Roles and Responsibilities of an Insurance Agent

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Roles and Responsibilities of an Insurance Agent

In an insurance industry, the insurance agent possesses multi-faceted roles to play as enlisted below:

► The insurance agent helps in promoting and selling of insurance products and services to its customers.

► Giving sound financial advisory services and customer support to the clients

► Needs to deal with not only individuals but their families and corporate businesses too.

► Needs to have good relationship including good rapport with his/her existing and prospective clients

► General awareness about the markets

► Promotion of insurance brands needs to have a carefully drawn roadmap.

► Marketing strategies needs to be drawn and re-drawn from time to time, keeping in mind the customer preferences.

► Well-planned strategies and plans needs to be chalked out.

► Public-relation (PR) building exercise should be given significant importance

► Business Development tactics needs to be pursued aggressively.

A life insurance agent in addition to the life insurance policies, can sell general insurance (non-life) policies viz. casualty insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, burglary insurance etc. In addition to the life insurance policies a life insurance agent can also be selling other financial packages like variable annuities, mutual funds and other securities. There are many avenues for opportunities as well as earning potential available for a life insurance agent and there are no limits or boundaries regarding this. The earning potential of an insurance agent may vary from one agent to another. Based on the outcome of the sales and targets achieved by an insurance agent, he or she can earn accordingly and there are no limitations or upper ceiling regarding the earning potential for an insurance agent. An insurance agent must be well aware about the market conditions to guide their customers accordingly.

If a client has asked for the best or economical insurance products and services, the insurance agent must strive hard to deliver the insurance products and services as desired by the customer, based on his/her requirements. Respecting the sentiments of the customer is an essential aspect and important, too. Using force to purchase insurance policies may not produce the desired results. Many times, it has been noticed that the customers may not be able to afford to pay the heavy premiums for certain insurance policies and may instead settle for a cheaper one that satisfies their requirements. The main goal of an insurance agent is to sell the insurance policy that is appropriate for a particular customer, based on his/her requirements. An insurance agent who is talented in marketing various insurance policies will not find it difficult to sell a term life insurance. Selling of term insurance policies is made relatively easy because of the low-term life insurance prices. But even the best or an experienced insurance agent may fumble or get tense when the clients ask regarding the investment in insurance products and services since there is no monetary value accumulated at the end of the period upon the expiry of a policy. In a tricky situation like this an insurance agent should be ready to offer a solution of miscellaneous saving schemes. An insurance agent should be taught the promotion and selling techniques regarding handling of customers who are apprehensive and are confused if they really want a policy or not, or have not yet arrived at a conclusion as to which policy should be purchased by him/her. The insurance agent should be taught the finer nuances about healthcare insurance business and the selling strategies and should be clever enough as to convert enquiries or objections into deals. The terms and conditions of these policies should be conveyed to the customer.

An insurance agentís role is primarily that of a communicator, counselor and facilitator. The prospective customer can buy the best insurance products and services for his/her varied requirements viz. life, property, health, burglary insurance from the insurance agent. As a customer, when an insurance product is being purchased, let the insurance agent know beforehand regarding his/her budgetary allocation towards insurance coverage. The insurance agent in turn will help his/her clients to get the cheapest or the best insurance product prices. If the concerned individual has selected an independent insurance agent then, then he/she can expect to get best deals on insurance products and services from across different insurance companies. The customer can discuss with his/her insurance agent insurance plan suited for him/her as per the requirements or customized based on the clientís needs. During the presentation process, the insurance agent will explain the client regarding the rates and what he/she will benefit from that particular insurance policy.

When the individual or the prospective client has decided to buy an insurance product or service from a particular insurance agent, the next step in the process is to check and make sure to have all the personal financial and investment data ready with him/her. While the agent asks for the financial data, the concerned individual should be able to furnish the details to his or her insurance agent so that the processing of the policy process can be carried out in a smooth manner. Nowadays, most insurance agents carry personal laptops that are directly connected to the insurance carriers or the insurance companies through the Internet. Because of this advancement, the prospective clients can get the instant quotes within 10 - 15 minutes.

Till recently, an insurance agent had many tasks to be carried out and completed in a prompt manner. When there was no internet facility, the insurance agents would have to fill out the application forms, submit the reports and make the payments. Thus, the insurance agents had a lot of manual work to be done and this included extensive paper-work. But now, with the internet connectivity, the tasks for insurance agents have become much easier wherein they have to switch on to their laptops and all the aforesaid mentioned tasks are completed within minutes. This not only helps the insurance agents to hasten the processing procedure, but also provide their prospective clients with the best insurance rates, as per the clientís requirements.

In return for their services, an insurance agent gets commission. The commission is taken out from insurance premiums that the customer pays to the insurance company. But always beware incase, if there is any insurance agent who is asking additional cash for the services rendered by him/her, the prospective customer should be vigilant and will have to negotiate well.

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