Nature of the Work Insurance agents sell one or more types of insurance, such as life, property, casualty, health, disability, and long-term care (Edwards, 1999, A12). Agents sell insurance policies to individuals and businesses to provide protection against loss or catastrophe. Insurance agents consider the financial status and life situation of their clients, and assist them in selecting their optimal insurance policy. Some policies can be designed to provide retirement income, funds for the education of children, or other benefits (Edwards, 1999, A12).
Insurance agents prepare reports, maintain records, and they help policyholders to settle insurance claims (Abraham & Herman, 1998). Special in-group policies may help employers provide their employees the opportunity to buy insurance through payroll deductions (Abraham & Herman, 1998). Agents may work for one company or independently for several companies (Abraham & Herman, 1998). Brokers do not sell for a particular company, but direct their clients to companies that offer the best rate and coverage (Abraham & Herman, 1998).
Life insurance agents and brokers are sometimes referred to as life underwriters (Abraham & Herman, 1998). Property and casualty insurance agents and brokers sell policies that protect individuals and businesses from financial loss, as a result of automobile accidents, fire or theft, tornadoes and storms, and other events that can damage property (Edwards, 1999, A13). Property and casualty insurance can also sell health insurance policies to businesses that cover the costs of hospital and medical care for their employees (Edwards, 1999, A13). Increasingly, insurance agents and brokers offer comprehensive financial planning services to their clients, such as retirement planning counseling (Edwards, 1999, A13). Because of this, many insurance agents and brokers are licensed to sell mutual funds and other securities (Edwards, 1999, A13).
Education and Training Requirements College training may help agents or brokers grasp the technical aspects...