Am I getting a fair salary/paycheck?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:16 pm   Post subject: Am I getting a fair salary/paycheck?  

Hi everyone. Please excuse me if I miss out on any needed details or anything that would be considered common sense - I have been under a lot of stress in the past months.



Long story short (kinda):



I was a loan officer until the real estate market came to a halt - I lost quiet a bit (my condo, my car, income, etc) and was looking to get into the field of insurance...this was approx 14 months ago.



Well after about a month or so of looking around, and speaking with a recruiter - I decided to take up an offer I had from a friend of my father's to go work at her agency. Keep in mind I had no insurance background or knowledge at this point. I started off the 1st month sitting in her agency, along with 2 other employees she had, and just learning the needed material to get my P&C and Life licenses. Meanwhile I was kinda getting involved here and there, learning the basics of the job.



Well fast forward a month, and something happened here that one of the employees who handled all of her Auto, Commercial, and outside business (GL, bonds, etc) had to leave with a 2 day notice. I had 2 days to learn everything, and to get all her files organized so I know whats what.



Being a quick learner, I caught on rather quick and solved problems as they came with minimal involvement from the agent. It's been almost a year now that I'm doing the following tasks:



* Talking with auto & commercial prospects, taking information down for quoting

* Quoting the policies, and communicating with the client (going over the quote, explaining coverages, answering any questions)

* Writing the actual policy (from 1st step to last, including any photos that need to be taken of buildings for commercial, taking payments, signatures, etc)

* Servicing the clients and policies (again includes things like payments, communicating with our underwritters, providing certificates, solving problems, answering questions, canceling/adding new autos, anything you can think of)



I can go on and on with the list, but I can make it simple if I just say I do everything the agent would do, except paying the office bills and rent. She is here maybe 3 hours a week and has an income of $200,000+ yearly.



My questions: Being a licensed individual (PC and Life), and doing all the work I mentioned above from 9-6pm 5 days a week, is a salary of $2,000 a month (net) reasonable? This doesn't count any commission because there is none! Even with the $85,000 commercial policies I have written and driven for hours to take pictures of buildings - not a dollar of commission, just $30 gas!



I'm really looking to get a job in the field of insurance - however more in the corporate world. Any suggestions guys? Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:42 pm   Post subject:   

Well, with the experience you have now, perhaps you could land an agency of your own? with this company or a different one...You honestly can't expect to get a commission when you (I'm assuming) were hired more as an office assistant is that right? She didn't promise you any commission did she? I know it seems that you are doing all the work and she is rakin' it all in...but it hasn't always been this way, I'm sure she has paid her dues...You could always start looking, and see what's out there (job opportuntiy wise for your own agency)...or talk to her about a raise...





PS if you are doing all that you say (IMO) you are definately underpaid...and maybe even alittle under appreciated as well... Wink But honestly in the world of employment, is that really anything new? Rolling Eyes



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:51 pm   Post subject: Re  

I agree with you about being underpaid. I'm always the type to do more than expected, but this slipped out of my control only because I was promised the world in the beginning (including commission) then it all changed when I didn't want to take her advice on things that have *nothing* to do with her (i.e. my girlfriend, my car, not wanting to move back in with my dad, etc)...I only say that to vent. I can entertain crowds with my stories of this place, but too bad that won't get me anywhere.



I want to find me a job at a corporate type place. My girlfriend is currently working at AmWINS brokerage, but they don't have an opening. Do you guys have any ideas of recruiters who are currently being successful at finding insurance based jobs for people with licenses and experience? I rather not stay in the agency side of things...One major reason being that I'm 24 and going through a bankruptcy, so by the time my credit is back up to "good" (which I guess is required to be appointed) it's gona be years and years from now.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:37 am   Post subject:   

I can see why you would feel this is not reasonable. Do you do any of the marketing or prospecting? Or has the agent developed a system that puts the clients in front of you? If you are prospecting I would definately think that you should be getting a commission or bonus on top of your salary.



IT could be that you are being taken advantage of because you are somewhat stuck due to your bankruptcy. But, you said you are licensed, so why don't you:



- gain all the experience you can

- polish your selling skills

- learn as much about products as you can

- look for independant insurance opportunities slowly on the side (and fully disclose your bankruptcy) so you can sell and hopefully make what you deserve



- OR - contact other insurers that have nearby head offices and try to get to know HR so you can get an inside lead on future corporate opportunities



- keep your eyes open and network locally!



Good luck!



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:28 am   Post subject:   

There are about a million insurance job sites...



try greatinsurancejobs.com to start...



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:31 pm   Post subject:   

Ontario Broker - she has a clientele base that refers her business, and of course we have a lot of incoming calls from fliers and other things that Farmers does for her. She has asked us to do outgoing calls, which we have done and written policies from - but again no word of commission. Also I have taken some of my friends/family there and written their auto/home - you guessed it, no commission.



I have a good amount of selling skills from my previous job as a loan officer.



Thank you Lori for that site - I have looked at that and at other generic sites like monster.com and all I need now is a resume to send out.



Thanks again guys.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:13 pm   Post subject:   

I would need to know your location to be sure about this, but if you've really only had the job a couple of months and you're netting $2000.00 per month, that sounds like great pay for what you are describing.



That's more than $15.00 an hour before taxes.



What other job could you hope to start with no prior experience, no education and get paid $15.00 per hour with a guaranteed 40hr week?



If you are in particularly high cost of living city maybe you're a wee bit below scale but not much.



Also, as a loan officer didn't the owner of the bank (or corporate officers) make quite a bit more than you while working less hours? Why would you expect the insurance industry to be different?



Sorry to rain on your parade, but that's really how it works for agency support staff. With years of experience, maybe a designation or two, and a reputation for great service a CSR/account manager may be able to command a 40-50,000 a year salary by changing agencies.



The agent who's income you are jealous of probably lived on mac and cheese and ramen noodle for years getting established. She didn't just rent a building and start raking in $200K a year.



Best of luck to you, but keep it realistic, sounds like you've got a prime gig.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:43 pm   Post subject:   

Fishman - thanks for your input but if I may I'd like to clear a couple things up:



I live in LA County near Burbank. I started this position at $2,000 a month, which as you said was great pay. That was a year ago when I was not licensed and had 0 experience. I learned enough in this 1 year to handle ALL of her auto and commercial policies. As I mentioned, I'm writting $85,000 policies from A-Z (including picture taking, talking to the customer, writing the policy, any signatures/payments needed, dealing with underwriting...everything). Yet I get no commission.



Considering the fact that I'm licensed now for a month, and have a lot more experience, I'd imagine a commission type income would be deserved. But I guess not...



Anyhow I have plans to open my own office w my partner in about 4-6 months...meanwhile I will learn as much as possible and gather as much material and contacts as needed.



Thanks everyone.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:04 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Anyhow I have plans to open my own office w my partner in about 4-6 months...meanwhile I will learn as much as possible and gather as much material and contacts as needed.
Go get 'em Albert...set the world on fire! Good for you! SmileVery HappyVery HappyVery Happy


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:10 am   Post subject:   

well...as your stroty goes....

I really feel that you had been exploited by your employer. The amount of work you have been doing for the employer really hould pay you in high thousand dollars.

I am sorry to say and you might me little annoyed to read this but your employer had utilized you to your maximum potential and made merry out of this.But looking at the cut-throat competition today, it looks fair.



You should thank them as they paid you for the gas

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:01 am   Post subject:   

You have the skills and knowledge to go independent and start your own agency. THe biggest initial investment should be in prospecting for new clients, but being comissioned only is the best way to do it.



You not only get paid advances but comissions, and if you can build a book of business quickly you should be successful in the business.



Remeber what you are going through when you sub-contract agents under you and treat them right.



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:33 pm   Post subject:   

Have you talked to your employer to see if they would be willing to give you a percentage on top of your salary?

I would not let your credit hold you back. There are alot of insurance companies that would hire you and with a letter of explanation appoint you.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:17 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
You could always start looking, and see what's out there (job opportuntiy wise for your own agency)...or talk to her about a raise...


Thats certainly a probability..you could have a word with your employer & see if she'd consider a raise.

By saying this..I'd also like you to know that all employees in the market are not visionaries & hence don't see the fruits as the results of the extra load that their employees are bearing. They would come with the excuse that the extra-potential that you're applying are either unwanted or would be compensated at a later date! So dear, it is your call & I'd like you to play if straight when the ball is in your court. Fatman
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:43 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
She is here maybe 3 hours a week and has an income of $200,000+ yearly.


Good for her!



She didn't start off with that.



She started off by making money for other people in return for their *tutelage.



Begrudging her income and success is the fast track to your failure.



Learn how she, did it - does it, and be thankful you are working with a successful agent rather than a clueless clown or an agency where you are nothing more than warm market prospecting bait.



My 3 cents.



*tutelage:

a: instruction especially of an individual;

b: a guiding influence


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:43 am   Post subject:   

One important question: Are you just taking quote information, pushing paper and being friendly with customers? If so, you are getting paid about right. The real money is in the sale. Especially with commercial, opening the door to and closing the sale is a skillful processor. I've been in mortgage as well, and it's a tougher job than being a loan officer (especially during the boom). If you're not selling, tell her you want to learn and begin generating your own business with commission. Don't assume that wrapping things up is the important part. Prospecting is 90% of this business.

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