property and casualty insurance careers

property and casualty insurance careers

property and casualty insurance

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property and liability insurance — ➔ insurance * * * property and liability insurance UK US noun [U] INSURANCE ► CASUALTY INSURANCE(Cf. ↑casualty insurance) … Financial and business terms

casualty insurance — Insurance protecting a firm or homeowner against loss of property, damage, and other liabilities ( liability). Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * casualty insurance casualty insurance ➔ insurance * * * casualty insurance UK US noun [U] ►… … Financial and business terms

Casualty insurance — Casualty insurance, often equated to liability insurance, is used to describe an area of insurance not directly concerned with life insurance, health insurance, or property insurance. It is mainly used to describe the liability coverage of an… … Wikipedia

casualty insurance — insurance providing coverage against accident and property damages, as automobile, theft, liability, and explosion insurance, but not including life insurance, fire insurance, or marine insurance. [1900 05] * * * Provision against loss to persons … Universalium

Casualty Insurance — A broad category of coverage against loss of property, damage or other liabilities. Casualty insurance includes vehicle insurance, liability insurance, theft insurance and elevator insurance. An important type of casualty insurance for businesses … Investment dictionary

casualty insurance — noun : insurance against loss from accident (as automobile, burglary, liability, accident and health, and workmen s compensation insurance and corporate suretyship) consisting in the United States of all forms of insurance written commercially… … Useful english dictionary

Protection and indemnity insurance — Protection and indemnity insurance, commonly known as P I, is a form of marine insurance provided by a P I Club. A P I Club is a mutual (i.e. co operative) insurance association that provides cover for its members, who will typically be ship… … Wikipedia

Use and Occupancy Insurance – U&O — A type of insurance that covers against the loss of use of machinery or property due to damage resulting from a named peril or hazard, such as a fire or natural disaster. Use and occupancy insurance provides certain coverage through endorsements… … Investment dictionary

General Casualty Insurance — Infobox Company company name = General Casualty Insurance company company type = company slogan = unknown foundation = 1925 location = Sun Prairie, Wisconsin key people = Peter Christen, President and Chief Executive Officer industry = insurance… … Wikipedia

National Life and Accident Insurance Company — The National Life and Accident Insurance Company is a former life insurance company which was based in Nashville, Tennessee. National Life and Accident began in 1900 as the National Sick and Accident Association, a mutual company. It was… … Wikipedia

Auto and Home Insurance Careers

What Is Auto and Home Insurance?

Agents are usually licensed to sell both auto and home insurance; therefore this section will cover both types of insurance careers. Auto and home insurance policies protect the insured from financial losses due to damages to their cars and homes. Auto policies protect against damages from accidents, theft, bodily injury and medical claims. Home policies protect against damages that arise from accidents and acts of nature. An agent with an insurance career in auto and home insurance must also be aware of additional coverage that pertains to each policy, such as, adding glass coverage to an auto policy or adding personal articles coverage to a homeowner’s policy.

People who want an insurance career selling auto and home insurance will need to decide if they want to be a “captive” agent who can only sell one company or work through an insurance “broker” who can offer policies under many different companies.

Why Choose an Insurance Career in Auto and Home Insurance?

The auto and home insurance industry is booming. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipated a 13% increase in jobs for insurance sales agents between 2006-2016. Most states require drivers to have auto insurance policies to be able to operate a vehicle. When starting an insurance career in auto and home insurance getting your Property and Casualty License allows you to sell both policies, so there is a tremendous opportunity to sell both types of insurance to the same client . Also, most carriers offer discounts to clients for purchasing both policies together.

With this insurance career, agents can either be paid on commission or salary depending on the arrangement with the agency. According to PayScale.com, salaries can range between $20,000 and $90,000 annually.

Who Would Excel at an Insurance Career in Auto and Home Insurance?

Those interested in an insurance career in auto and home insurance need to be able to sell insurance and possess strong customer service skills. To be successful in an auto and home insurance job, an agent needs to learn the ins and outs of the policies they are selling and work to understand and listen to the specific needs of their clients.

The auto and home insurance industry is a reactive industry; therefore this career is not as sales and marketing oriented as a life or annuities insurance career.

However, with this job, it is service intensive. As an agent in this career you are required to assist clients with claims and service their account on a regular basis.

There is usually no requirement that those looking for an insurance career in auto and home insurance need to hold a college degree to obtain a license. However, an agent must prepare for and pass a state Property and Casualty license exam to obtain a license to sell insurance before he or she can start writing business. In some states you may need to register your fingerprints. The section below outlines how to get started in an insurance career selling auto and home insurance.

How to Start an Insurance Career as an Auto and Home Insurance Agent

An agent in an auto and home insurance career is required to obtain a Property and Casualty License from the state that he or she wishes to sell policies in. The following is a short list of the basic process of starting an insurance job in auto and home insurance.

  1. Complete Pre- Licensing Education: Learn the rules and regulations of your state’s insurance industry. You may be required to attend classes, but some states allow you to study at your own convenience. You will be issued a certificate for completing these state certifications and at that point you are permitted to take the state exam to become licensed as an auto and home insurance agent.
  2. Take the State Property and Casualty Exam: Contact your state’s insurance department to find contact information for your local testing center. In addition to the self-study option, there are in-person and online schools/courses that you can attend. Once completed, you will bring the course completion certificate to the testing center on the day of your exam. After you have successfully completed the state Property and Casualty exam and paid the licensing fees, you are then issued your Property and Casualty license.
  3. Buy Errors and Omissions Coverage: As an individual insurance agent, most carriers require you to have Errors & Omissions insurance. This liability policy protects you and your career against financial loss related to your involvement in the sale or service of an individual insurance policy.
  4. Get Contracted: To start your insurance career and begin selling auto and home insurance, you can work directly for a carrier or decide to work through an established agency or brokerage firm. Working for an insurance company provides more structure for someone new to the industry. Working for an established agency or brokerage firm typically provides more income potential as you are basically working for yourself with the support and training of a brokerage firm. Additionally as an independent broker agent, you can offer multiple carriers’ plans to your clients, which is an advantage if you have a client who may not meet a specific company’s criteria or who may need a lower monthly rate.
  5. Get Started: Your insurance career starts NOW! Contact us to launch your career as an Auto and Home Insurance agent today.

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Property and Casualty Insurance Test Prep in New Jersey

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Get your Property and Casualty insurance licenses in New Jersey with training from Kaplan Financial Education. Our up-to-date study packages and individual study tools are designed using the Prepare &#&679; Practice &#&679; Perform ® learning strategy to help you understand and retain the material quickly and easily. Select your insurance study package or individual study tool below to order. Start studying today!

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Online Course—Online Study Tools, Review & Certification Exams

Kaplan’s new Insurance Licensing offering is a completely redesigned exam prep package providing a comprehensive solution for the New Jersey insurance prelicensing needs. The Essential Online Package will make your study time more efficient and effective, leading to greater success on the prelicensing exam. Based on our proven learning strategy, Prepare &#&679; Practice &#&679; Perform ® , this study package is designed for those who prefer the mobility and flexibility of online self-study. It is ideal for the self-directed individual who is on-the-go and prefers to work without the help of an instructor.

The Essential Online Package includes*:

  • NEW! Videos to provide a classroom experience (online)
  • NEW! Cram Sheets
  • License Exam Manual (PDF)
  • State Law Supplement (PDF)
  • Audio Review
  • InsurancePro™ QBank
  • Study Calendar with task-based benchmarks to ensure you stay on track
  • InstructorLink™
  • Performance Tracker
  • NEW! Checkpoint Exams to provide student remediation at key intervals throughout the course (online)
  • Mastery Exam A to align with the state exam (online)
  • Certification Exam** (online)

*The online access period for your Insurance Licensing course is 4 months. An additional 4 months may be purchased for $49 through the Learning Management System (LMS).

**State requirements for completing the online certification exam must be followed precisely in order for a Certificate of Completion to be earned and issued.

Online Course—Online Study Tools, Review & Certification Exams

Kaplan's new Insurance Licensing offering is a completely redesigned exam prep package providing a comprehensive solution for your New Jersey insurance prelicensing needs. The Basic Online Package will make your study time more efficient and effective, leading to greater success on the prelicensing exam. Based on our proven learning strategy, Prepare &#&679; Practice &#&679; Perform ® , this study package is designed is designed for those who prefer the mobility and flexibility of self-study online. It is ideal for the self-directed individual who is on-the-go and prefers to work without the help of an instructor.

The Basic Online Package includes*:

  • NEW! Cram Sheets
  • License Exam Manual (PDF)
  • State Law Supplement (PDF)
  • InsurancePro™ QBank
  • Study Calendar with task-based benchmarks to ensure you stay on track
  • InstructorLink™
  • Performance Tracker
  • NEW! Checkpoint Exams to provide student remediation at key intervals throughout the course (online)
  • Mastery Exams to align with the state exam (online)
  • Certification Exam** (online)

*The online access period for your Insurance Licensing course is 4 months. An additional 4 months may be purchased for $49 through the Learning Management System (LMS).

**State requirements for completing the online certification exam must be followed precisely in order for a Certificate of Completion to be earned and issued.

Books—Print & Online Study Tools, Review & Certification Exams

Kaplan’s new Insurance Licensing offering is a completely redesigned exam prep package providing a comprehensive solution for your New Jersey insurance pre licensing needs. Designed for those who want flexibility, but prefer to study with printed books, the Basic Print Package will make your study time more efficient and effective, leading to greater success on the prelicensing exam. Based on our proven learning strategy, Prepare &#&679; Practice &#&679; Perform ® , this study package is designed for those who prefer the mobility and flexibility of self-study online. It is ideal for the self-directed individual who is on-the-go and prefers to work without the help of an instructor. .

The Basic Print Package includes*:

  • NEW! Cram Sheets (print)
  • License Exam Manual (print)
  • State Law Supplement (print)
  • InsurancePro™ QBank (online)
  • Study Calendar with task-based benchmarks to ensure you stay on track (online)
  • InstructorLink™ via email
  • Performance Tracker (online)
  • NEW! Checkpoint Exams to provide student remediation at key intervals throughout the course (online)
  • Mastery Exams to align with the state exam (online)
  • Certification Exam** (online)

*The online access period for your Insurance Licensing course is 4 months. An additional 4 months may be purchased for $49 through the Learning Management System (LMS).

**State requirements for completing the online certification exam must be followed precisely in order for a Certificate of Completion to be earned and issued.

Online Course—Online Study Tools, Review & Certification Exams

Kaplan’s new Insurance Licensing offering is a completely redesigned exam prep package providing a comprehensive solution for the New Jersey insurance prelicensing needs. The Essential Online Package will make your study time more efficient and effective, leading to greater success on the prelicensing exam. Based on our proven learning strategy, Prepare &#&679; Practice &#&679; Perform ® , this study package is designed for those who prefer the mobility and flexibility of online self-study. It is ideal for the self-directed individual who is on-the-go and prefers to work without the help of an instructor.

The Essential Online Package includes*:

  • NEW! Videos to provide a classroom experience (online)
  • NEW! Cram Sheets
  • License Exam Manual (PDF)
  • State Law Supplement (PDF)
  • Audio Review
  • InsurancePro™ QBank
  • Study Calendar with task-based benchmarks to ensure you stay on track
  • InstructorLink™
  • Performance Tracker
  • NEW! Checkpoint Exams to provide student remediation at key intervals throughout the course (online)
  • Mastery Exam A to align with the state exam (online)
  • Certification Exam** (online)

*The online access period for your Insurance Licensing course is 4 months. An additional 4 months may be purchased for $49 through the Learning Management System (LMS).

**State requirements for completing the online certification exam must be followed precisely in order for a Certificate of Completion to be earned and issued.

Online Course—Online Study Tools, Review & Certification Exams

Kaplan's new Insurance Licensing offering is a completely redesigned exam prep package providing a comprehensive solution for your New Jersey insurance prelicensing needs. The Basic Online Package will make your study time more efficient and effective, leading to greater success on the prelicensing exam. Based on our proven learning strategy, Prepare &#&679; Practice &#&679; Perform ® , this study package is designed is designed for those who prefer the mobility and flexibility of self-study online. It is ideal for the self-directed individual who is on-the-go and prefers to work without the help of an instructor.

The Basic Online Package includes*:

  • NEW! Cram Sheets
  • License Exam Manual (PDF)
  • State Law Supplement (PDF)
  • InsurancePro™ QBank
  • Study Calendar with task-based benchmarks to ensure you stay on track
  • InstructorLink™
  • Performance Tracker
  • NEW! Checkpoint Exams to provide student remediation at key intervals throughout the course (online)
  • Mastery Exams to align with the state exam (online)
  • Certification Exam** (online)

*The online access period for your Insurance Licensing course is 4 months. An additional 4 months may be purchased for $49 through the Learning Management System (LMS).

**State requirements for completing the online certification exam must be followed precisely in order for a Certificate of Completion to be earned and issued.

Online Course—Online Study Tools, Review & Certification Exams

Kaplan’s new Insurance Licensing offering is a completely redesigned exam prep package providing a comprehensive solution for the New Jersey insurance prelicensing needs. The Essential Online Package will make your study time more efficient and effective, leading to greater success on the prelicensing exam. Based on our proven learning strategy, Prepare &#&679; Practice &#&679; Perform ® , this study package is designed for those who prefer the mobility and flexibility of online self-study. It is ideal for the self-directed individual who is on-the-go and prefers to work without the help of an instructor.

The Essential Online Package includes*:

  • NEW! Videos to provide a classroom experience (online)
  • NEW! Cram Sheets
  • License Exam Manual (PDF)
  • State Law Supplement (PDF)
  • Audio Review
  • InsurancePro™ QBank
  • Study Calendar with task-based benchmarks to ensure you stay on track
  • InstructorLink™
  • Performance Tracker
  • NEW! Checkpoint Exams to provide student remediation at key intervals throughout the course (online)
  • Mastery Exam A to align with the state exam (online)
  • Certification Exam** (online)

*The online access period for your Insurance Licensing course is 4 months. An additional 4 months may be purchased for $49 through the Learning Management System (LMS).

**State requirements for completing the online certification exam must be followed precisely in order for a Certificate of Completion to be earned and issued.

Online Course—Online Study Tools, Review & Certification Exams

Kaplan's new Insurance Licensing offering is a completely redesigned exam prep package providing a comprehensive solution for your New Jersey insurance prelicensing needs. The Basic Online Package will make your study time more efficient and effective, leading to greater success on the prelicensing exam. Based on our proven learning strategy, Prepare &#&679; Practice &#&679; Perform ® , this study package is designed is designed for those who prefer the mobility and flexibility of self-study online. It is ideal for the self-directed individual who is on-the-go and prefers to work without the help of an instructor.

The Basic Online Package includes*:

  • NEW! Cram Sheets
  • License Exam Manual (PDF)
  • State Law Supplement (PDF)
  • InsurancePro™ QBank
  • Study Calendar with task-based benchmarks to ensure you stay on track
  • InstructorLink™
  • Performance Tracker
  • NEW! Checkpoint Exams to provide student remediation at key intervals throughout the course (online)
  • Mastery Exams to align with the state exam (online)
  • Certification Exam** (online)

*The online access period for your Insurance Licensing course is 4 months. An additional 4 months may be purchased for $49 through the Learning Management System (LMS).

**State requirements for completing the online certification exam must be followed precisely in order for a Certificate of Completion to be earned and issued.

Property and Casualty Insurance Agent and Broker Career

Property and casualty insurance agents and brokers sell policies that help individuals and companies cover expenses and losses from such disasters as fires, burglaries, traffic accidents, and other emergencies. These salespeople also may be known as fire, casualty, and marine insurance agents or brokers. There are approximately 30,000 property and casualty insurance agents and brokers employed in the United States.

Property and Casualty Insurance Agent and Broker Career History

The development of the property and casualty insurance industry parallels the history of human economic development. This type of insurance was first established in the maritime field. A single shipwreck could put a ship owner out of business, so it became essential for trade financiers to share this risk. Organized maritime insurance began in the late 17th century at Lloyd’s coffeehouse in London, where descriptions of individual ships, their cargoes, and their destinations were posted. Persons willing to share the possible loss, in return for a fee, signed their names below these descriptions indicating what percentage of the financial responsibility they were willing to assume. Those who signed were known as “underwriters,” a term still used in the insurance business.

As people became more experienced in this procedure, predictions of loss became more accurate and rates were standardized. To provide protection for larger risks, individuals organized companies. The first marine insurance company in the United States—the Insurance Company of North America—was founded in Philadelphia in 1792 and still does business today.

Other types of insurance developed in response to people’s need for protection. Insurance against loss by fire became available after the disastrous lesson of the London Fire of 1666. The first accident insurance policy in the United States was sold in 1863. Burglary insurance—protection against property taken by forced entry—was offered soon thereafter. Theft insurance, which covers any form of stealing, was first written in 1899.

Around the turn of the century, the development of the “horseless carriage” led to the automobile insurance industry. The first automobile policy was sold in 1898. This area of the insurance field grew rapidly. In the mid-1990s premiums written for automobile insurance (including liability and collision and comprehensive policies) totaled more than $102 billion.

Growth of business and industrial organizations required companies to offer protection for employees injured on the job. The first workers’ compensation insurance was sold in 1910.

Insurance companies have always been alert to new marketing possibilities. In the past few decades, increasing emphasis has been placed upon “package” policies offering comprehensive coverage. A typical package policy is the homeowner’s policy, which, in addition to fire protection for the insured’s home and property, also covers losses for liability, medical payments, and additional living expenses. In the mid-1950s, a group of private firms provided the first insurance on the multimillion dollar reactors used in atomic energy plants.

Over the course of the past decade, costs associated with the property and casualty insurance industry (including underwriting losses) have outstripped the annual rate of inflation. This has generally led to an increase in the premium rates charged to customers. The largest increases have occurred in the automobile insurance sector of the industry. The overall trend reflects some basic changes in American society, including a substantial rise in crime and litigation and the development of expensive new medical technologies. The main challenge of the property and casualty insurance industry in the coming years is to stabilize premium rates to remain competitive with alternative forms of risk financing.

The Job of Property and Casualty Insurance Agents and Brokers

Property and casualty insurance salespeople work as either agents or brokers. An agent serves as an authorized representative of an insurance company. A broker, on the other hand, serves as the representative for the client and has no contracts with insurance companies.

Agents can be independent agents, exclusive agents, or direct writers. Independent agents may represent one or more insurance companies, are paid by commission, are responsible for their own expenses, and own the rights to the policies they sell. Exclusive agents represent only one insurance company, are generally paid by commission, are generally responsible for all of their own expenses, and usually own the rights to the policies that they sell. Direct writers represent only one insurance company, are employees of that company (and therefore are often paid a salary and are not responsible for their own expenses), and do not own the rights to the policies that are owned by the company.

Regardless of the system that is used, salespeople operate in a similar fashion. Each one orders or issues policies, collects premiums, renews and changes existing coverage, and assists clients with reports of losses and claims settlement. Backed by the resources of the companies that they represent, individual agents may issue policies insuring against loss or damage for everything from furs and automobiles to ocean liners and factories.

Agents are authorized to issue a “binder” to provide temporary protection for customers between the time the policy application is signed and the policy is issued by the insurance company. Naturally the agent must be selective in the risks accepted under a binder. Sometimes a risk will be refused by a company, which might cause the agent to lose goodwill with the customer. Because brokers do not directly represent or have contracts with insurance companies, they cannot issue binders.

Some agents or brokers specialize in one type of insurance such as automobile insurance. All agents or brokers, however, must be aware of the kind of protection required by their clients and the exact coverage offered by each company that they represent.

One of the most significant aspects of the property and casualty agent’s work is the variety encountered on the job. An agent’s day may begin with an important conference with a group of executives seeking protection for a new industrial plant and its related business activities. Following this meeting, the agent may proceed to the office and spend several hours studying the needs of the customer and drafting an insurance plan. This proposal must be thorough and competitively priced because several other local agents will likely be competing for the account. While working at the office, the agent usually receives several calls and visits from prospective or current clients asking questions about protection, policy conditions, changes, or new developments.

At noon, the agent may attend a meeting of a service club or have lunch with a policyholder. After lunch, the agent may visit a garage with a customer to discuss the car repairs needed as the result of the client’s automobile accident. Back at the office, the agent may talk on the telephone with an adjuster from the insurance company involved.

In the late afternoon, the agent may call on the superintendent of schools to discuss insurance protection for participants and spectators at athletic events and other public meetings. If the school has no protection, the agent may evaluate its insurance needs and draft a proposed policy.

Upon returning to the office, the agent may telephone several customers, dictate responses to the day’s mail, and handle other matters that have developed during the day. In the evening, the agent may call on a family to discuss insurance protection for a new home.

Property and Casualty Insurance Agent and Broker Career Requirements

Insurance companies typically insist that their agents have at least a high school diploma, and most strongly prefer their agents to have a college education. There are a number of classes you can take in high school to prepare yourself both for college and for working in the insurance industry. If your high school offers business, economics, or finance classes, be sure to take advantage of these courses. Mathematics classes will also give you the opportunity to develop your skills working with numbers, which is an important aspect of insurance work. Computer courses will allow you to become familiar with this technology, which you will use throughout your career. In order to develop your communication skills—essential for any salesperson— take English and speech classes. Finally, consider taking classes that will give you insight into people’s actions, which is another important skill for a salesperson. Psychology and sociology classes are courses that may offer this opportunity.

Although college training is not a prerequisite for insurance work, those who have a college degree in economics or business will probably have an advantage starting out in this field. Many colleges and universities offer courses in insurance, and a number of schools offer a bachelor’s degree in insurance. Classes you are likely to take in college include finance, accounting, and economics. Business law and business administration classes will give you an understanding of legal issues and insurance needs. Also, psychology courses may help you to increase your understanding of people. Finally, keep up with your computer work. Courses that teach you to use software, such as spreadsheet programs, will keep your skills up-to-date and make you more marketable. For some specialized areas of property insurance, such as fire protection for commercial establishments, an engineering background may prove helpful.

Those agents who wish to seek the highest professional status may pursue the designation of chartered property casualty underwriter (CPCU). To earn the designation, agents must complete at least three years in the field successfully, demonstrate high ethical practices in all work, and pass a series of examinations offered by the American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (AICPCU). Agents and brokers may prepare for these examinations through home study or by taking courses offered by colleges, insurance associations, or individual companies. In 2003, AICPCU introduced a new eight-exam CPCU program that allows agents to specialize in either personal or commercial insurance.

All agents and brokers must obtain licenses from the states in which they sell insurance. Most states require that the agent pass a written examination dealing with state insurance laws and the fundamentals of property and casualty insurance. Often, candidates for licenses must show evidence of some formal study in the field of insurance.

An agent or broker must thoroughly understand insurance fundamentals and recognize the differences between the many options provided by various policies. This knowledge is essential to gain the respect and confidence of clients. To provide greater service to customers and increase sales volume, beginning agents must study many areas of insurance protection. This requires an analytical mind and the capacity for hard work.

Successful agents and brokers are able to interact with strangers easily and talk readily with a wide range of people. For example, an agent or broker may need to talk with teenagers about their first cars, with business executives faced with heavy responsibilities, or with widows confronted for the first time with financial management of a home. Agents and brokers must be resourceful, self-confident, conscientious, and cheerful. As in other types of sales occupations, a strong belief in the service being sold helps agents to be more successful in their presentations.

Because they spend so much of their time with others, agents and brokers must have a genuine liking for people. Equally important is the desire to serve others by providing financial security. To be successful, they must be able to present insurance information in a clear, nontechnical fashion. They must be able to develop a logical sales sequence and presentation style that is comfortable for prospects and clients.

Successful agents and brokers may participate in community and service activities to stay visible within their communities and to maintain or increase their volume of business. Agents and brokers often have an unusual facility for recalling people’s names and past conversations they’ve had with them.

Exploring Property and Casualty Insurance Agent and Broker Career

Because of state licensing requirements, it is difficult for young people to obtain part-time experience in this field. Summer employment of any sort in an insurance office may give you helpful insights into the field. Because many offices are small and must have someone on premises during business hours, you may find summer positions with individual agencies or brokerage firms. Colleges with work-study programs may offer opportunities for practical experience in an insurance agency.

Approximately 30,000 property and casualty insurance agents and brokers are employed in the United States. Insurance companies are the principal employers; however, some agents and brokers (approximately 25 percent of all insurance salespeople) are self-employed.

College graduates are frequently hired through campus interviews for salaried sales positions with major companies. Other graduates secure positions directly with local agencies or brokerages through placement services, employment offices, or classified advertisements in newspapers. Many high school and college graduates apply directly to insurance companies. Sometimes individuals employed in other fields take evening or home-study courses in insurance to prepare for employment in this field.

Once hired, the new agent or broker uses training materials prepared by the company or by industry trade groups. In smaller agencies, newcomers may be expected to assume most of the responsibility for their own training by using the agency’s written resources and working directly with experienced agents. In larger organizations, initial training may include formal classroom instruction and enrollment in education programs such as those offered by the American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters. Sometimes insurance societies sponsor courses designed to help the beginning agent. Almost all agents receive directed, on-the-job sales supervision.

Sales agents may advance in one of several ways. They may decide to establish their own agency or brokerage firm, join or buy out an established agency, or advance into branch or home office management with an insurance company.

Self-employed agents or brokers often remain with the organization that they have developed for the length of their careers. They may grow professionally by expanding the scope of their insurance activities. Many agents expand their responsibilities and their office’s sales volume by hiring additional salespeople. Occasionally an established agent may enter related areas of activity. Many property insurance agents, for example, branch out into real estate sales. Many agents and brokers devote an increasing amount of their time to worthwhile community projects, which helps to build goodwill and probable future clients.

Recently hired sales agents are usually paid a moderate salary while learning the business. After becoming established, however, most agents are paid on the basis of a commission on sales. Agents who work directly for an insurance company often receive a base salary in addition to some commission on sales production. Unlike life insurance agents, who receive a high first-year commission, the property and casualty agent usually receives the same percentage each time the premium is paid.

In 2005, all insurance sales agents (including property and casualty) earned a median salary of $42,340 a year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The lowest 10 percent earned $23,630, and the highest 10 percent earned $113,290 or more.

Salespeople employed by companies often receive fringe benefits (such as retirement income, sick leave, and paid vacations), whereas self-employed agents or brokers receive no such benefits.

Property and casualty insurance agents must be in constant contact with people—clients, prospective clients, and the workers in the home office of the insurance companies. This can be very time-consuming, and occasionally frustrating, but it is an essential element of the work.

Two of the biggest drawbacks to this type of work are the long hours and the irregular schedule. Agents often are required to work their schedules around their clients’ availability. Especially in their first years in the business, agents may find that they have to work three or four nights a week and one or two days on the weekend. Most agents work 40 hours a week, but some agents, particularly those just beginning in the field and those with a large clientele, may work 60 hours a week or more.

Property and Casualty Insurance Agent and Broker Career Outlook

Employment for all insurance agents and brokers is expected to experience little change or grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Nevertheless, individuals with determination and the right skills (including fluency in a foreign language, especially Spanish) should have numerous job opportunities for several reasons. The overall demand for insurance should be strong as the general population grows and the amount of personal and corporate possessions increases. Most homeowners and business executives budget insurance as a necessary expense. In addition, laws that require businesses to provide workers’ compensation insurance and car owners to obtain automobile liability protection help to maintain an insurance market.

A number of factors, however, are responsible for restraining job growth of insurance agents and brokers. Computers enable agents to perform routine clerical tasks more efficiently, and more policies are being sold by mail and phone. Also, as insurance becomes more and more crucial to their financial health, many large businesses are hiring their own risk managers, who analyze their insurance needs and select the policies that are best for them.

There is a high turnover in this field. Many beginning agents and brokers find it hard to establish a large, profitable client base, and they eventually move on to other areas in the insurance industry. Most openings will occur as a result of this turnover and as workers retire or leave their positions for other reasons.

Difference Between Personal Lines and Property and Casualty Insurance License

To sell insurance, an agent must obtain a license from the state in which he will operate. A property and casualty insurance license is a common license that states offer for agents hoping to sell a variety of policies.

Personal lines of insurance include a range of insurance policies for individuals. The most common personal lines are automobile insurance and home insurance.

Property and Casualty Insurance

Property and casualty insurance encompasses insurance policies that protect both commercial entities and individuals against losses related to property or losses from legal liability resulting from injury to people or property, according to ISO, which specializes in property and casualty insurance information.

Property and casualty insurance state licenses typically enable agents to sell both commercial and personal lines of property and casualty insurance. States tend not to require a separate license to sell personal lines.

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