Insurance counselors advise clients on the right insurance policies that provide them with financial protection in the event of incidents such as illness, loss of livelihood and property or natural calamities, and are within their financial ability.
See also: How to Forge a Career in Insurance
1. What does an Insurance Counselor do?
Your duties as an insurance counselor include:
- Selling insurance policies to new and current clients
- Reporting to a supervisor or manager on sales made
- Assisting businesses and corporations to determine the best policies for their insurance needs
- Daily responsibilities of compiling reports and quotes
- Discussing with clients their options and counseling them on what their insurance cover does for them
- Guiding individuals and firms to make claims when necessary
2. Work Environment
Insurance counselors are often in full-time employment from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday within insurance agencies or carriers. You may also take part-time or freelance work, which gives you some flexibility in determining your working hours, the clients you work for and how to carry out your duties.
You should expect to earn an average annual salary of about $46,000. Wages depend on the company you’re working for, your level of experience as well as your educational qualifications. The highest ten percent of individuals within this field earn over $100,000. Insurance professionals make money through a regular monthly salary or on commission.
4. Entry Requirements
For a start, you need to have a strong foundation in mathematics and business studies, and a passion for sales and marketing. Insurance counselors require a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Economics or Finance preferably with a concentration on insurance management.
All states require for insurance counselors to be licensed and certified. You can obtain certification and a license to practice from any insurance firm within your area or from the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. An alternate route is to work full-time in an insurance company or as an insurance instructor in a school. Certification largely involves the completion of five modules of study followed by a 2-hour examination. This program must be undertaken annually in order to maintain your certified status.
5. Important Qualities
To be a competent insurance counselor you need:
- Strong business acumen
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- Familiarity with standards concepts, practice and procedures within the insurance industry
- A strong sense of personal ethics
- Experience and judgment to meet customer needs and requirements
- Networking skills
- Positive persistence and persuasion skills
- A good sense of organization
6. Career Advancement
After your undergraduate studies, you’re likely to get employment in an entry level position such as customer sales representative before gradually advancing to insurance counseling. It enables you to build a rapport with customers, become sensitive to their needs and learn the basics of the business to prepare you to take up the position of an insurance counselor.
7. Job Opportunities
Aside from getting employment in the numerous insurance firms that operate in the United States, you can set up a private consultancy firm to serve individuals, businesses, and other insurance companies.
See also: How to Become an Insurance Underwriter
If you enjoy working with figures and relate well with people, you should consider a career as an insurance counselor. It gives you an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and help them figure out the complexity of insurance related figures.