How to get Appointed as a Life Insurance Agent
Fortunately for newly licensed life insurance agents, getting appointments with life insurance carriers is much easier than getting appointments with property and casualty carriers. Although there are still several steps to the process, it is considerably shorter and less complicated than the process for P&C agents. Ready to write some business? Read on for a breakdown of the steps to get appointed as a life insurance agent.
Before You Apply
While it is technically true that you can begin to apply to various insurance carriers as soon as you receive your license, this is not always the best course of action. Many seasoned life insurance agents recommend that newly licensed agents take a step back and consider the future of their career before they begin to apply for appointments.
In other words, you should take some time to think about what your focus as a life insurance agent will be. What kind of products and customers interest you? Do you want to specifically work with young families, federal employees, seniors, a combination of all three, or all of the above? Would you prefer to exclusively deal in either term or permanent life products? It may seem trivial but in truth, determining a focus will not only help you narrow down which insurance carriers will be a better match for you, but it may also help you get appointments as carriers realize you want to specialize in their products.
Applying to various insurance carriers for appointments is a fairly straightforward process. In most cases, you can go to the carrier's website and find an application form that can be completed online or printed and faxed to the appropriate department. Here are some of the information you can expect to provide to carriers:
- Basic Information
Each carrier will require personal information such as your full legal name, address, business address, social security number, date of birth, and license number.
- Background Information
In addition to completing a form detailing your professional and personal history, you may also be required to give your consent for a background check to be performed.
- Preconditions or Pre-Appointments
Some carriers may not accept new agents who are not bringing an active book of business with them. For these carriers, you will need to provide proof of having a certain dollar amount or number of policies that you plan to bring with you.
Choosing Carriers for Appointments
There is nothing to stop you from applying to each and every carrier that will accept you based on your qualifications. In fact, many life insurance agents write business for half a dozen carriers or more. However, if you would prefer to work with a small handful of insurers instead of casting your net far and wide, here are a few points to consider when you make your decision about which companies will receive your applications for appointment.
- Company Rating
Many agents prefer to work with companies that have at least an A rating through AM Best so they know their customers are getting the best service possible.
Will the carrier provide leads for you, or will you be responsible for obtaining all leads on your own? This is one factor that can make or break many life insurance agents.
Virtually every carrier will require a minimum level of production in order to keep your appointment from being terminated. However, those numbers will vary from company to company, so choose wisely.
- Quoting Process
Some carriers will not allow their agents to create quotes on their own, but rather require them to contact the company itself for a quote. Depending on how hands-on you prefer to work, this may be a good or a bad thing.
How much training does the carrier provide? Although you may already have a good grasp of what you will be doing, being left to sink or swim is rarely a position new agents are comfortable in.