There are two types of insurance agents that sell an insurer's products to their customers: a captive agent or an independent agent. A captive agent sells products from only one company; an independent agent sells products from a variety of companies. The key to being a successful agent is to have considerable knowledge about the types of insurance products offered by an insurer.
Obtain an insurance license from the Department of Insurance in the state in which you intend to sell insurance. Most states will award a license to anyone who pays a fee to pass an insurance license examination.
Decide on captive agent or independent agent status. An independent agent will need to obtain a license to sell insurance from each company they want to represent. This will require requesting an application from each company and paying a licensing fee.
Advertise your agency in as many outlets that are practical. This can include placing an ad in the local newspaper, telephone book, using online sites such as Craigslist as well as word of mouth. A new insurance agency will need as much advertising as it can get.
Provide quality service to your customers. Service is one of the most important aspects of becoming a successful insurance agent. This includes hiring and training the right people to provide quality service in your agency.
Create a website for your agency—or hire someone to build one for you. A successful agent will have a website that provides all the information a potential customer needs to consider your services.
Take a pre-examination course prior to taking the insurance license examination. A pre-examination course will cover the basic areas of insurance that will appear on an examination (see Resources).