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How to Become an Insurance Broker: Tips & Resources

The insurance niche offers a wide range of opportunities for people who are looking for a dynamic and challenging career. It’s also a wonderful chance to start building your own business and work on your own terms.

Still, before becoming a broker, one needs to follow a specific set of short-term courses and gain experience in working with both insurance companies and customers. There’s also a series of tests to prove you have the necessary knowledge to work in this business.

So, if you are interested in starting a business in the insurance niche, below are some of the most important steps to follow and things you need to know.

Broker vs. Agent
People who are not savvy in this domain don’t exactly differentiate between agent and broker. Still, as someone who is interested in building a career in the world of insurance, it’s important to know which path you want to take.

As such, an agent works and represents only one insurance company and can become an expert on the products they offer. Usually, the company provides a series of courses and training, so you’ll be able to understand all the nuances of their products.

On the other hand, an insurance broker is not limited to just one company. He / She is an independent agent who works with multiple insurance companies and can be specialized in several areas. Their job is to help customers purchase the best insurance policies from the companies they represent.

Education Requirements
Insurance brokers are only required to have a high school diploma and pass their exam for state licensure (after taking the short-term courses mentioned in the beginning of this article). However, it helps if you have studies in the field of finances and business, as these are the main niches with which you’ll constantly have to interact.

Moreover, as a broker, you are the one who needs to find possible customers and convince them to buy from you and not the next broker they see. For this, it helps to have some sales and marketing experience and knowledge.

Luckily, you don’t have to go to school for another four years to get the knowledge you need. Nowadays, it’s easier and more advantageous to just take an online business course. The same goes for the other fields of interest and skills you want to acquire.

You should also know that a broker can work on multiple lines of authority (aka different kinds of insurance such as casualty, disability, property and more). Usually, a broker will choose one line of authority and build a portfolio that fits their expertise.

But, before you can be an insurance broker on any of the lines of authority, you need to pass the exam for each specific license. This is why it’s best to know the type of policies you want to sell before starting a business.

Keep in mind: the requirements for both education and tests can be different from state to state (in the US) and from country to country. Usually, the necessary resources and information are specified online, on the site of the agency that regulates insurances in your country or state.

Finally, to learn more about being an agent or a broker, have a look at the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and National Association of Professional Insurance Agents sites. Here you’ll find news, job ads, and other useful information.

Common Misconceptions
The insurance industry is not for the faint of heart!

While it looks like easy work seen from outside (working from home, no rigid schedule, no angry managers), it requires a lot of work to build a solid portfolio of customers.

You should also know that most people won’t trust you, as a person and a business. This happens because they know you work on commission. The logic behind is that, in order to increase your commission, you will be pushing the more expensive policies, regardless of the customer’s needs.

However, this misguided preconception goes away the moment you have a solid portfolio of customers who are happy to back you up through testimonials and recommendations.

So yes, it is difficult to find your path in this industry, but if you are good with people and know how to charm your way into their hearts, the job will be easier. It also helps to build connections in the world of insurance, so you should consider working as a volunteer with various companies until you build some experience.

About the Author: Oli Kang
Oli Kang
Oli is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at


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