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How to Sell Life Insurance | Selling Life Insurance Tips | Life Insurance Sales Jobs

Updated on May 25, 2013

How to Sell Insurance

If you are looking for information on how to sell your life insurance policy as an investment, go to my article on life insurance settlement. It will give you information on selling life insurance to investors for quick cash.

Learning how to sell insurance is not very difficult to do, even though the actual doing of it can be hard work just like any other worthwhile money making endeavor. Selling insurance can be a very lucrative business and will give you the ability to work for yourself, work from home or work from an office with a team.

It's also a great way to start a general career in finance. You can go on to become a stockbroker or get additional licenses to sell other financial products.

Here are the basics of how to sell life insurance. Whether you are selling commercial insurance, home insurance or other kind of insurance, or selling life insurance, it all starts out the same way.

I've worked in various components of the selling insurance policy business from working at a worker's compensation insurance provider, being a licensed life insurance agent and even working as a prospect cold caller for a successful insurance broker. So a lot of this is based on my own experience.

Insurance Sales Agents are Valued Financial Advisors

Insurance sales agents help their clients make important decisions for their lives and families.
Insurance sales agents help their clients make important decisions for their lives and families.

Getting Started: How to Become an Insurance Agent

Group Insurance Sales

How to Sell Insurance

The insurance business allows easy access for those wanting to enter the field as well as many options to advance through continuing training and licensing. In addition, being an insurances sales agent can be a very lucrative and financially rewarding career once you learn how to sell insurance.

In addition, it's a growing industry where you can make money for years to come. There are even new advancements like life insurance settlement that may make your ventures in this industry that much more productive and fruitful.

Selling Insurance Income

In May 2008 the median annual wages of wage and salary insurance sales agents were $45,430. The middle 50 percent earned an annual income of $33,070 - $68,730.

The bottom 10% had an income of $26,120 or less, while the highest 10% earned more than $113,930.

The median annual income for insurance sales agents who worked directly for insurance carriers were $48,150. Those who worked for agencies, brokerages and other insurance related businesses made a median annual income of $44,450.

Once you learn how to sell insurance, many jobs are commission only, especially for entry-level agents. Some are salary plus commission, but usually heavily dependent on commissions by nature. Because of the competitive nature of this industry, usually the commission structure is very generous.

Benefits of Insurance Sales

Insurance allows many people to work for themselves and those who are good at it make pretty good money. Selling insurance affords you the ability to have your own business.

You can choose to just focus in on a specific type of insurance policy like life insurance, as many people do, and other decide to provide the full gambit of insurance from life insurance to worker's compensation to auto insurance.

The great thing about wanting to sell insurance policies is that you can, just like any business, begin with a bread and butter line, like life insurance, and slowly expand your line of insurance products, thereby levering the relationships and customers you already have in your book of insurance business.

Professional insurance agents are viewed more as financial advisers than salesmen. They help people hedge against risk exposure, just like a hedge fund financial adviser helps businesses hedge against risk buy selling commodity futures. Speaking of which, many insurance agents also sell financial products like stock, bonds, commodities, annuities, retirement plans in addition to selling insurance policies.

Another advantage to selling insurance policies is that you can start part time. Even if you have a full time job, you can start in the evenings scheduling appointments and meeting with people. Insurance is a good low risk way to get into the selling or get into the insurance business.

Sell Insurance Policy - Getting Your License

The first thing you will need to do is to get your license to sell insurance. Getting your license in certain insurance products is more difficult than others. I always advise people to start with their life insurance agent license because it tends to be the easiest to get, and you get to also sell some financial products like annuities in addition to selling life insurance.

On top of life insurance, you can pursue other insurance licenses and add to your business. Each state has it's own requirements for attaining a life insurance license so be sure to look up what the requirements are in your own state.

Life insurance classes tend to be only a week long if you go everyday. Mine took 5 days, 8 hours each day and it cost me just a couple of hundred bucks. Not much start up cost involved.

Sell Insurance Policy - Shop for Insurance, Find a Mentor

The next step is to shop around for insurance. Start out by getting life insurance quotes from various sources.  Why? Because you will need industry contacts. Don't go it alone. Just because you take an insurance class doesn't mean you know how to sell insurance.

Secondly, and maybe more importantly, you need a few insurance carriers to sell insurance for. Basically, you need something to sell. If you don't know anyone already who sells insurance, start shopping around for insurance policies.

Start shopping for life insurance and get some. It's not very expensive if you're young and starting out in life, and it will give you the opportunity to talk to a number of life insurance agents who are doing what you want to do. And chances are, many of them are looking to recruit life insurance agents for their own business.

Many insurance brokerages and agencies are set up so the owner of the company gets a cut of all the business the agents below him get. Seems unfair? Not really. Because these owners will not only help you get set up so you don't have to go looking for your own insurance carriers, but they will also give you very valuable mentoring and advice.

They will save you years of learning it the hard way. And in the end, if you sell insurance by yourself, you may never learn crucial lessons.

Look for an insurance agent or insurance broker who is experienced, seasoned and successful. Let him sell you on why you should work for his company. Then pick the best one. And, oh yeah, actually buy an insurance policy from him.

Also, pick an insurance agent who has multiple lines of insurance policies or financial products. Then, if you want to eventually expand into other lines, you have someone who has gone before you. Many of these areas will need it's own training and license.

A Sales Career

Selling life insurance is just like any other sales job. It requires hard work, diligence, perseverance, organization and ongoing education, training and professional development. But it has a very low barrier to entrance.

Just like any other sales job, you have to contact prospects and sell to them. Once you have insurance leads, you will have to do some cold calling or networking.

That means if you have the willingness and the desire, you can not only get a job in this business, but also be successful at it. When you know how to sell insurance, you can do it in any product line.

Not only that, many sales careers have started with selling insurance. Because it has a low barrier to entry, many people right out of school choose to go into this to start their sales careers. And sales in many industries and companies are the path to executive positions.

For example, many bank presidents and vice presidents have at one time or another been in loan officers or client relationship managers, both of which are essentially sales. Many even retail companies have executives that started out in the sales department.

Selling insurance can be and has been the entry point for many successful business people. And again, learning how to sell insurance is something that is easy to do.

Other Money Making Hubs

Here are some other money making hubs that I have written. Some are about insurance, some are about investing and others are about trading.

Since we're talking insurance, I wrote one about the reinsurance industry. Reinsurance is really known as the insurers insurance and they provide coverage for carriers. Everyone needs insurance, including insurance companies.

Also, here are some investing hubs. The first one is about ETFs, or otherwise known as exchange traded funds. In particular, it's about natural gas ETF funds and how you can make money investing in green energy.

If you are looking for more basics on stocks, you can read stock market for beginners. It's a guide for those who are new to investing. The stock market is a pretty good place to start.

You may be interested in a more unconventional method of investing. If you are interested in real estate, you can go to investment properties to find out how you can buy foreclosed homes at auction. It's still a great time to buy and invest in this business.


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    • profile image

      david braswell 3 years ago

      i want to sell my life i am in need money now i am 69 years old and live in a sener citisen commemty do not have enough to live i have sever heart trouble

    • Excaliber4u profile image

      Elizar Caraecle 3 years ago from Metro Manila

      Great Article to talk about something that is not shared much in the business world. I learned a lot when it comes to selling insurances of any kind.

      As an Australian, car insurance is tricky because of the many factors that can affect the price. Maybe I should focus on the things you have said here for not be baited by sales talk.

      You can purchase New South Wales Insurance Here:

    • profile image

      Gulf Coast Educators Insurance 4 years ago

      As an insurance agent in Southwest Florida (www.gulfcoasteducatorsinsurance) I find it a challenge to sometimes overcome people's negative feelings on life insurance. So many people I talk with don't think they need it. I don't know they feel this way, maybe they think they are invincible and nothing will ever happen. What is so interesting are the new parents or those "parents to be" their attitude towards life insurance is really passive. I don't know if it's this new generation of younger people but it can be challenging to convince new parents that yes indeed they do need life insurance. As an agent yes you can make descent money selling life insurance I believe but what I enjoy most is educating consumers about life insurance and what it can do for them/their family should they need it. I hope that new life insurance agents don't get discouraged when trying to sell to consumers who don't believe in it.

    • profile image

      adebisi daniel 4 years ago

      i really appreciate your write up thanks.i am very new in this business pls i need a mentor who can help me out.thanks

    • profile image

      lady 4 years ago

      You did a great article. It is very Informative and it can encourage a lot of people because of you. Thanks for sharing a lot of information to us. I’m looking forward for your next article. You can also visit Philippine Prudential to learn more about insurance.

    • profile image

      Cishemant 5 years ago

      I am glad to find the resourceful article on selling life insurance policies, I believe with the changes in online shopping the online life insurance is becoming more common than the traditional way of buying life insurance. I have come across a great site on selling life insurance quotes check it out:

    • profile image

      Marianne Falleri 5 years ago

      I am a new agent, actually still training. This was a great article. I love the idea of being an adviser rather than a salesperson.

    • profile image

      Elsa Omondi 5 years ago

      Thank you for this article. Am just two months in selling insurance products and its challenging but I know after reading and searching, I will make the six figure commission with time.

    • profile image

      sukumar 5 years ago

      its very good to know about this and i grabbed lots of information i upgraded my self and made my knowledge appreciated to this

    • profile image

      YATIN THAREJA 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing detailed knowledge of Insurance. I have applied for life insurance agency and soon i will be an agent. Your experiences gonna help me...

    • profile image

      Oyewole Felix. 6 years ago

      Thanks for your encouragement.Am an insurance sales agent,just in my second year of experience.With your write up am highly delighted to learned more from you.

    • profile image

      Mr Younis 6 years ago

      i am in this life insurance since last 04 yrs, but i am not updated from worlds successful tips,.

      so now i am updated

      Wow... really appreciated for these high value insurance selling tips. Thanks.

    • profile image

      alphonce2008 6 years ago

      Great article,am just a starter in Insurance and financial consultant business but have liked the information shared and the comments of the readers.


    • profile image

      Nityanand chandavikar 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for this article.I hope this will very useful for my career.

    • profile image

      Carlos Santana 6 years ago

      re: Rodney Rodreguez's comments.

      He wrote a 5 paragraph comment that said nothing specific.

      I found the hubs advice to have mentor who is personally successful to be an essential tip.

      You need someone to show you the ropes and hold your hand and keep you in the game

      until you are successful yourself.

    • profile image

      Rodney Rodriquez 6 years ago

      With every little thing which seems to be developing inside this specific subject matter, your opinions are generally rather stimulating. Even so, I appologize, because I do not subscribe to your whole plan, all be it exciting none the less. It seems to everyone that your comments are generally not totally justified and in fact you are your self not wholly certain of the argument. In any event I did appreciate reading through it.

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      Throughout this great scheme of things you actually get an A+ for effort and hard work. Exactly where you actually lost us was in your details. You know, people say, details make or break the argument.. And that could not be much more accurate in this article. Having said that, permit me inform you exactly what did deliver the results. Your writing is actually rather persuasive and this is probably why I am taking an effort to opine. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, despite the fact that I can easily notice the jumps in reason you make, I am not really certain of just how you seem to connect your details which inturn help to make the actual conclusion. For the moment I will, no doubt subscribe to your position but hope in the foreseeable future you connect the facts better.

    • topwords profile image

      topwords 6 years ago

      Nice write up not only strengthen the insurance industry. But are selling. Insurance, it makes sense, but also sell it. Love your articles.

    • easyspeak profile image

      easyspeak 7 years ago from Vancouver

      Well Ron, now we have what was lacking! Thanks! And I whole-heartily agree!

    • profile image

      Ron Mozzone 7 years ago

      I am very impressed with the nice array of comments generated by the readers of this hub. The author is to be congratulated for sharing his in-depth experience in the insurance industry with others.

      I have been interested in succeeding in the insurance business for years and have had experience with multiple carriers, first as a captive agent, and now associated with different carriers as an independent agent.

      The only thing I found lacking with the very valuable information presented here is the deemphasis on the information processing capabilities available to us with the use of the computer in an information age.

      Many agents today are using computer technology in their insurance businesses. While it is nice to meet people face-to-face,and sometimes essential to do so, let us not lose sight of the fact that insurance can be sold over the phone, with email, computer and a fax machine. No need to always drive fifty miles to a prospect's home, especially with gas prices being what they are.

      Many insurance carriers offer software downloads so that you can send quotes, product brochures, and illustrations to your prospects via email. Then, follow up your emailings with phone calls. Also, the initial contact can be made be telephone using a good lead referral service.

      I recommend the National Alliance of Agents (NAA) and as good places to start.

    • easyspeak profile image

      easyspeak 7 years ago from Vancouver

      no, you don't need a four college degree to sell life insurance. that's one of the great things about it. very low entry barriers.

    • easyspeak profile image

      easyspeak 7 years ago from Vancouver

      sometimes you can go straight to the carriers and find out what requirements you need to meet to become one of their agents. as long as you have the appropriate licensing, you can get set up to sell for most carriers.

    • profile image

      KLW-agent 7 years ago

      I found the article very informing - but I have searched everywhere and I need information from a seasoned agent. I would like to become an independent agent and I do not know how or who to contact to get started. Please help. I have been an agent for 2 years and I would like to give my clients more product options.

    • profile image

      Life Insurance 7 years ago

      Is it beneficial to attend a college and receive a 4-year degree in order to sell life insurance?

    • profile image

      Susan Rose 7 years ago

      TY fornyour info. Another good tip is to have a site that quotes online with applications. A good one is

    • profile image

      New Agent 7 years ago

      Thanks for the article this has motivated me to hang in there!

    • profile image

      Alex 7 years ago

      Thankyou very much for this article. It helped.

    • topwords profile image

      topwords 7 years ago

      Really good hub thank you.

    • DrewberryIP profile image

      DrewberryIP 7 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Really good hub, very well set out with great content. So many aspect of the sales side are so true!

    • profile image

      Anirban 7 years ago

      Plz write something about grooming team member,luv ur article.

    • easyspeak profile image

      easyspeak 7 years ago from Vancouver

      I agree, find a mentor who is already successful, not just your buddy. That will do 2 things. It will keep you from quitting before your 10th time and it will give you confidence that someone who has gone before has confidence in you enough to mentor you.

    • profile image 7 years ago

      Great article. After 10 years in the business there are 2 pieces of advise that I would give to any new agent. Get yourself a mentor (you cant do it with out one). And the 2nd point can be applied to any business. You are going to want to quit 10 times and by that I mean really want to quit. After the 10th time you will find that you have made it. You know have a career and you should be doing pretty well after that 10th time.

    • profile image

      champion 7 years ago

      sab nautanki hai....

    • easyspeak profile image

      easyspeak 7 years ago from Vancouver

      I agree. Consultative selling takes more time but in the long run you get better sales and more referrals.

    • DrewberryMortgage profile image

      DrewberryMortgage 7 years ago from London

      I would say that the first thing to do is make sure you know your products well, including the ins and outs of each plan. In terms of selling, I prefer the consultative approach as nobody likes to be 'sold to'.

    • profile image

      Vijay 7 years ago

      Indeed very helpful. Selling life insurance is motivating and demotivating at the same time.So insurance agents have to plan their work and work their plan.

    • profile image

      Insurance 7 years ago

      Wow... really appreciated for these high value insurance selling tips. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Krithi Harani 7 years ago

      Thanks you for the information especially on sales.

    • thebeacon profile image

      thebeacon 7 years ago from Santa Rosa, California

      When I first started selling insurance I started with captive insurance agency they have taught me a lot. I have heard of NAA before. Now I am independent insurance broker. If I did not started out working for someone else I would have never made it in the insurance industry.

    • easyspeak profile image

      easyspeak 7 years ago from Vancouver

      I agree. Insurance, whether it's life, health, etc. really does help people in times of urgent need. These are valuable products that protect families and individuals. Insurance reps should see themselves as advisers in helping them get the right kind of insurance and financial products.

    • insurancebiz profile image

      insurancebiz 7 years ago from Denver

      "As someone who is just considering entering this field as a profession, i also found the statement about differentiating between the types of insurance sales people excellent. I know how i will run my business; with ethics, professionalism and a sincere desire to help people. Thanks for your insights. "

      Probably the most important lesson for new agents, the money comes when a passion for helping people shines through! Too many new agents are fixated on the $$$.

    • profile image

      denise mc 7 years ago

      As someone who is just considering entering this field as a profession, i also found the statement about differentiating between the types of insurance sales people excellent. I know how i will run my business; with ethics, professionalism and a sincere desire to help people. Thanks for your insights.

    • subhashlaxmin profile image

      subhashlaxmin 8 years ago from Chhattisgarh India

      nice hub and very important information about insurance

    • easyspeak profile image

      easyspeak 8 years ago from Vancouver

      Thanks for your comment compareinsurance. For sure, this is a great gateway opportunity for someone who has aspirations to become a financial and investment advisor.

    • compareinsurance profile image

      compareinsurance 8 years ago from San Diego, CA

      This comment you made:

      "Professional insurance agents are viewed more as financial advisers than salesmen. They help people hedge against risk exposure, just like a hedge fund financial adviser helps business hedge against risk buy selling commodity futures."

      Hit the nail on the head and I believe a major difference between those who make it and those who don't. Thanks for the article.


    • profile image

      sam 8 years ago

      Nice write up, insurance industry enriches not only the sales force but also the policyholders it makes sense selling it. Love your article.


    • Insurance Menthor profile image

      Insurance Menthor 8 years ago

      Very good article. By having a good and successful menthor when I was in the business, helped me pave my road to success.Have a great day..Ted