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The insurance industry is expanding every year, and the need for new policies and products continues to grow. If you would like to take advantage of an ever-increasing career field that can result in substantial income, becoming a self-employed insurance broker could be an amazing opportunity. Insurance brokers are independent agents who are able to sell products offered by any insurance carrier. Regardless of the type of policy you need, a self-employed broker can help you find the best product at the right price to meet your needs and fit within your budget.
Obtain your license. Every state requires insurance agents to obtain a license authorizing them to sell products in that particular state. Most states have educational requirements that must be fulfilled before the issuance of a new insurance producers license, and the successful completion of a state-approved examination to test your comprehension of the law. Some states allow you to study at your own pace, while others require in-person attendance at a classroom course. When you finish the pre-licensing courses, schedule a date for you to take the state’s insurance producers exam. Your completion of this exam will make you eligible to receive a formal license to conduct business in that state.
Purchase liability insurance. Insurance brokers are required to have professional liability insurance, called errors & omissions insurance, or E&O. This type of policy will protect you in the event that you make a mistake during the course of selling or servicing an insurance policy. Any financially detrimental situations created or worsened by your mistake will be corrected with money from the E&O policy, and any settlement payments you are court-ordered to pay will be handled by the policy.
Get appointed with carriers. Contact the insurance companies you want to represent and request an agent appointment kit. You will receive a package containing information about the insurance carrier, with specifics detailing what is expected of and provided for insurance brokers. Complete the new agent appointment and registration forms, then return them to the insurance carrier’s licensing department along with a copy of your state insurance producers license and E&O policy.
It is illegal to sell insurance in any state without a valid insurance producers license. Do not attempt to sell or solicit any type of insurance until you have the proper credentials and liability insurance.
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- It is illegal to sell insurance in any state without a valid insurance producers license. Do not attempt to sell or solicit any type of insurance until you have the proper credentials and liability insurance.
Gregory Gambone is senior vice president of a small New Jersey insurance brokerage. His expertise is insurance and employee benefits. He has been writing since 1997. Gambone released his first book, "Financial Planning Basics," in 2007 and continues to work on his next industry publication. He earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University.