How much do insurance agents make?

by scottdwayne7 » Tue Nov 13, 2007 02:43 pm

Insurance agents can have a rewarding career, and more so, since nowadays individuals have recognized the need for having insurance protection. However, it's difficult to predict the exact earnings of an insurance agent. That is because, an agent's earnings depend on his client base and how much insurance coverage he can sell. Thus, the more you put your effort as an agent, the more policies you'll sell and the more will be your income.

To know how an insurance agent earns, you must be aware of their mode of work. Based on how they work, insurance agents are broadly classified into two types:

  1. Captive agents - Those who represent a particular insurance company.
  2. Independent agents - Those who sell insurance products from various insurance companies.

How much do the Captive agents earn?

Captive agents are employees of an insurance company and usually have fixed wages. The initial few months would be the training and learning phase for such an agent. Thereafter, the insurers usually set a target for each agent which has to be fulfilled within a pre-determined time period. According to his or her performance, his or her salary gets revised. There might even be a scope of earning performance bonuses, after the agent meet the target. The salary structure usually depends on a number of factors like the location, the company etc.


How much do the Independent agents earn?

The independent agents represent multiple companies. They don't get a fixed remuneration from the insurance companies. They usually receive a percentage commission from the insurer, which depends on the amount of insurance they sell. Moreover, revenue is only generated on sale of new policies. Thus, to earn more, the agents need to sell more insurance policies.


What is the range of income?

The average income of an insurance agent is around $62,970 for a year, as the May 2011 reports of the Bureau of Labor Statistics have pointed out. However, since the individual income is generally based on the commissions earned, skilled agents having a large number of clients can earn much more than the BLS mean. The yearly income of around 50 percent of the agents ranges from $33,850 to $72,490, with the experienced ones earning as high as $115,300 on an average per year or even more than that.

Employment Annual mean wage Annual median wage
$3,21,780 $62,970 $47,450

Area Names Employment Annual mean wage Annual median wage
Arizona $6,390 $51,980 $40,750
California $23,890 $75,140 $59,240
Florida $26,940 $59,420 $46,530
Kansas $4,070 $56,010 $45,130
Nevada $2,250 $51,580 $35,640
New York $18,580 $74,890 $57,180
Texas $26,490 $57,820 $40,630
Washington $5,830 $54,710 $46,770


How much can be the agent commission?

The independent agents working for the insurance companies usually earn from the commissions after each policy sale. The agent compensation is usually paid only for the initial year of a new policy. The agents selling homeowner's insurance and auto insurance receive around 10 to 15 percent commission on the first year's policy premiums. The allowed compensation depends on the insurers though, and can be as low as 8 percent or as high as 15 percent. Life insurance agents earn a lot more, typically in the first year only. They usually receive most of the premium that the policy holder pays in the first year, or even all of it at times.


Is there a scope for earning more?

Apart from the standard commissions which solely depend on each individual agent's performance, the insurance agents have the scope of earning more if the client renews the coverage. The renewals commissions typically range between 2 to 5 percent for each policy.

Along with that, any insurance companies also offer year-end bonuses and non-cash rewards like trips and prizes for the insurance agents.


Reading discussions & reading

How much do insurance agents make? Do insurance agents make good money at all ?

Total Comments: 163

Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 06:15 pm Post Subject:

Is that 265K premium dollars or gross paychecks you write yourself?

Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 07:02 pm Post Subject:

Pay checks. I have a few BIG BIG commercial accounts.

Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 06:15 am Post Subject:

I was an agent with MetLife for a little more than 4 years. When I uncovered around 400 churning cases, I objected to my supervisors, who told me to look the other way. Instead of doing as I was told, I sent the cases directly to the CA Dept of Ins. I was then terminated by MetLife for "my inability to follow simple instructions." When my wrongful termination case settled, that was changed to "left of his own free will."

A short time later, I found myself with the CA DOI for almost 3 years. I left after I testified against our glorious insurance commissioner (who was terminated).

Afterwards, I moved down the street to the office of the Attorney General. I was encouraged to do so because the backlog of cases was so large, the statutes of limitations were running out before the cases could even be opened.

The whole time I worked with the State, I did not have an active insurance license (this is not allowed).

After the Governator took office, he eliminated certain positions in order to "trim the State's budget." My position was one of those he did away with. My license was reinstated and I moved to the private sector as a PI specializing in Life Insurance Fraud. I've qualified to work under CA section PC833 and have carried a weapon while working.

In the past 15 years, I have built a huge network of lawyers, legislators, and regulatory agency personnel. I have qualified as an Expert in many cases and am allowed to write an occasional policy as long as I stay well clear of any potential conflict of interest. I have been on the seminar circuit for a number of years and have either consulted for or appeared on every major news network.

As for the money, some years are better than others. I've made MDRT 6 times (2 before going with the State and 4 after going back on my own)
Because my business is somewhat unique, I am often exposed to sales opportunities most agents don't have access to. I even have lawyers and regulatory agencies referring business to me. That doesn't necessarily make me a better agent than you or anyone else, I've just gone in a slightly different direction. In fact, I only write 5 or 6 policies each year but, so far in my insurance career, I've written two policies with annual premiums in excess of $2 million.

I have a great team of superstar agents who help me out and I steer all the business that others might deem questionable to them.

If you'll email me, I'd be happy to send you a copy of my CV.

Now you know,

Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 09:53 am Post Subject:

In fact, I only write 5 or 6 policies each year but, so far in my insurance career, I've written two policies with annual premiums in excess of $2 million

ok, sorry I've just got to ask what on earth type/kind of policy has a 2mil. a year premium? :shock: :o

Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 04:17 pm Post Subject:

Hi Lori,
The first was a $35m policy on a 74 year old woman in NY whose husband once employed Donald Trump. This story is on the front page of my website. After winning the case, her lawyer (who was also her son) suggested she do business with me. The Interest Sensitive Whole Life policy was for estate purposes.

The second was a $28m policy for a 61 year old man down in Carslbad, CA. He was one of the small group that started a company called BFI (also known as Allied Waste Industries, inc.) He bought a large Mass Mutual policy from a supposed estate planning guru who promised him that his premium would vanish in 3 - 5 years. Well, 7 years later, the premium had not only NOT vanished but actually needed to be increased. After the case settled, I re-wrote a type of UL blend policy with AmerUs (now Aviva).

Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 04:42 pm Post Subject:

cha-ching...I'm just a blue collar workin' red neck...that 'kind' of money just boggles my mind...

Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 05:11 pm Post Subject:

You know what's great about that? I've seldom seen any "red necks" who aren't honest, hard-working people, who'd give you the shirt off their backs. I got lucky; one day I got fed up with a dishonest system and stood my ground, just like you and almost any other red neck would have done. I didn't have a great deal of money or the power I neded to fight the system. I was, however, on the positive side of right versus wrong. I was standing on the railroad tracks telling old people in wheelchairs to get off the tracks, the train is coming. A bunch of sympathetic hearts and the major media jumped on it and I got my 15 minutes of fame.
Once the ball was passed to me, I ran with it. The rest is history.

Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 07:55 pm Post Subject:

"...The first was a $35m policy on a 74 year old woman in NY whose husband once employed Donald Trump.... The Interest Sensitive Whole Life policy was for estate purposes....

The second was a $28m policy for a 61 year old man down in Carslbad, CA. He was one of the small group that started a company called BFI (also known as Allied Waste Industries, inc.)..."

Like I've said on other threads:
A vote for Obama is a vote for lawyers and insurance agents!

Gee whiz, InsInvestigator, WHY would a 74 year old woman need a $35,000,000 million dollar policy? :wink:

:P I thought A. L. Williams said as you grow older and more wealthy you don't need any life insurance and especaily NOT cash value life insurance at that age??!!??!!??!!??!!??!! :evil: :twisted: :P

Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 01:58 am Post Subject:

The value of their estate was in excess of $500M and her husband was uninsurable. I was not hired to ask questions, fact find, or make suggestions, just fill out and submit an application as per the son's instructions. I didn't put much work into that one at all. One of these days, I'll get a referral or two and life will be simpler.

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