What is an insurance broker?
An insurance broker is the professional who sells insurance policies to consumers on behalf of a provider. They act as intermediaries between insurance companies for consumers to help consumers find the best possible coverage. They work independently instead of as an insurance company.
What does an insurance broker do?
Insurance brokers perform various functions for insurance providers to find policies for customers and clients. Some of their job duties include:
- Discussing insurance needs with consumers
- Developing marketing strategies and content to attract customers
- Research insurance providers to learn about available policies, coverage, and pricing
- Informing customers of all their options for insurance policies
- Negotiate with insurance underwriters to get the best value for customers
- Maintain relationships with customers and insurance providers
- Updating customers on policy changes
- Advising customers when they make an insurance claim
How to become an insurance broker in the Florida
If you live in the Florida or are planning to move and build your career as an insurance broker there, you can follow these steps:
1. Meet the education requirements
Insurance brokers must meet the minimum education requirement of having the high school diploma or GED. You can improve the career prospects by earning the bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, finance, or the related field. By pursuing the advanced education, you can become an expert in the area and acquire other qualifications that may help attract clients.
2. Learn about the types of insurance
There are many types of the insurance that you can sell as an insurance broker. It is essential to do any research before choosing the specialty. Here are the types of the insurance you can choose from:
- Accident and Health: This insurance helps cover the medical expenses like medicines and procedures.
- Homeowners: This insurance covers living spaces and items inside the home, such as appliances.
- Car: Car insurance gives you vehicle coverage, which helps in replacing them in case of the damages.
- Life: This insurance pays the certain amount to the beneficiaries in case of the death of the policyholder.
- Flood: Flood insurance is essential for people living in Florida because of the damage to property that can cause flooding.
- Professional Liability Insurance: This insurance protects professionals from the losses and damages that may occur due to mistakes in their business.
3. Determine your specialty
Generally, an insurance broker sells only one type of insurance. This helps them understand more about a kind of insurance and provide customer expertise. For example, you can specialize in health, homeowners, auto, life, flood, or professional liability insurance in Florida. When choosing a specialty, consider your interests and your market. For example, professional liability insurance may be the right specialty to pursue if you want to work with business owners.
4. Get a license
To become the insurance broker, you need an insurance license. First, apply for pre-licensing, which requires you to complete a set amount of educational hours, which may vary depending on the type of insurance you choose as a specialty. When you complete the courses, you receive a certificate and can apply for your Florida state insurance license. Visit the Florida Department of Insurance Agent and Agency Services to complete your application.
5. Agree to a background check
As part of your license application, you submit fingerprints and agree to a background check that the state conducts. This background check is for criminal history, and it may be helpful to run a background check on yourself first, so you are aware of the information available to the agency. In addition, a background check provides security to your customers, so it’s an important step.
6. Register with the government
Register with the Florida Department of the Financial Services Bureau of Licensing to officially receive your license after passing the test. You can register online and get a license ID that you can use to verify your qualifications with customers and insurance providers. To write in Florida, you must be a Florida resident, verified by your address.
7. Request an appointment with insurance providers
Before you start working with clients to find the best possible insurance, you request an appointment with the insurance providers. It registers you with as many insurance providers as you want and verifies you as an insurance agent. There is a fee for each session, but getting appointments from different insurers is helpful, so you have more options to offer clients.
How much do Florida insurance brokers earn?
The average salary for insurance brokers in Florida is $81,449 per year. Their salary depends on factors such as their expertise, the number of customers, and the commissions they collect on sales. Location is also a factor. Often where the cost of living is higher, so are the wages you can earn because insurance may cost more in these or more populated areas.
Insurance Broker Skills
Insurance brokers require technical skills such as sales and computer skills and soft skills such as communication and research. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree may help you become more proficient in specific crafts and help you be more successful in your career. Here are common skills that insurance brokers use:
The primary job of insurance brokers is to work with clients to find insurance policies that fit their needs. Therefore, you need customer service skills, such as active listening, patience, and creativity. In addition, excellent customer service can encourage customers to refer friends to your service and continue to work with you.
An insurance broker knows about the different insurance providers and their policies. The ability to research policies enables you to provide more options to customers. Research skills can also help you improve your knowledge throughout your career and stay up-to-date on all the changes in the industry that help provide more excellent expertise to consumers.
Solving the problem
Problem-solving skills are part of offering the best customer service and finding the best policy to suit the customer’s needs. These capabilities help identify and define an issue and then develop solutions to resolve the problem quickly. Then, using other insurance broker skills like research and creativity, you can create a unique solution to satisfy your customers.
Finding the best insurance policy for a customer requires thinking mathematically and logically about the customer’s finances. Financial skills, such as accounting, can help you compare policies and keep the books for your business. By earning a degree in a finance-related field, you learn many accounting and math skills you can apply on the job.
As an intermediary between the consumers and insurance companies, communication skills are essential for insurance brokers. Advanced communication skills, such as negotiation, help negotiate with insurance providers to get the best deals for customers. Communication also includes good written communication, which insurance brokers can use for correspondence to share policy details with clients.