The Importance of Product Knowledge for Insurance Agents

Selling Insurance Products

The health insurance marketplace is constantly changing. It doesn’t matter whether your focus is on Individual and Family Plan (IFP) sales, small businesses, or employee benefits for large, national enterprises. New rules, regulations, and mandates are being considered or adopted locally, regionally, at the state level, and nationally. The bottom line: likely changes to insurance products are ahead for health plans and carriers nationwide.

How can you stay on top of what’s being considered or acted upon in your state? What can you do to be sure you know about the latest products for your target market(s)? I recommend several strategies, which you may want to consider.

1: Get involved with your local, regional, or state insurance professionals’ association(s).

There’s no better way to track what’s new and what’s happening in your immediate area than to be an active member of your local and/or regional insurance industry trade groups. Both California and Nevada have multiple insurance producer organizations.

In California, you may want to consider membership in one or more of the following:

In Nevada, you might consider joining one or more of these groups:

Most of these organizations sponsor quarterly or more frequent meetings or online events featuring industry experts and carrier representatives. Follow the links above and click on the “Meetings,” “Events,” “Calendar,” or related tabs for specifics. Some organizations may even offer Continuing Education (CE) Credits for attendance and participation in in-person meetings.

2: Join the National Association of Benefits and Insurance Professionals (NABIP), previously known as the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU).

Tracing its roots to 1930, NABIP is the largest advocacy group working on behalf of health insurance and employee benefits professionals. It has more than 100,000 licensed insurance agent, broker, general agent, and consultant members.

Your membership in NABIP makes you part of an elite group of individuals committed to the principle that everyone should have adequate and affordable health insurance coverage.

Your level of participation in NABIP is up to you, but there are many reasons to join, including:

  • Advocacy: NABIP conducts advocacy efforts at both the state and federal levels to advance the interests of insurance professionals and to promote affordable to responsible private health insurance solutions.
  • Education: For nearly a century, NABIP has helped health insurance consultants accelerate their careers with high-impact education. It’s your source for advanced designations, certifications, continuing education, and online learning.
  • Compliance information assistance, and tools: Our industry is greatly influenced by Congress and government agencies. Being able to get immediate updates can set you apart from your competitors. NABIP brings you the latest legislative, regulatory, and compliance information – so you can provide the greatest value to your clients. Learn more on the NABIP website.
  • Networking: Among the most valuable benefits of joining NABIP is the opportunity to meet and interact with insurance industry leaders and influencers. You already know networking is an essential part of your sales career. NABIP allows you to build relationships with others you might otherwise not have the opportunity meet. Be sure to check out NABIP’s Broker to Broker (B2B) and Virtual Power Hour member benefits.
  • Industry news and reviews: NABIP shares relevant association and industry news through its Daily Newswire, email blasts, topic-specific newsletters, and weekly Washington, DC update. It also publishes America’s Benefit Specialist Magazine 10 times annually.
  • Getting ahead: NABIP can help you promote yourself and grow your business. It provides members with essential resources, including the NABIP Healthcare Happy Hour The weekly program features guest experts discussing topics you’re sure to find interesting.
3: Check out training endorsed by your state licensing authority.

The California Department of Insurance offers brokers and others access to Continuing Education (CE) resources and information. This includes pre-licensing course vendors and program requirements, educational objectives, applications and renewals, and education-related FAQs. You can link directly to the California site at

Producers in Nevada can get similar information from the Nevada Division of Insurance (DOI) at

4: Ask your preferred carrier and administrator partners about training they offer.

Most of the leading insurance carriers doing business in California and Nevada offer broker training and resources. This may include live, in-person or online training as well as printed and online guides, brochures, flyers, PowerPoint presentations, and other materials.

You can usually access these through the carriers’ websites, regional marketing reps, or your general agency (GA). Word & Brown offers a wide variety of carrier materials through our online Insurance Forms Library. It’s updated regularly and we’re told even our competitors direct brokers to our site.

 5: Take advantage of training offered through your GA partner.

If you’re working with a general agency partner, you will want to ask about local or regional presentations – in-person, online, or through a trade association (such as those discussed in section one, above).

Word & Brown’s Paul Roberts, REBC, makes presentations across California, Nevada, and the nation in connection with his role as Senior Director of Education and Market Development. In 2023, Paul appeared before many state chapters, including CAHIP – San Diego, CAHIP – OC, CAHIP – Golden Gate, and NABIP – Northern Nevada.

California brokers have been taking advantage of Word & Brown’s annual Week of Webinars (WOW) for six years – and it will return June 3-11. WOW features a roster of CE-approved courses to help you earn some of the credits needed to maintain your California license. You can expect promotion for WOW 2024 courses to begin in Q2. Stay tuned.

Staying Informed Is Critical

Keeping up on all that’s happening in the industry and with your preferred partners’ portfolios is essential to your ongoing success. Don’t risk losing business to another broker who is more informed on product and service upgrades and changes or pending compliance updates. Consider adopting one or more of these suggested strategies.

If you’re working with Word & Brown, be sure to also read our broker updates and Newsroom posts. They could lead to new business and increased compensation in your future.

If you’re not already doing business with us, it’s easy to get started. Fill out our online registration form, or call us today at 800-869-6989.

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