Insurance brokers help people to find insurance companies, plans, and products that meet their particular needs. Some insurance brokers may specialize in a particular type of insurance, such as life or health insurance, or they may help consumers find and purchase everything from life and health insurance to home and disability insurance. Unlike many insurance agents, brokers do not work for a single insurance company. They research companies to help their customers find the best options.
A degree is not a requirement for someone who wants to become an insurance broker. However, taking college courses that are related to the insurance field may be good preparation for the career. For example, business, finance, accounting, and marketing courses can be good preparation for work as a broker. Even communications and psychology courses may help. Additionally, some insurance brokerages prefer job candidates with degrees, and earning at least a bachelor’s degree may help a person get his foot in the door.
In many locations, a person has to obtain a broker’s license in order to become an insurance broker. In the United States, for example, a person has to obtain a license in every state in which he plans to sell insurance. Getting a license typically involves studying, obtaining training, or taking classes and then taking exams in order to become an insurance broker. In some locations, it may be possible to study on one’s own for the licensing exams while the laws of other areas may require in-classroom training. To obtain the requirements for becoming an insurance broker, a person can contact the Department of Insurance, or similar organization, in his area.
A person who wants to become an insurance broker should consider his background before seeking licensing. In some places, such as the United States, having a criminal background can prevent a person from becoming licensed. Having a felony record typically results in disqualification. A person with a misdemeanor record may or may not be approved. His financial background may be checked as well, and someone with a bad credit history or bankruptcies may have difficulty becoming licensed or may be denied altogether.
After passing the insurance broker exam, a person may consider becoming certified in a particular specialty, such as life insurance. However, certification is not mandatory. It may just make the broker more attractive to potential clients and brokerage firms. Certification requirements depend on the organization that offers it.