Becoming A Property & Casualty Insurance Agent
If you have an interest in public communications, a knack for sales, and an interest in helping people protect their property, becoming a property and casualty insurance agency could be a good career move for you. Here are a few things you will want to know before you get started on the path to becoming a licensed agent.
Can you work as an individual agent?
Once you have taken the necessary steps in your state to get your license as a property casual insurance agent, you can choose whether you want to work with a company or if you want to act as your own free agent. It is not uncommon for novices in the industry to first spend some time working with a company and then branch out on their own once they have more industry experience.
Why do you have to undergo a background check to be an agent?
It is required in most states that agents obtain a background check and have their fingerprints analyzed and registered before they can get their license. This may sound like a lot of trouble, but states really do have a good reason for this requirement. As an agent, you will be working with sensitive financial information provided by customers and clients. Having someone slip into an insurance agent position who has a criminal history can put state consumers at risk.
Do you have to take a pre-license course to get your license?
The answer to this will depend on the state where you live. Some states do require you go to school and take certain courses in order to be eligible to take the property casualty insurance test provided by the state. Even if the state you live in does not require pre-licensing courses, it is best to take the courses if they are offered because they can help you gain the knowledge you need to both pass the exam and perform in a qualified way once you get a license and a job in the industry.
Is it true you may have to have ongoing training?
If you live in a state that does require you to go to classes before taking the test to be licensed as an insurance agent, you may also be required to do continued education throughout the years to maintain your license. These brush-up courses typically only come into play occasionally, and will usually be required because something about the insurance industry has changed.