Insurance is a lucrative sector that earns billions of dollars annually, and the insurance producer is the core of the industry's success. He/she serves as the marketing and sales force in this industry, since he/she provide products to customers related to personal financial nature and can assist them in their financial well being. This sales agent is a licensed representative who is authorized to solicit, negotiate or sell insurance in one or multiple categories. He/she is also responsible for keeping the best interests of the customer in consideration when recommending services and products. Soliciting refers to convincing a customer to apply for insurance, while selling is the act of exchanging a contract related to insurance and negotiating implies the process of offering advice and explaining the policies to the potential client. Insurance producer responsibilities are much similar to the duties of an insurance sales agent.
Insurance producers often deal with two of the primary types of insurance, i.e., life insurance and health insurance and their license must be acquired in the field they have opted to work in. To obtain insurance producer license, the candidate needs to complete an instruction course and qualify the examination. This follows an undergraduate program in which the producer often majors in economics, business or finance and obtain a bachelor's degree in any of these areas. After qualifying the test, a licensing fee must be paid before initiating to sell insurance. These professionals are only eligible to start their work in the state they have qualified the exam and state that have a reciprocity agreement with their home state; license must be renewed after certain duration. This demands continuing education courses every year to stay updated with the recent trends and knowledge in the industry.
What are the Job Functions?
These representatives are responsible for selling various insurance products to prospective customers. After opting for the product, the producer often takes a follow up with new clients to ensure that the required supporting certification (such as proofs of discount data and prior insurance) are provided by the client to the insurer. Here are a few typical job functions they have to perform in their routine.
Understand the Client Needs Completely
One of the most significant rules and ethical responsibilities that these experts have towards their clients is to understand the requirement of the client and learn as much as-possible about them. While it is a fact that there are certain restrictions to obtain knowledge about the customer because of the limited business relationship, insurance producers are responsible for understanding the financial state and requirement of the client and make suitable recommendations regarding financial and insurance service products. This rule is commonly applicable in different forms within the financial service industry and among various insurance companies and as a whole.
Recommending Suitable Products
Based on the acquired knowledge about the requirement of the client, producers have the responsibility to recommend the appropriate and suitable products to their clients. As per the regulation, these individuals are not allowed to recommend a product-without the best interest of the client. Any agent conducting such an act can be considered in misdemeanor of the ethical standards set by the state where they are practicing. These insurance representatives must only suggest the exchange of one annuity for another, in case if it is in the best interest of the client. Recommending insurance products just for generating commission is forbidden in both financial and insurance service recommendations.
These specialists have to maintain appropriate records of customer details so that they can always keep the customer's best interest in consideration. Every state have its own needs regarding the time duration that is required to maintain transactions and records of the clients. This will be particularly genuine in instances where the insurance producer has the authority to perform the tasks of the financial advisor who provides customers with various insurance products including entire coverage and annuities. In such type of products, a portion of the client's money is invested in different securities in conjunction with an insurance coverage.
Qualifications and Licensing
Insurance producers are trained customer service professionals who hold license to sell insurance. They are typically hired by insurance agencies and insurers. Most states ask for individuals involved in selling, business of discussing or transacting insurance to receive a state-recognized license for dealing in insurance. In addition to being licensed from a particular state, most employers demand for producers with high school diploma. After obtaining a license, these individuals are expected to complete some hours of-continuing education program on an annul basis. The number of hours is verified by legislature of each state and failure in compliance will result in the abrogation of the producer's license.
This job post has great scope for cross-training in different areas of the insurance sector. This means that once the insurance producers complete their 2 to 4 years in this industry, they become typically well versed to become underwriters, owners, claim adjusters and outside insurance sales agents.
In general terms, it can be said that insurance producer responsibilities are to assist insurance firms in selling policies and to offer follow up service to the potential customers. Selling the insurance polices involves educating the customers on various kinds of polices that will best suit their lifestyle and financial needs. Follow up service involves offering continued service to the customers based on their circumstances and needs and submitting entire paperwork. Insurance industry has good career- opportunities for insurance professionals since people are getting more concerned about insuring their life, assets and health.