According to independent insurance agent definition, only those persons, who have valid license and an appointment letter permitting them to sell insurance products of one or more insurers, can be called agents. Besides, an agent must not have any blot on his character in the form of criminal record, should be able to provide valid ID proof and bear fees for getting license.
Nevertheless, some people manage to get licenses and even secure appointments without any kind of contracts. They develop networks with qualified independent agents and benefit from their vast experience in the insurance industry.
Thus, licenses & appointments may not be necessary if you have the knack for making friends while maintaining an assertive personality.
Many of you may wonder,
“What do independent insurance agents do?”
Well, they sell variety of insurance products that include life, accident, health, car/boat and homeowners’ insurance policies. For selling Medicare coverage and HMO insurance, which are part of life and healthcare insurance, you might need to apply for a "General Lines License".
On the other hand, to sell car/boat or even homeowner’s insurance covers, you may be required to have "Property & Casualty Agent’s License".
A license of this type is granted in two forms:
While personal lines license puts restrictions on selling insurance products to private individuals, general lines license permits selling of causality, liability and property related insurance products. Some agents get both these licenses but it could be advisable to at least one of them in the first place. Later on, you can apply for the other.
To translate independent insurance agent opportunity into reality, you need both aforesaid licenses, you may have to take separate exam for each license. Although class room instructions might not be mandatory depending on the state in which you live, it is desirable to prepare yourself for examinations by getting enrolled for a classroom course either in person or online.
These examinations are conducted by private contractors and you may be required to answer more than 100 questions in both papers. The time duration for each paper is roughly two and half hours. You will be comprehensively tested for knowledge of various insurance concepts as well as state laws and regulations.
Agent’s license will be issued only if you pass the exam as well as the background check.
Thus, you may have to spend money on fees for examination or test, license and for criminal background verification process.
You might not be required to pay charges for criminal background check when you apply for the second license but will have to bear costs for exam and license.
The Texas State Department of Insurance has a list of numerous companies that are into insurance business. You can fix appointments with some of these insurers to get fully familiarized with their products and services.
Alternatively, to get guidance for exams, you can even seek help from an independent agency. There could be yet another option is to be a sub-agent with a broker service or general agent for knowing how to deal with high quality live transfer insurance leads. This way you can have good exposure to the manner in which insurance selling process works.
Companies appoint brokers and independent agents to sell their insurance products as well as services. You can have a great experience before you appear for the exams.