Every one knows the Aflac duck, but do you know what it takes to work for the company? Aflac works with independent contractors and the hiring process is pretty simple. The hard part comes after. Agents who sell health insurance, whom Aflac calls Benefits Advisors, have to hustle like mad to build their client lists. It's hard work, but the flexibility afforded to these agents is a nice perk.
How Aflac Works
Aflac insurance jobs aren't quite like traditional jobs. Don't expect to go through the typical application process, negotiate a salary and be assigned a cubicle. Benefit advisors are independent contractors, not technically employees of Aflac. As such, they receive no benefits and generally work from home.
One of the most important things to be really clear about before starting a career as an Aflac agent is that these positions are commission only. You won't be paid a salary and will only get paid if you make sales. Many current and former Aflac agents warn that it may take several months to start getting paid, and some say that they didn't earn enough money to live on during the first year.
First: Getting Licensed
All states require insurance agents to be licensed before they can start selling policies. However, each state has its own requirements and licensing procedures. The website of your state's Department of Insurance should provide specific information about what you'll need to do. There may be a variety of different license types; life and health, or L&H, is the general license you'll want to pursue.
Typically, a new agent must first complete a pre-licensing course. Your state's insurance department should offer a list of approved course providers. Some courses require in-person classroom time and others are available online. Expect to spend 20 to 40 hours on the pre-licensing course. Upon completing the course, you may take the state licensing exam. Candidates must also be fingerprinted and pay licensing fees.
Another option is to hold off on getting licensed until after you first meet with Aflac leaders. The company accepts candidates who aren't yet licensed, provided they get licensed before starting to work.
Next: Contact Aflac
If you passed your exam and are officially licensed to sell insurance in your state, contacting Aflac is the next step. New agents who want to sell Aflac can fill out a form on the company's website, which alerts the area Regional Sales Manager. Your area RSM should reach out to you using the contact information you provide.
Next is an interview process, which typically includes at least two meetings with the RSM and/or other Aflac leaders in your area. At least one may be an informational interview, during which prospective new agents learn about the Aflac structure. If you impress the interviewers and already have your license, it's likely that you'll be accepted to become a Benefits Advisor and to start selling.
Finally: Grow Your Business
Your Regional Sales Manager and other area leaders will provide training and resources to prepare you to sell Aflac. But because these are independent contractor positions, it's up to each Benefit Advisor to create his or her own business. Aflac may provide some leads. For the most part, it's up to each agent to cold call businesses, network with current contacts and hustle to find potential clients.
How much you'll earn is directly linked to how much effort you put into the work and the market in your area. Even the most dedicated agent won't earn much in an area that's already over saturated with insurance agents. Aflac agents self-report salaries that average between $45,000 and $50,000, as of 2018, but it's impossible to predict in advance how much you'll earn.