Thinking of joining the insurance industry? Great idea! We think it’s a rewarding career path to pursue.
If you’re still on the fence, we’ll help you weigh the practical pros and cons of the field so you can make an informed decision. Let’s get started!
Freedom to Choose
One great thing about the insurance industry is that once you’re a licensed health and life agent, you have the freedom to decide what type of products you want to sell. We find the Medicare market to be stable, with big growth opportunity, but there’s also life insurance, cancer insurance, final expense, or other products to choose from.
A few years ago, we expanded into the under-65 health industry. We have dozens of top-quality carriers to choose from and we’re always adding more. With a dedicated staff, we can help you answer any questions you may have.
We find the Medicare market to be stable, with big growth opportunity.
If you want to become an independent agent, you can choose the carriers whose products you want to sell. This is a great way to diversify your portfolio since insurance plans are not “one size fits all.” Your clients will appreciate the multitude of plan options you can offer them. Plus, independent agents can partner with top field marketing organizations (FMOS), like Ritter Insurance Marketing, to help them thrive in the field.
Lucky for you, people need insurance plans, specifically to afford rising health care costs. More individuals are aging into the Medicare-eligible generation every day, and as for those not quite there yet, more individuals are qualifying for an affordable health insurance plan with enhanced Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies through 2025.
Even in a polarized political climate, the long-term prospect of private life and ancillary insurance sales is still high. In our opinion, it doesn’t hurt that insurance is a lucrative business. You can gain commissions on the plans that you sell, so it’s entirely up to you how much you want to hustle. You can also make more money with consistent renewals, so it pays in the long run to have loyal clients. You don’t even need a college degree to get started — you just have to be willing to put in the effort.
Typically, insurance agents do not sit at a desk all day long. Your schedule will likely involve meetings and appointments with clients to help them find the right plan. The beauty in this is that you get to choose your own schedule and don’t have to stay in one place. If you want Mondays off, don’t schedule any appointments that day. Want to be in the office in the morning, out in the field in the afternoon, and done at 5PM so you can spend time with your family? That’s totally up to you!
If you want Mondays off, don’t schedule any appointments that day.
Great insurance agents work with the schedules of their clients and adjust their own schedules to fit their clients’ needs. We think you’ll be able to find a happy medium between being available to work with clients and having control over your own schedule.
It’s great to reap the benefits of your own efforts, like seeing your business grow, cashing your commission checks, and so on. But there are also pros to selling health insurance that you may witness, but not experience yourself. Older individuals may benefit from Medicare coverage, and by setting them up with a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan, for example, you could be saving your clients thousands of dollars a year. Those who age into Medicare often live on a fixed income, and you may find easing some of their financial stress extremely fulfilling.
Older individuals are not the only ones to benefit from having access to health insurance through an independent agent, like yourself. Those who struggle to find an affordable health plan are another group that you could lend your services to in order to see a great reward. It’s estimated that 16 million individuals are enrolled in an ACA health plan. These individuals are now covered by quality health care plans which you can be of great help with! Knowing that you were able to help guide individuals towards quality health coverage is a great benefit of selling insurance.
Training & Assistance
If you’re nervous about starting a new career, you can rest assured there are plenty of training resources and even partnership opportunities designed to help you! We’ve already mentioned that you can elect to work with FMOs like us. Good FMOs provide training opportunities, such as general and carrier-specific webinars, in-person events, blog posts like this, guides, eBooks, and videos, and seek to maximize your success. There are also professional organizations, like AHIP and NABIP, that can connect you with like-minded individuals and additional professional development opportunities. Though you’re working for yourself, you certainly don’t have to go it by yourself!
While the insurance industry is stable and the income is lucrative, it can sometimes be hard to plan ahead and know where your next paycheck will come from, since your income may be solely based on sales made. To succeed in this field, you must be a go-getter. If you’re not driven or don’t push yourself to succeed, your income will reflect that. That being said, insurance agents who work hard, are constantly staying up to date with the market, and are making an effort to gain loyal clients will be extremely successful in this industry.
FMOs like Ritter Insurance Marketing can supply you with the resources you need to be successful, like dedicated team members, training opportunities, and your very own website to quote and enroll clients in plans.
If you decide to get started in insurance sales, we highly recommend that you’re a people person. The majority of this job involves dealing with clients, so if you don’t like working with people, this might not be the career path for you.
To gain clients, you will most likely need to make cold calls. If this stresses you out, it’s something to consider before pursuing a career in the insurance industry. Does knocking on someone’s front door give you anxiety? Maybe rethink becoming an agent. We’ve assembled a blog post about why it’s so important to connect with your clients — check it out for tips!
If you decide to get started in insurance sales, we highly recommend that you’re a people person.
You will also always have to take your clients’ requests into consideration, as the basis of this job is finding them a plan that fits their needs. This will require time and effort on your part, but you can use Ritter’s Medicare Quote Engine or your own consumer-facing Shop & Enroll site to narrow down your options.
Limited Paid Time Off
As an independent insurance agent, you are basically your own boss. You have the freedom to decide how you want to run your business. On the flip side of that, however, you won’t be given paid time off or sick days.
The same goes for holidays. You most likely won’t be meeting with any clients on Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July, but you won’t get paid for those days either. We don’t think this is a deal breaker by any means, but it’s something to be aware of as you begin your journey.
Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons?
While we offer some pros and cons to selling health insurance as an independent agent, we think that this career can be extremely rewarding for many. As with any major career shift, however, you will have to decide if the pros outweigh the cons for yourself.
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Any business is going to have pros and cons. It’s up to you to weigh them and decide if your personality fits the mold of a successful agent. Start a conversation with Ritter today, and we’ll help answer your questions with tips, guidance, and support! Already made up your mind? Register with Ritter for free and begin your journey to owning your own insurance business.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in October 2019. It has been updated to include relevant information to the 2024 Annual and Open Enrollment Periods.