If you've ever purchased an insurance policy for your home, life, business, auto or health, you probably dealt with an insurance producer. Insurance producers are licensed professionals who sell and service insurance products. Producers may become licensed to sell property and casualty products such as auto or homeowner insurance, or life and health insurance products like medical insurance and term life insurance.
Insurance producers sell insurance products such as life, home and auto insurance. They work out of an office, or in the case of a life insurance producer, may visit you in your home or office. They also provide service functions, such as taking premium payments or making changes to policies, including adding drivers to an auto policy or changing the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
A competent insurance producer can guide you through the process of buying a policy and help you determine the coverages that are right for you. He will also be able to help you adjust your coverage as your needs change throughout your life.
Insurance produces are either agents or brokers. Agents generally represent one insurance company, which limits the products they can sell. Brokers represent a number of companies, so they are able to "shop around" for you and locate the best policy for your needs. Brokers and agents must meet separate licensing requirements in the states where they do business.
To become an insurance producer, you must get licensed in the states where you wish to do business. This requires the successful completion of an examination that is provided by the state's Department of Insurance. Some states may require you to be sponsored by an insurance company to sit for the exam. Upon passing the exam, you must be appointed by an insurance carrier (or carriers, in the case of a broker) in order to represent it.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of insurance producers was $45,430 as of May, 2008. Many insurance producers receive some or all of their income as commissions or bonuses, so income is typically not guaranteed. This also means that there is no cap placed on income such as in a salaried position.