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Posted by Kara Franklin ● June 15, 2023

4 Perks of Being a Part-Time Insurance Agent


Working as a part-time insurance agent is a great option for anyone looking for a career change, an additional income stream, or a flexible schedule. Part-time agents can earn more money faster than getting a degree or going back to school, too. While previous sales experience can be helpful, becoming an insurance agent does not require any experience in the insurance industry. It is a role well suited for those willing to dedicate the time it takes to become licensed and build a successful business. 

What an Insurance Agent Does

An insurance sales agent is authorized by one or more insurance carriers to sell insurance policies to consumers – this authorization is called an “appointment.” An agent can sell any type of insurance for which they are licensed, such as life and health, property and casualty, and commercial or personal lines of insurance.

An insurance agent’s biggest responsibilities include prospecting sales and creating relationships with clients. Because these responsibilities demand strong communication skills, agents are able to match a client with the best insurance policy for their needs. After a sale is complete, agents are often the client’s point of contact for any questions, policy changes, or concerns. While an agent does not handle claims processing, they may provide their clients with direction on the process.  

There are two main types of licensed insurance agents: independent and captive. Captive agents will only be appointed by one insurance company, while independent agents can be appointed by multiple. Most part-time insurance positions will be independent insurance agents. 

The Truth About Part-Time Work

Choosing to work as a part-time agent comes with a load of benefits — more time off, more flexibility, and the potential for great pay, to name a few. Of course, these benefits are earned through dedication and consistent effort. As a part-time independent agent, you oversee your business and marketing. You’re the one that brings clients in the door, so your sales skills can make or break the game.  

Keep in mind that it may take several months before you make your first sale; so, with a commission-based income, you may not see an immediate return for your investment. This start-up period is when most agents become discouraged, even full-time agents. But don’t fret – there are a few methods to help ease this transition.

Fortunately, marketing approaches are endless these days: in-person, via social media, referrals, digital marketing, and so on. You may enter into the field with a pre-established client network, you may purchase business leads, or you may develop a strong marketing strategy to build your network as you go. Working as an insurance agent is comparable to being self-employed. Those who are self-motivated see amazing results.

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Now, here are four reasons why you should consider becoming a part-time insurance agent.

1. The Pay

Even at entry level, insurance agents have the opportunity for an uncapped salary. While part-time work may not bring in as much as full-time, the potential salary can compare to a full-time office position. ZipRecruiter, for example, reports the average pay for a part-time life insurance agent is just over $6,000/month.  

There are several types of insurance you can go into, but life insurance will offer the most financial freedom. A part-time agent can sell any type of insurance; however, life insurance is the most profitable avenue. Life insurance and annuity sales have the highest commission rates, especially during the first year. An agent’s commission is calculated using the first year’s premium payments, or the amount the client pays for the policy. The commission rates are set by the insurance carrier. For the first year, the agent is likely to receive 30-90% commission. After, the agent will receive a renewal commission of 3-10% every year that the policy remains active. Some life insurance companies have higher commission rates, but generally, initial and renewal commissions fall within this range.

For example, an agent sells a life insurance policy with a $1500 annual premium. The agent receives 80% commission, per the carrier’s commission rate. For the first year of the policy, the agent will receive $1,200 in commissions. After the first year, the carrier gives the agent 5% commission for each policy renewal. The agent will receive $75 each year as long as the policy is in place.

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While commissions may be the largest portion of an agent’s income, they also receive income through service fees, financing arrangements, and bonuses. By selling just one life insurance policy, final expense policy, or annuity contract each week, an agent is likely to receive over $50,000 in their first year as an insurance agent. That is on par with many 40-hr/week office positions. 

2. The Flexibility

Part-time agents may be hired by an insurance agency, but they may also operate as if they are self-employed. That means you can choose your own hours, work from home, and create a schedule that fits around your life. Plenty of potential clients are available, and the hours you set may determine the type of clients and policies you sell. For example, if you are a single parent with school-age children, it may make sense to set your working hours during weekdays. That means your clients will mostly be business related, or retired individuals. So, you may end up selling more Medicare policies, employer-sponsored policies, or commercial lines of insurance. Alternatively, if you are someone who works a second day job, there are plenty of people who prefer to meet during the evenings and weekends. 

There is also flexibility in location. Because so much of your work as an agent can be done virtually, you have the option to work from just about anywhere. You can use this to your advantage and work as you travel. This may require you to receive nonresident licenses if you plan to act as an insurance agent in any state other than your home state. Thankfully, this process is simple.

3. You Can Have Other Jobs

Because of the flexibility, you may use insurance sales as a supplemental income while you are working another job. Many people choose to do this as they transition from their old career to working as a full-time agent. Because an agent’s salary is heavily commission-based, this may be a more practical option.  

Having another job may also benefit your marketing strategy. Some fields naturally provide opportunities for insurance sales or referral networks, such as real estate agents and financial advisors. Your main source of income may be as a real estate agent, for example, but you can easily create a network to also sell homeowners insurance, title insurance, or mortgage protection life insurance.  

Financial advisors who hold securities licenses, on the other hand, deal with long-term investment planning, so they could also solicit retirement and annuity plans. Some life insurance policies require a securities license in addition to a life insurance license to sell, so holding both licenses creates a lot of business opportunity. Clients may prefer to work with one person for both insurance and financial services. 

You Can Provide Better Service

Many sales jobs, including captive insurance agents, must generate sales based on a quota. As an independent agent, you have control over the number of sales you make. You can turn into a policy-making machine, or you can write one policy a year. 

Because you don’t have to meet a sales quota, you can pay more attention to the client’s needs. Plus, independent agents have access to more insurance products than what’s available at many large-brand carriers. So, they can find a policy that feels customized to the client's needs instead of providing generalized policies.  

Getting Started as an Insurance Agent

With the flexibility to make your own schedule, set your own pay, and work where you want, what’s stopping you? Depending on your state, you may be required to complete prelicensing education and a state licensing exam. Check with the requirements of your state to learn more.  

Ready to start your journey to financial stability? A.D. Banker has approved prelicensing courses for every state and resources to help you pass the exam the first time. 


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