If you think that insurance just covers the usual suspects of car insurance and health insurance, you're missing out on a whole wide world out there.
Anything you can probably think about has been injured at one point in time.
From the Kiss bass player, Gene Simmons, who insured his tongue for a million dollars to golf insurers in Japan who are worried about the amount of money it'll cost them to buy drinks and gifts for people if they hit a hole in one.
As an insurance sales agent who will be heavily involved in insurance sales, there is so much out there for you to learn.
We'll start with a quick overview of what an insurance sales agent does. Then, keep on reading for our breakdown of the top ten interesting facts about insurance that you need to know.
What Is an Insurance Sales Agent?
In the simplest of terms, an insurance agent sells auto, health, home, life, and other types of insurance.
In addition to regular insurance agents, you have commercial insurance agents who also sell property damage and liability policies. Moreover, they set up employee and executive coverage and product liability.
Moreover, the insurance field is rather heavily regulated. Therefore, agents must be licensed by their state before they can officially sell insurance.
In the case of employment growth rates for insurance sales agents, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 10% employment growth, with an estimate of 48,300 new jobs between 2018 and 2028.
How Do Insurance Sales Agents Make Money?
Same with most sales jobs, insurance sales agents view commissions as their main source of income. Yet, you'll find that there is a segment of insurance sales agents who hold salaried positions.
Overall, most agents will spend the majority of their work time developing and hunting down sales leads.
The Field of Insurance Is Ancient
We're talking older than dust here.
It might have taken a slightly different form than the current image of insurance agents and forms. However, it was still very much present.
The first solid appearance of insurance in history was —reportedly— in China around 3000 B.C.
Basically, merchants who were in any shape or form involved in a trade or ship transport of goods were always under the threat of losing their wares to the sea or to pirates.
In order to protect their businesses (and their health, we're sure), some merchants allied with each other and spread their wares evenly across their combined ships. That way if a shipwreck occurs, then it's an equal loss across the board.
This is the building foundation of how insurance works, but in our modern times, we use money instead. The money is collected, pooled by insurers, and paid out in the form of claim reimbursements
America's Insurance Started Before the American Revolution
It's truly fascinating that the U.S.'s insurance history predates the American revolution itself.
It started with the oldest insurance company (which is continuously active) that has been founded by Benjamin Franklin —and others—in 1752, which is the Philadelphia Contributionship.
The company was following the same blueprint used by English insurance companies that were established right after London's Great Fire in 1666.
Basically, a group of Philadelphians joined forces to protect each other against fire damage and the financial repercussions of a fire on their businesses.
Insurance Is a Foundational Part of Any Financial Plan
It's key to understand that insurance is an essential part of any financial plan. It has the same level of importance as savings and investments.
In the case of life insurance, it helps customers plan for their loved ones' long-term health as well as their dependents who rely on them for income. Moreover, as an insurance agent, you'll need to understand how your clients make decisions about purchasing insurance.
Every Category of Insurance Has Subcategories
Insurance types are more of an ocean than nicely-packaged water bottles. There is so much out there.
As an insurance sales agent, it's essential for your job to understand the types of insurance offered on the market, as well as their subcategories.
For instance, in the case of life insurance, there are two main types to offer to customers.
Of course, there is employment-based life insurance, which relies on people's continued employment at their current jobs. In addition, there's a term and permanent life insurance.
Term Life Insurance
Typically, this type of life insurance has lower premiums.
Yet, the coverage is only for a specific amount of time, like 20 or 30 years. Once the term ends, then the insurance coverage ends as well.
Permanent Life Insurance
On the other hand, permanent life insurance coverage has no end date, as long as the insurance holder continues to pay premiums.
Of course, it tends to have higher premiums in the short term. However, these policies allow customers to accumulate cash value over time.
Life Insurance Is More Affordable Than People Think
Out of the variety of insurances out there, life insurance tends to have the reputation to be the priciest of them all. Yet, that's not quite true.
Sure, there are types of life insurance that can get pretty expensive due to the added features, or if the customer is dealing with health issues at the time of setting the life insurance.
However, you'll find that the majority of life insurance plans are quite reasonable, even though most people think that life insurance costs three times as much as it actually does.
Final Expense Insurance Is Not Life Insurance
These are two completely different animals.
The reason why it's called "final expense" insurance is to gently talk about end-of-life issues and the expenses that come with them. For instance, all the expenses that'll go for setting up a funeral.
After all, an average casket goes for a bit over $2,000, which can be a bit too much to ask for a family to take care of, especially in a time of grief.
Therefore, final expense insurance is set in place to cover all the expenses associated with death, in general. From a casket, hearse, headstone to embalming, and other accouterments.
Okay, Final Expense is Life Insurance, it's just not fully underwritten. It's Simplified Issue Whole Life Insurance (SIWL), but you get the point that we're making here.
Medicare Supplement Insurance vs Medicare Advantage Insurance
There are two main options available to the public to use in place (or supplement) the Original Medicare. The first is Medicare Advantage plans, and these are simply an alternative way to get Original Medicare.
The second option is the Medicare Supplement insurance plans, also known as Medigap, to work with existing medical coverage.
As an insurance sales agent, you'll have to have a solid understanding of how these two different (and confusing) insurance policies work.
Annuity Insurance Policy
Not to mix it up with a regular financial annuity, an annuity in the insurance field is a specific type of policy that accepts and grows funds until a certain date. Besides pensions, annuities are the only financial solutions that can give you guaranteed income during your retirement years - an attractive selling point for agents offering fixed annuities.
An annuity is a contract between the insured and the insurance provider. To enjoy it's benefits, customers buy an annuity via a lump sum or installment payments. Annuities also come with fixed interest rates. Apart from securing the insured's savings, it also grows and earns ROI (accumulation phase) until he or she begins receiving monthly payments (payout phase).
Annuity contracts specify the date when the insured will start receiving the returns from this investment. In the simplest of terms, once an annuity reaches annuitization, it creates a stable stream of income or payments to the holders of the policy. This product puts to rest many people's concerns that they will outlive or use up their retirement savings earlier than expected.
Long-Term Care Insurance vs Short-Term Care Insurance
Both of these types of insurance are rather bound to healthcare.
Long-term care insurance was created to cover services that aren't traditionally covered by regular health insurance.
They tend to include services that are essential for managing chronic medical conditions, disabilities, or disorders like Alzheimer's disease.
On the other hand, short-term care insurance is a shorter (and more accessible) version of long-term care insurance.
Sharing specific characteristics with long-term care insurance, short-term care insurance will still cover home care, assisted living and nursing homes. Yet, instead of paying for years upon years of care, short-term care insurance usually provides benefits for 12 months or less.
This is why it's also known as recovery care insurance.
Hospital Indemnity Insurance
Hang on, we still have more health-based insurances to go through.
Hospital indemnity insurance, also known as hospitalization insurance and hospital insurance, is a plan that pays you benefits if you happen to be confined to a hospital.
You can be staying in a hospital bed for a variety of planned or unplanned reasons, so the policies can differ slightly about the scope of their coverage.
Yet, overall, this type of insurance aims to fill gaps in current medical coverage by providing resources to cover deductibles, pharmacy prescriptions, and other non-covered expenses that tend to haunt hospital stays and services.
Ready to Dive Into the World of Insurance Sales?
Even though it looks a bit complex on the surface, insurance as a field of work can be quite fun and enriching on both the personal development level and the financial level.
Now that you know all about what working as an insurance sales agent entails, as well as the top ten interesting facts about the field, you should be ready to take a look at how to integrate marketing for insurance into your plans.
After all, just starting as an insurance agent is the tip of the iceberg. There are SEO strategies that you'll need to learn in order for your local customers to find you.
Make sure to check out our insurance insight section for all the advice and tips you could possibly need.
Key Takeaways In This Article
- 10% employment growth of 48,300 new jobs projected for insurance!
- Insurance has been around a while and is here to stay.
- You can add Insurance even if you're focusing on other Financial Planning services.
- Insurance has a lot of subcategories to choose from and you can do more than one!
- Life Insurance is affordable, you just have to help show your client.
Over to You
We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below on:
- What made you get into insurance?
- Do you find most of your clients believe insurance is more expensive than it is?
- What type of insurance do you focus on and why?
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. We will carefully read each one of them. Happy Selling!