Insurance Agent Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

An Insurance Agent, or Insurance Sales Agent, assists clients in selecting insurance policies that best meets their needs, preferences and budgets. Their main duties include creating client payment methods, recommending risk management strategies to clients and providing policy proceeds after clients’ submitted claims are approved.

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Insurance Agent duties and responsibilities

Insurance Agents use strongly developed interpersonal skills to increase the number of insurance policies an agency sells. Insurance Agents have the following responsibilities:

  • Promote the insurance agency to customers who need insurance
  • Network with potential customers
  • Educate customers on each type of insurance coverage and make recommendations based on their needs
  • Evaluate current insurance policies and recommend additional coverage when needed
  • Maintain all insurance documents in a confidential way
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What does an Insurance Agent do?

Insurance Agents work for different insurance agencies helping clients sign up for policies that work best for their lifestyle. They can work either one-on-one with individuals on creating insurance policies, or they collaborate with business professionals to develop ideal policies for groups of employees. 

Insurance Agents are often responsible for finding their own clients through methods like cold calling, contacting referrals and networking. They work to build a consistent relationship with clients by regularly renewing and updating their policy according to the clients’ needs and lifestyle changes. After they’ve worked with clients for a while, Insurance Agents will provide detailed reports on how well the policy is performing and any progress being made.

Insurance Agent skills and qualifications

Insurance Agents will usually have certain prerequisite skills and qualifications which include:

  • The primary responsibility of an Insurance Agent is to sell insurance policies. Good sales skills will assist the Insurance Agent in meeting sales goals and increasing their customer base.
  • Written and verbal communication skills are crucial when working as an Insurance Agent. Insurance Agents will need to develop relationships, educate and communicate with customers frequently.
  • Analytical skills will also assist the Insurance Agent when calculating premiums and deductibles. The ability to quickly add, subtract, divide and multiply percentages will help the Insurance Agent when educating the customer.
  • A good amount of patience is important when working as an Insurance Agent. Insurance Agents may need to wait until potential customers are ready to renew their package or until their insurance needs to be changed.

Insurance Agent salary expectations

An Insurance Agent makes an average of $60,133 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Insurance Agent education and training requirements

A minimum of a high school diploma is often required to work as an Insurance Agent. Some Insurance Agents may pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in sales, marketing or business administration. Insurance Agents are required to become licensed with their state. Each state requires that candidates complete pre-licensing hours before taking the licensing exam. Additionally, Insurance Agents will need to complete these requirements for each type of insurance they want to sell. Continuing education is also required to maintain an insurance license.

Insurance Agent experience requirements

Previous experience may or may not be required when working as an Insurance Agent. Some hiring managers may prefer to hire entry-level Insurance Agents who have recently completed the licensing exam, while other hiring managers prefer to hire Insurance Agents with previous experience selling insurance policies. Additionally, some Insurance Agents may have prior experience working in the insurance industry, but in a different role such as an underwriter, claims adjuster or in risk management.

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Frequently asked questions about Insurance Agents


Do Insurance Agents have different responsibilities in different industries?

Insurance Agents can work in a wide variety of industries and their responsibilities typically vary depending on their work setting. Some Insurance Agents work in the health care industry selling policies to cover various medical care costs. They may also work specifically with assisted living patients and their family, finding the best policies for senior citizens. Others work in the dental insurance field, offering the best dental care policies to employees and individuals. 

There are also Insurance Agents who work primarily on finding clients coverage for property damage. They’ll work with businesses and individuals to build policies to protect them from any financial loss that could occur from damages to their homes or vehicles due to natural causes or car accidents. 


What are the different types of Insurance Agents?

There are many different types of Insurance Agents that specialize in certain insurance policies. Life Insurance Agents work primarily on selling policies to family members or beneficiaries when certain policyholders pass away. Captive Agents work specifically for one company selling their specific insurance policies to prospective buyers. 

Independent Insurance Agents work for several different insurance brokerages, offering a wide variety of policies from various companies. They often have more freedom to customize their policies based on the needs and preferences of their clients. 


What makes a good Insurance Agent?

A good Insurance Agent must have strong customer service and communication abilities, as they regularly work closely with clients to determine their needs to find the best policies. They must also use their negotiation skills to convince clients to pick a policy that works best for both them and the insurance company. Insurance Agents have strong organizational abilities as well to effectively store and manage clients’ policies and personal information. 


What's the difference between an Insurance Agent and a Broker?

Though they both help clients select the best insurance policy for them, an Insurance Agent and an Insurance Broker hold different responsibilities. Insurance Agents work for and represent specific insurance companies selling their policies to interested clients. Insurance Brokers represent their clients when searching for the best insurance policy that matches their needs and budget. 

Brokers are often committed more to the client and don’t work directly for the insurance companies, so they’re unable to complete the insurance transaction on their own. They usually work with the client to find the best plan for them, then they’ll reach out to the Insurance Agent to complete the final transaction. 

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