All Insurance is not the same – neither are those that sell it
Insurance is a word we are all familiar with, and most of us have some form of insurance. There is auto insurance, home insurance, renter’s insurance, life insurance, and of course, health insurance. When we buy auto or home insurance we all pretty much know who our insurance company is and maybe even who the agent is. So, why not just phone our auto insurance company and get our life and health insurance? Is something different about a broker of health and life insurance?
If you have ever been in a car wreck, even a small one, you deal with all kinds of paperwork and people. There are claims adjusters, estimates, more estimates, some other insurance employees – and then you can get your car fixed. Now, think about when you or a loved one gets sick or injured. Generally you find a doctor who accepts your insurance. Then you want the best care you can get because you only get one body and one life. You have a co-pay when you visit the doctor. Then, you have a co-pay at the pharmacy. Some things are covered and others are not.
A broker of health and life insurance is different
Looking back at these two different types of insurance, it’s easy to see they have completely different things going on. To be an agent or broker who is an expert in all types of industry would be very difficult. Most agents, you will see as you begin your career, choose one or the other to specialize in. As they become a broker, they may choose more because they can have agents working for them to specialize in these fields. Now, are you thinking, “what’s the difference between an agent and a broker?” Let’s just talk about brokers because almost anyone can become an agent but becoming a broker is quite different. To begin, just think of agents as corporations and brokers as your personal representative. That description isn’t 100% accurate but it will do for an introduction.
Brokers are like a friend who knows where to get the good stuff. They don’t work for just one insurance company. This means they can listen to what you really need and find the best deal on the best coverage, because they can shop around for you. Once you have a good broker, you will find you go to them for most of your insurance needs. If you become a broker, you may find yourself doing things like reviewing policies for your clients and helping them save money as newer insurance products come out.
Is there Opportunity?
Here are some facts about independent insurance agents in the US from the Bureau of Labor:
- 2012 Median Pay: $48,150 per year/$23.15 per hour
- Entry-Level Education High: school diploma or equivalent
- Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
- On-the-job Training: Moderate-term on-the-job training
- Number of Jobs, 2012: 443,400
- Job Outlook, 2012-22: 10% (As fast as average)
- Employment Change, 2012-22: 45,900
In New York, as with any state, there are separate licenses for agents and brokers. Within those licenses are also choices about which type of insurance you want to sell. You can see a full list of the types of licenses at the Department of Financial Services website here. When applying to become a broker of health and life insurance in New York, there is a fairly detailed application process. Before you get approved to be a broker you have to meet some requirements (some may not apply to you individually):
- Original passed score report for life/accident & health exam taken within 2 years
- Proof of accumulation of Continuing Education credits if such proof was required
- Must be currently licensed and in compliance in your declared home state
- Proof of required filing of a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or trade name
How to become a broker of health and life insurance?
The education is the part REEDC can help with. Nobody gets a license without completing insurance broker training. The training is convenient to everyone in the Boroughs. Classes are scheduled regularly at times to fit many different schedules. During the class, you will learn a lot of important stuff about Accident, Life and Health Insurance brokering such as:
- Basics of Life & Health Insurance
- Types of available Insurance and Insurance concepts
- Accident & Health Insurance Fundamentals
- Disability Income
- Accidental Death & Dismemberment
- Medicare/Medicare Supplement
- Long-term Care
- Other Insurance Concepts
Now you can see there are a lot of moving parts to being a broker of health and life insurance. That means there is a lot of learning to be done, but the result is a good job in a great career field. To learn more about becoming a broker of health and life insurance or more about REEDC’s Insurance Licensing courses, continuing education information, and New York State licensing requirements, please contact a career adviser at 800-547-6020 or visit our overview page to find out more about the program, scheduling, and other useful links and resources. Your REEDC contact can answer all of your questions about becoming a broker of health and life insurance (or other insurance for that matter). We can also help you sign up for the next class convenient to you.