If you are considering becoming a health insurance broker, also called an agent, you may have heard or read some of the misconceptions about being an insurance sales professional. Like any other industry, the field offers both advantages and disadvantage.
Let’s look at some of the misconceptions – and set the record straight about what you can earn and what you’ll be doing as an insurance broker.
1. You get to set your own schedule and work only when you want to, easy!
A career in health insurance sales does offer you an opportunity to be your own boss. While that means you may be able to set your own schedule – and you may occasionally meet with clients over lunch, for a game of golf, or at a sporting event – most of your meetings will be at your office (or home, if you don’t yet have an office) or at your client’s workplace. (If your focus is Individual & Family Plans (IFP), you may often meet a client at his or her home.)
The work you’ll be doing can be very fulfilling because you are helping your clients shop for health insurance to fit their individual health care needs and budget. You can also help business owners attract and retain key talent when they offer employee benefits to their workers. Best of all, your earning potential is virtually unlimited. The more you work, the more you can make, because you earn a commission of everything you sell – and those payments continue to you for as long as your clients stay with you, which could be many years.
2. It’s a dull, boring job, so you will lose interest in it quickly.
Each of your clients is different, so no two workdays or sales experiences will be the same. Certainly, there are some “less exciting” aspects to the role of an insurance broker (as with any job). However, because you’re working on your own, you have the opportunity to make each day different. Few other industries offer individuals with little or no work or sales experience the opportunity to earn a potentially large paycheck quickly.
3. It’s difficult to sell health insurance.
Health insurance is something people need, although few really understand it. That’s why individuals, families, and business managers and owners frequently seek out the advice of an insurance professional when making a purchasing decision. You do need to be disciplined when you are self-employed, but you can get support when you partner with a General Agent.
4. As a broker, I will be tied to my desk and I will be forced to work long hours.
When you work as an insurance broker, you have the opportunity to choose how you work and when you want to work. Some brokers like the security of working Monday through Friday for a larger agency with a lot of sales representatives at a central office. Others prefer to “get out in the field” and visit prospects and clients in person – at their homes or offices. The choice is yours.
Your hours can be the same every day, or if you’re working independently, you may have more flexibility to work four 10-hour days and have one day off each week. There are many options; you just need to find the one that works for you. What’s important is that your schedule provides you with the time necessary to do what’s needed to be successful: prospect for new customers, service existing clients, and nurture relationships to keep business on the books (and renewing year after year). Your commitment to the business and your clients help drive your earnings.
5. I can’t make a living as an insurance broker.
In 2017, the national average earnings for an insurance broker topped $58,000, according to PayScale.com, including salary, commissions, profit sharing, and bonus. More experienced brokers earn more, and compensation varies by region. Your earnings potential is endless as an independent broker. If you’re driven and like the idea that the more you work the more you make, insurance sales could be the right career for you. Use our Salary Calculator to get an estimate of what you could earn.
6. It’s a lonely job, without a lot of support.
Although you may choose to work on your own as an independent broker, that does not mean you are alone. Working with a General Agent like Word & Brown as your partner can make a big difference. We offer back-office support, so you can focus on sales. The entire Word & Brown team has one job – to work with you in your efforts to find, service, and retain business. We are committed to you and your continuing success.
We’ll help you market yourself (and/or your agency), run quotes for you to share with your clients, enroll your clients (alongside you or in your place) once they find the coverage they want, and deliver answers to client questions. We will help you stay informed on new products, services, and compliance requirements, and deliver valuable technology and other tools to help you build your business and drive renewals and referrals.
Best of all, our support costs you nothing – a win-win for you and those you serve.
7. It’s too late (in my life) to start a new job.
No matter what your experience or age, it’s never too late to start a career in health insurance sales. Word & Brown makes it easy to get started, too. Visit our new broker web page.
Take the first step: If you want to learn more about becoming a health insurance broker – and how Word & Brown can help you succeed – contact any of our six regional offices in California and Nevada. We are devoted to helping you write – and retain – more business, and we look forward to helping you get started.
Health Insurance Broker
2020 Salary Guide
For a sneak peek at what you can expect to earn as an insurance agent, get a copy of our “Insurance Broker Salary Guide.”