appropriate state office. At that time, agents can seek a job with an insurance agency or company. Most new agents receive hands-on training as they shadow a more experienced agent. This way, they learn how to properly interact with clients, the policies and procedures of the agency for which they work, and the specifics of policy writing.

Some agencies will also promote agents from within, after having paid for their insurance agent training. For example, an agency may hire a receptionist and find that he is an ideal candidate to become an agent. He may then choose to take the courses and testing needed to become an agent, and the company may choose to pay his fees and tuition. Often a contract agreement to remain employed for a period of time following training and licensing is required.



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