A growing number of professionals have discovered the benefits of working from home: They can skip commutes and save money on office rent. Flexible schedules and working in casual clothes add to the charm of a work-from-home lifestyle. Best of all, many professionals find that their home offices let them enjoy higher productivity and a better work-life balance.
A career as a work-from-home insurance agent offers an excellent opportunity to make a good living helping people. Earning an insurance license, getting appointed by carriers and finding clients will require effort and investment. However, many prospective insurance agents can start earning within several weeks after deciding to get a license, which is much less time than it takes to get started in most professional careers. Even better, the industry lends itself well to digital and phone communication, so it’s a perfect choice for a home office.
Essential Tech for a Work-From-Home Insurance Office
Modern insurance agencies rely on digital technology. Even so, many people already possess most of the tech they need to work. Important tools include:
- A computer with high-speed Internet access: Agents will need a computer and connection capable of running typical apps and accessing websites for quotes, video conferencing and customer management. Since remote agents often spend a lot of time viewing their screens, consider a large, vision-friendly monitor. Most agents will want to have a laptop for mobility.
- A mobile phone with a hot spot: Remote insurance agents don’t always have to work at home, so it helps to own a reliable mobile phone to take calls, read messages and access apps. A phone with a hot spot can also keep business flowing if the Internet or power goes out.
Successful insurance agents rely on video conferencing, CRM, productivity and quoting apps. Most relatively modern and updated computers can run these services. Cloud storage can help manage risks by backing up critical data in case of a local hardware issue.
Insurance companies, managing general agents and tech firms may offer some of this software for free or at a reasonable monthly charge. Newer agents may want to pause purchases until they can research specific requirements.
Requirements for Selling Insurance From Home
Experienced insurance agents likely have almost everything they need to move from a commercial office building to a spare bedroom or kitchen table. This section offers a good overview of the requirements for a work-from-home insurance agent.
All agents must first earn a state insurance license. Different types of insurance require separate licenses. For instance, a property and casualty insurance license won’t allow an agent to market life or health insurance.
Most agents start with one license and sometimes branch into other lines later. An agent who focuses on home and car insurance may find that many clients also need help with life insurance. For example, many people think about purchasing a life insurance policy when they buy a new home, and the homeowners’ insurance agent will be among the first to know.
Most insurance agents begin with a license in their home state; however, some expand to serve other geographic areas. Many states have reciprocal agreements that expedite the process of obtaining subsequent licenses.
Some localities require a general business license to operate any business, so check out local requirements. Likewise, most neighborhoods tolerate remote workers so long as they comply with other deed restrictions. Even so, it’s an excellent idea to browse the deed restrictions or call the HOA to make sure.
Insurance Company Appointments and Insurance
After licensing, new agents need appointments from any carriers they hope to represent. This appointment means that the insurer permits the agent to market its products.
Homeowners’ insurance policies often limit or exclude business property or liability. Thus, remote agents should consider buying a business owner’s policy to cover general liability and business property. Many of these insurance companies require E&O insurance, which is typically affordable and easy to obtain.
Insurance Sales and Marketing Training
Successful insurance producers prefer to think of themselves as more than salespeople. Instead, they want clients to see them as insurance educators, problem solvers and protectors. Even so, nobody doubts the value of sales skills. Effective sales and marketing strategies provide the tools agents need to make connections with clients in the first place.
Thus, people with sales experience may enjoy an advantage. Still, many successful insurance agents left other careers, from teaching to truck driving, and developed excellent insurance sales skills.
Some practical steps to take include:
- Sales and marketing training: Many outlets, from digital classes to local community colleges, offer sales and marketing classes geared towards working professionals. These courses can also provide a great way to network.
- Insurance company classes: Insurance companies and managing general agents often offer classes dedicated to compliance, product knowledge and sales techniques.
- Practice: Find a partner and practice sales calls and presentations. If you need to practice alone, record yourself or do it in front of a mirror.
A Business and Marketing Plan
After investing in an insurance license, training, technology and other business necessities, many new agents get stuck waiting for those first customers to call or email. In particular, work-from-home insurance agents must devise a plan for attracting prospects. These plans can change, but new agency owners need to have a way to measure their progress to know what may need to change. Also, the plan can help provide a roadmap to develop daily work schedules.
Some necessary items to add to the plan include:
- Understand the target market: Consider an initial target market that’s likely to need your services. Common examples might include income and age ranges, family size, employment status or homeownership.
- High-level business goals: Set reasonable and measurable goals for the first year and devise ways to track them. Goals may include revenue or the number of policies sold. New agents may want to set modest goals, such as leads collected or appointments set.
- Marketing plan: Insurance agents must select tactics to attract their first customers. Before they can expect to sell a policy, they must let people know that the agency exists. A marketing plan might include sponsoring local events, submitting press releases, attending networking breakfasts, advertising on various media platforms, developing a website and developing social media business pages.
The Pros and Cons of Running an Insurance Agency From Home
Learning how to start selling insurance from home can open the door to a flexible, rewarding career. While building your business, you can save money and time on office space, commuting, meals and wardrobes. This extra time and money can help you grow your business faster and free up precious time for loved ones.
However, working from home only suits some. Many folks love the freedom to work for themselves, but others feel isolated. Even though at-home insurance agencies are relatively straightforward, the challenge of setting up a new agency can overwhelm inexperienced agents. The home environment may prove distracting. An insurance agent who works from home may also need to spend time troubleshooting computer or Internet problems sometimes.
Work From Home But Not Alone!
Growing an insurance agency from home offers many benefits but is also challenging. Inexperienced agents must obtain carrier appointments, attract prospects, service customers and maintain their equipment and software. At the same time, they need to hone their sales skills and develop the confidence they need to serve customers.
Renegade Insurance offers a solution that lets agents learn how to sell insurance from home with full support, including billing, customer service, company appointments, advocacy and online software. When you become an agent with Renegade Insurance, you focus on honing your sales skills and let the pros from Renegade handle the rest.