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: Tue Jun 02, 2009 08:52 am Post Subject:

I was wondering how much he has hurt the community.

He get people in buying the wrong products that wouldn't be useful for them. Just think how many people might have bought wrong and expensive coverage from him.

I think that though he might have benefited from this practice businesses would eventually stop coming to him and he would be left with to find alternate ways to cheat people.


Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 04:24 am Post Subject:

I think its mostly depends on his work.

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 09:26 am Post Subject:

I think its mostly depends on his work.

Not sure what you have meant by this. May be you would explain it more.

Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:17 am Post Subject:

It's amazing if you think about the impact that one person can have on their community, for better or worse! Think of all the people that were this agent's clients...Do you think they will ever trust another insurance agent? Maybe...but it will be incredibly hard to build that trust with them.

It should be the goal of each of us to be a trusted advisor and to become so with integrity and honesty! After all, if we each treated our clients as we would our family many clients would be in different products. I've personally walked out of a client's house and advised them against going with any of my products.

The fact of the matter is that there are strengths and weaknesses to each company...

If I emphasize the strengths...and downplay the weaknesses...

THIS IS DISHONEST, UNETHICAL, and happens constantly in many sales industries!

Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 01:57 am Post Subject: Insurance agents/brokers

I work for a very big private transportation firm. We do work all over NYC, NJ, CT, Long island, Up state New York too.

And because our business is 100 percent owner operated each driver has to get his own insurance with the premium being like 1.5 million to 2 million to cover each passenger.

And now, I am interested in being an insurance broker, I like the idea of being on my own, working and being a professional in the field. I do not fear being rejected. And I am not interested in selling life insurance. I can do it if needed, but thats not my focus.

Anyway, our office is right next door to an insurance office, who maintains about 75 percent of the drivers insurance. They are an insurance broker. And they don't even speak very good english. But they make great money. I know this because ive known them for years. And I never thought about doing what they did.

But one thing for sure in regards to sales and customer service I surpass these people beyond a resonable doubt. Even my dad bought insurace from there.

Now these drivers are not your regular nyc drivers, they pay top dollar for insurance. Some drivers pay up to 10,000 a year for full coverage.

Now if I was an independant broker, I know I can gain more than half of their clientel. If I had a little office with a fax machine and a PC I know for a fact I can take their business. They are really bad when it comes to customer service.

Now this is where I ask you guys the pros for help. Because I have yet to get a license. I read on state farms website that they help people become agents, but I don't know if I would have to only work for them ? I really want to do this. I am so hyped. Please let me know and what you think I need to do in order to be a licensed broker. I know you have to take a course in NY state and take a pre exam and then a real exam.

Give me a break down, much appreciated guys. I respect everyone here and wish everyone best of luck.

Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 06:46 am Post Subject:

My boyfriend of three years has began a career of being an independent health/life insurance salesman. He truly is bright and i have alot of faith in him. I do, however, have doubts about the career choice itself. I'm well aware that there are many different factors to determine the success rate of being a salesman, but wonder if ultimately its a profitable and worthwhile adventure. He also has spoken about myself getting certified and starting off by being his "secretary" but urged my license in selling because i could recieve commissions. Just curious how successful we really could be?

Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 09:05 am Post Subject:

Hi dased and confused..

See, the insurance industry is surely the biggest financial industry, and you could rest assured that being a part of it you could have a lot of opportunities coming your way!

Just curious how successful we really could be?

Now, you haven't mentioned anything about his past experiences as a salesman. Neither have you mentioned anything about your career choice. Based on your qualifications (and also past experiences if any) you'll need to decide whether you'd like to join this field.

Also, you shouldn't forget that the sales profession is about achieving figures and you shouldn't fall short of it. Keep me fed of your likings, once you've given it a thought. Steven

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:56 pm Post Subject: Insurance Recruiting Contracts

Ok so I am a independent agent and have been working with a group for the past year. I have been doing interviews to bring fresh new talent into this industry as I make a profit from there production. Upon interviewing some licensed agents I was asked if I had a recruiting contract with any companies? I was then informed that those types of contracts can yield you 100% + on sales. I would like to offer my current agents a higher commission but cant because I am maxed out myself. Of course I would not mind more commission myself but raising my current agents commission now would only help retain more agents for the long run. Is there such a thing as a recruiting contract? And what are the pros and cons? Thanks for all your help everyone!

Posted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 02:22 am Post Subject:

I earn $40-50 k per month.

But I work 60 hours a week.

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 07:49 pm Post Subject: Peak this

How much does an insurance agent makes that is just starting off

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