An insurance producer is a licensed salesperson working for an insurance agency. The main goal of the insurance producer is to acquire new customers and cross-sell new policies to existing customers of the agency.
In some agencies, a producer must service the policies that they have written, but this work is often completed by a customer service representative (CSR). The main intention of the producer is to sell.
In most cases, producers are licensed in both Property & Casualty Insurance and Life Insurance. Depending on how the agency is configured, they may only require one of those licenses.
The difference between an insurance producer and an insurance agent is that the agent is generally the “owner” or “principal” of the agency, and the producer is an employee of the agency.
Insurance Producer Job Description
A description of the duties performed by an insurance producer may be better summed up by examining a day in the life of a productive salesperson:
Andy is an insurance producer for the Jones Agency. He’s worked there for three years and is always in contention for top seller every month.
He and his agency principal, Sandy, have worked together to come up with realistic, yet challenging sales goals that are broken down into monthly, weekly, and daily objectives.
Andy begins his day by coming into the office and checking his email. He receives messages from clients, underwriters, and team members regarding a multitude of subjects. He also checks to see if any leads have come in overnight.
The Jones Agency has signed up for a third party service that provides online insurance leads to them. If he sees any of those in the inbox, that is the first thing he will tackle, as timeliness is of great importance when it comes to internet leads.
After he has cleared his inbox, Andy begins on his list of cross-selling opportunities. This is a list of current customers that have one type of insurance (example: auto), but not another (example: home). This is Andy’s favorite method of selling new policies, as these customers already have a relationship with the insurance company, and he can most often save them money on their premiums by adding a multi-policy discount.
Once he has spent a couple of hours on his cross-sell list, quoting policies, and updating customer profiles in the CRM (customer relationship management) program, Andy will now prepare for cold calling.
Cold calling is not Andy’s favorite part of the job, but he understands that the agency will not grow unless they bring in more customers. He gets a freshly printed list of names and numbers from Sandy and sits down at his phone for the three hours that he has allotted for this task.
Inevitably, the phone does ring from time to time, and Andy has to pause his cold-calling efforts to answer it. Luckily, the agency recently hired a CSR (customer service representative) to take care of some of the administrative phone calls, but since the CSR doesn’t have her insurance license, Andy still needs to take some of these calls to service existing policies.
During all of the activities in the day, Andy keeps a sharp eye on his email inbox. If he sees a lead come in from the lead company, he is instructed to drop everything (unless he is already talking with someone on the phone) and call them immediately. He knows that these leads are sold to multiple companies and that the first person to reach them is generally the person who gets the business.
Given all of the phone calls and other interruptions of the day, by the time Andy finishes his cold calling, it’s 4:30 in the afternoon. To finish the day, he will take one more look at his inbox to make sure there aren’t any pressing matters, then he will go to his calendar and make sure that he has scheduled follow-up calls with all of the prospects that he has spoken to today.
Now, it’s 5:00 and Andy can head home to his family, forgetting about all things insurance for the evening. He doesn’t need to loosen his tie, because he doesn’t wear one. He isn’t drenched in sweat from manual labor. Andy is a happy camper. It’s been a good day in the Jones Agency, and tomorrow will be just as good.
Requirements to Be an Insurance Producer
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You need a license to sell insurance for every state that your agency will sell in
- Different types of insurance, such as property and casualty or life and health, require different licenses
- There are no formal education requirements to get your license, but each agency and company have different hiring requirements based on their specific needs
- There will be a background check in the licensing process
Necessary Skills of an Insurance Producer
- Be a Self-Starter — No one will be looking over your shoulder to make sure that you are producing. You are responsible for your time
- Excellent Phone Communication — Much of your time will be spent on the phone with customers or prospective customers
- Excellent Written Communication — Many of your customers may choose to communicate by email instead of the phone
- Sales Skills — You can’t be bashful when it comes to insurance sales. You need to be able to ask for the sale, without being pushy
- Punctuality — If you say you will call someone at 3:00, and you call them at 3:10, you will lose the respect of your customers
- Positive Attitude — You will be working directly with the public at large. Some people are grumpy, and you have to handle yourself in a professional, positive manner
- Determination — As with all sales jobs, you will hear the word “no” a lot. You can’t become discouraged by this word
- Be an Extravert — If you have a difficult time starting conversations with people, this job may not be right for you
Insurance Producer Salary (By State)
- Commission Based
- Team-Based Commission
- Bonus Structured
- Combinations of many of the above
How the producer’s compensation is arranged is different in every situation. Some insurance companies dictate how the individual agencies will pay their employees, others make the decision on their own accord. Depending on the situation, producers may either be W-2 employees or 1099 contractors, though the latter is less common.
|State||Salary Range of Insurance Producer||Average Income Per Capita|
|Alabama||$22,000 – $39,000||$23,500|
|Alaska||$35,000 – $39,000||$33,000|
|Arizona||$24,000 – $33,000||$25,700|
|Arkansas||$31,000 – $41,000||$22,800|
|California||$24,000 – $54,000||$30,400|
|Colorado||$23,000 – $51,000||$32,300|
|Connecticut||$32,000 – $53,000||$39,300|
|Delaware||$24,000 – $26,000||$30,400|
|Florida||$32,000 – $68,000||$26,500|
|Georgia||$24,000 – $43,000||$26,600|
|Hawaii||$35,000 – $38,000||$29,700|
|Idaho||$31,000 – $34,000||$28,300|
|Illinois||$23,000 – $35,000||$30,400|
|Indiana||$24,000 – $42,000||$25,100|
|Iowa||$31,000 – $34,000||$28,300|
|Kansas||$26,000 – $39,000||$27,800|
|Kentucky||$31,000 – $65,000||$23,600|
|Louisiana||$24,000 – $40,000||$24,800|
|Maine||$28,000 – $46,000||$27,900|
|Maryland||$19,000 – $33,000||$36,300|
|Massachusetts||$33,000 – $48,000||$36,500|
|Michigan||$20,000 – $45,000||$26,600|
|Minnesota||$24,000 – $46,000||$32,600|
|Mississippi||$20,000 – $41,000||$21,000|
|Missouri||$24,000 – $42,000||$26,100|
|Montana||$25,000 – $26,000||$25,900|
|Nebraska||$30,000 – $41,000||$27,400|
|Nevada||$33,000 – $36,000||$25,700|
|New Hampshire||$33,000 – $47,000||$34,600|
|New Jersey||$20,000 – $52,000||$37,200|
|New Mexico||$20,000 – $37,000||$23,600|
|New York||$21,000 – $45,000||$33,000|
|North Carolina||$28,000 – $44,000||$25,700|
|North Dakota||No Info (National Average – $30,000)||$33,000|
|Ohio||$25,000 – $47,000||$26,900|
|Oklahoma||$24,000 – $33,000||$25,200|
|Oregon||$23,000 – $48,000||$27,600|
|Pennsylvania||$26,000 – $50,000||$29,200|
|Rhode Island||No Info (National Average – $30,000)||$30,800|
|South Carolina||$25,000 – $47,000||$24,500|
|South Dakota||No Info (National Average – $30,000)||$26,900|
|Tennessee||$24,000 – $62,000||$24,900|
|Texas||$26,000 – $49,000||$27,100|
|Utah||$20,000 – $36,000||$24,800|
|Vermont||$33,000 – $48,000||$34,000|
|Virginia||$24,000 – $41,000||$34,000|
|Washington||$22,000 – $46,000||$31,800|
|West Virginia||No Info (National Average – $30,000)||$22,700|
|Wisconsin||$29,000 – $35,000||$28,200|
|Wyoming||No Info (National Average – $30,000)||$29,600|
The information in this table is gathered from a couple of sources. Salary ranges were provided by individual members of Glassdoor.com. Income per capita figures are based on the year 2014 and gathered from this Wikipedia page.
The comparison between the salary and the average income is helpful in showing how this job type stacks up against the average job in the state. Take the information with a grain of salt, as the salaries are submitted by private individuals, and the average income per capita do not take state unemployment rates or other factors.
How to Become an Insurance Producer
There are several different paths you can take to becoming an insurance producer, we will only list a few:
- Search through insurance producer job postings, or contact local insurance agencies. Once you have found an agency that is hiring, ask them how to apply. In some situations where you have agreed upon the job with the agency before you are licensed, they may be willing to offer some financial and study assistance in the licensure process.
- Before searching for an open position, get your licenses. This method is slightly riskier, as you will be paying the fees for licensure before you are sure that there is an agency willing to hire you. The upside though, is that agents are generally more likely to hire a person who already has their license.
- If you don’t already have your license, search, and apply for a job as a CSR (Customer Service Representative). Agencies generally hire a CSR after they already have a few producers in place. This will allow you to become familiar with the industry, which will make passing your insurance exam much easier. Agency principals will generally want all of their staff to become licensed, and they may offer financial assistance for the licensure process.
Insurance Agent Job Openings
If you’re looking for new job or to start your career in insurance, find an open position on StateRequirement’s Insurance Job Board.
Insurance Agent Summary
Benefits of the Job:
- Can be a great paying job
- You are working for a small business, backed by a large company
- Excellent entry-level sales job
- No formal education requirements
- People tend to stay in these positions for a long period of time
- Low physical labor
- Highly transferable skills
Disadvantages of the Job:
- Can be stressful at times
- Not a lot of upward mobility
- Sometimes repetitive
- Low-physical movement work environment
- Must obtain an insurance license