Insurance account executives work for insurance companies or brokers to promote the company's products to other companies that will sell them. An executive will have a number of clients with whom they build a long-term relationship. The account executive gives clients advice on the best products to use with regard to covering different risks.
The role of an insurance account executive is sales focused and revolves around sales targets and increasing business for the insurance company. Typical activities include securing new business and maintaining good relations with existing clients. Executives introduce new products to the market and promote them to clients, while explaining which policies fit best for particular areas. They also monitor and report on the performance of particular products in relation to sales targets.
Executives find that they normally work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those who deal directly with clients might find that they have to work beyond these hours if they entertain or meet with clients. Although much of the work is office-based, an executive may travel often in order to meet with clients. Overnight stays are necessary from time to time.
Insurance-based companies prefer to hire executives who are college graduates; those specialized in business, finance or economics stand a higher chance of gaining employment. Those who do not have a college education can break into the industry if they have a high school diploma in addition to proven sales experience. Those who want to increase their chances of getting into the industry should look to take university courses in insurance, finance, mathematics, accounting, business law or marketing.
In 2008, there were 434,800 insurance account executives in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An estimated 51 percent of these worked directly for insurance agencies, while 21 percent worked for insurance carriers. The industry is set to grow by 12 percent through 2018, which is slightly faster than the national average for all jobs in the United States. Insurance policies directed at the elderly may grow as the population gets older. In addition, a growing population will increase the need for insurance policies on automobiles, homes and other valuables.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for insurance account executives in 2008 was $45,430. The highest 10 percent earned more than $113,930 and the lowest 10 percent took home less than $26,120 a year. Account executives can be paid in three ways: salary only, salary plus commission and commission only. The last is the most common form of compensation, especially with the more experienced executives.