Are you “stuck in a rut?” Finding a new career, adding services to an existing career, or just advancing inside of the career you are already in can be a challenge many people face. And, the many changes to the economy over the last several years may have forced many to learn new skills and look into new occupations. Perhaps it is a good time to research what it takes to get your New York Property and Casualty insurance license. It might be time to become a Property and Casualty Agent.
Why Property and Casualty?
Insurance agents, Property and Casualty included, are licensed finance professionals responsible for selling insurance policies to individuals, families and businesses. Property and Casualty insurance helps consumers manage risk and provide financial safeguards for property (car, home, jewelry) and casualty (legal liability) against possible damage in the future. However, the plethora of insurance products available can be confusing and overwhelming for most people. As an agent, you are advising people on how best to protect their valuable assets, ultimately giving them some peace of mind against future uncertainty.
5 Points About Becoming An Insurance Agent
- Even though you only need a high school diploma to obtain your Property and Casualty license, college graduates who have sales ability, excellent customer service skills, strong verbal and written communication proficiency, and expertise in a range of insurance and financial services products are likely to have the best prospects.
- The Property and Casualty license allows you to sell homeowners, auto, liability and commercial insurance products.
- According to United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for insurance sales agents was $63,610 in May 2013.
- According to US News and World Report, the job outlook is better than that of the overall job market, with an expected increase in employment of about 10.4 percent between 2012 and 2022 (corresponding to 45,900 jobs).
- An insurance AGENT represents an insurance company(ies) and sells insurance for whichever company(ies) have appointed that agent. An insurance BROKER represents the public and can sell insurance for any insurance company licensed in New York State which deals with brokers. A PRODUCER is defined as any person required to be licensed to sell, solicit or negotiate insurance. A producer can be an Agent, Broker, Adjuster, Consultant, Reinsurance Intermediary or Excess Lines Broker.
What do Property and Casualty Agents Do?
Some job responsibilities include:
- Analyze clients’ current insurance policies and advise them for necessary changes, additions or updates
- Customize insurance policies to best suit the customers’ needs and covering a variety of risks
- Educate and advise customers about various insurance options and the benefits of the plans
- Collect, input and maintain proper and updated insurance records about each client
- Assist clients in settling claims
What Is Required to Become a Property And Casualty Agent?
Insurance agents must be licensed to practice in the state they choose to sell insurance. Each state has its own insurance licensing requirements. In New York, you must be a minimum of 18 years of age, submit a criminal background check, and not be in arrears for child support. To begin, you must fulfill a 90¬hour minimum classroom pre-licensing requirements at a state-accredited educational facility. Once completed, you submit an application to the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), the division of the New York State government that oversees insurance agent licensing.
Then, you must successfully pass the exam prescribed by the Superintendent of Insurance and also possess an approved appointment from a sponsoring insurance company before you are granted your Property and Casualty insurance license.
So, are you ready to become a Property and Casualty Agent?
Please contact REEDC for questions about our Property & Casualty Insurance courses. Also, check out our Insurance Career Overview page for more information about licensing, packages, schedules and resources, or speak with a career adviser at 1¬800¬547-6020.