More than 430,000 insurance agents worked in the United States in 2008. This number is expected to increase by 12 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2009. Sales professionals are attracted to this field because of the high earning potential and opportunity for business ownership. Indiana residents who wish to join this field should prepare for vigorous coursework, a state-required examination, and a background check that includes their criminal and financial history. Those who meet these requirements will become qualified for a rewarding and stable career path.
Make sure you’re qualified to become an Indiana insurance agent. According to Indiana Code 27-1-15.6-6, you must be 18 years of age and must not have been convicted of any disqualifying criminal offenses. You will not be eligible for an Indiana producer’s license if you have been denied a license in another state. You will also be disqualified if you’ve had a license suspended or revoked in Indiana or any other state. Additional disqualifiers include unpaid income taxes and failure to disclose materially significant information on the application.
The Indiana Department of Insurance requires aspiring insurance agents to complete between 10 and 40 hours of pre-licensing coursework before taking the insurance examination. The number of credit hours required will depend on the kind of license you wish to obtain. Pre-licensing coursework can be completed online or in a traditional classroom environment. Visit Sircon.com to browse a database of approved training institutions. When you have satisfactorily completed your coursework, you will be given a certificate of completion. You must present this certificate to the exam proctor before taking the state-required test. Note: You will not be required to complete pre-licensing coursework or take an examination if you are licensed in another state and would like a non-resident Indiana insurance license.
More than 50 percent of people who take an insurance examination will fail, according to the Indiana Department of Insurance. Increase your chances of passing the examination by studying for several hours before taking the test. Use the materials provided to you in your pre-licensing courses. Then, visit the Indiana Department of Insurance’s website to obtain a copy of the approved study outlines for your examination. Use these materials to review the terminology, state laws, and various kinds of coverage for your chosen line(s) of authority. The insurance examination will be administered via computer. Prepare for your test by using review software, which can be obtained in your pre-licensing course.
Go to the IDOI Testing Website to schedule your examination. You will be required to register for an account, log-in, select the appropriate test, pay for your assessment, and choose a date and time that are convenient for you. Arrive at the testing facility at least 10 minutes early with your state identification card and pre-licensing course completion certificate in hand. Exams are graded on a pass/fail basis, and you will be notified of the outcome when you have completed the test. If you pass your examination and are eligible for licensure, then you will receive an Indiana Insurance license in the mail. If you do not pass, then you will be permitted to schedule a new examination, pay a new registration fee and test again.
Contact the companies you wish to represent. Exclusive or "captive" agents are only permitted to represent one company. Independent agents are permitted to represent multiple companies. You will be required to sign a contract promising production and fiduciary accountability.
If you plan to own your own insurance agency, then you will need to obtain a separate agency license along with a business license. You will also be required to register your business with the Indiana Department of Taxation and the Secretary of State.
2016 Salary Information for Insurance Sales Agents
Insurance sales agents earned a median annual salary of $49,990 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, insurance sales agents earned a 25th percentile salary of $35,500, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $77,140, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 501,400 people were employed in the U.S. as insurance sales agents.