Putting a Premium on Working From Home

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Individuals who work from home do so in a wide variety of fields, among which is the lucrative insurance business.

Insurance agents sell a variety of types of insurance plans to customers. They both help existing customers and seek out new customers. The average annual salary in 2012 for insurance agents was $63,400, according to the BLS. Top insurance agents can make well over six figures.

Insurance brokers, on the other hand, are often thought of as a “super-agent.” They typically work independently and sell a variety of insurance plans from different companies.

The article “Difference between health insurance agents and brokers” states that a broker can be a BlueCross Agent, Aetna agent and United Healthcare agent, for example, whereas an insurance agent can choose to only work for and sell one insurance company’s plans if they wish.

Both agents and brokers, though, have the ability to work from home if desired.

Start with the Licensing

To start an at-home internet business as an insurance agent, you need to make sure you’ve obtained the appropriate licenses for the types of products you wish to sell. Once you’re licensed to sell insurance in your state, you can begin your journey of working from home.

Among the things to look at:

• Set up an office – If you’re going to work from home, you need a space designated to your work and your work only. No television, no kids running around, no distractions. Keep it simple and make it a space you will enjoy going to each day. Your home office can also be used as a tax write-off when you go to file your taxes.

• Gain customers – Gaining customers is going to be the most difficult part of getting your insurance company up and running. Develop a website, use social media actively and network as much as you can. Attend networking meetings, insurance seminars and continue to go out of your way to meet people and build relationships. Most of your actual work will be handled online or via the phone, but a great way to meet people is the old fashioned way of getting out of the house!

Tip: For social media, develop professional pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus at the very minimum. Social media is now the world’s greatest networking tool.

• Stay educated – Those that work in an office have one major advantage over those who work from home. They can learn new selling techniques from each other, learn about new products and more easily stay in the insurance loop than those that work from home. If you do choose to work from home as an insurance agent, make sure you stay involved with other agents, attend insurance seminars and stay up-to-date on the various products and policies.

Starting an at-home business as an insurance agent or broker will be challenging, but once your business is up and running and you’ve developed a good amount of leads and networks, the job will get better and easier.
For experienced agents, most of their leads are referrals – which we all know is the best type of lead (it’s free and easier to sell).

Photo credit: Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including working from home, insurance and social media.

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