To sell life insurance, agents must be licensed in the states they sell insurance and either be employed by a life insurance company or contract with life insurance companies as independent agents. To succeed, agents must be able to generate business through cold-calling and persuasively present products to clients.
Most states require prospective life insurance agents to complete a pre-licensing course before taking the licensing exam. The life insurance exam covers insurance fundamentals and state insurance laws. It is often taken in conjunction with the health insurance license exam.
Licensed agents are either captive or independent. Captive agents work directly for an insurance company and sell that company's products exclusively. Independent agents work as brokers. They contract with various life insurance companies and match clients with the best policies for their particular needs.
To make sales and earn commissions, life insurance agents must be able to generate leads through cold-calling and networking. Most agents meet with clients in person. They sell life insurance policies to them by analyzing the clients current insurance policies, if any, and making recommendations of what level and type of coverage the client needs. The agent must be able to recommend a solution that suits the client's needs, explain the features of the policy and persuade the client to purchase the policy.