Insurance agencies are normally started by insurance professionals and people with experience in financial services who want to spread their wings and become entrepreneurs. While it’s okay to get excited about starting your own insurance agency, try to stay rooted in reality. Operating an insurance business is challenging to say the very least. It takes a lot of hard work, resolve and determination to kick-start an insurance business and keep it running smoothly. If you’re thinking about how to start an insurance company, first talk to others already in the business to get an idea about the obstacles you’re likely to encounter.
The first step in deciding how to start an insurance company is assessing your own personal skills. Are you good at sales? If you’re already in insurance sales, are you reasonably successful? Do you have an interest in financial services? If you lack the go-getter attitude present in most successful insurance salespeople and have only a passing interest in finance, then perhaps this is not your cup of tea.
The next thing on your agenda should be to decide the type of insurance to deal in. You can deal in life and health insurance, auto insurance, property insurance, liability insurance etc. Auto insurance is perhaps the easiest to sell but not as lucrative as life insurance. When determining how to start a life insurance company, you have to remember that your main source of income will be commission and residuals from the policies. The higher the policy amount, the greater the commission. You might want to keep this in mind while deciding what type of insurance to specialize in.
Get a License
While you’re planning how to start your insurance company, make sure that you study the licensing laws of the state that you live in and get licensed. For this, you’ll have to pass an examination. You need a separate license for each type of insurance product you plan to sell. Also, keep abreast with the latest tax laws and others related to financial products.
Draw up a business plan enumerating the capital you need to get started, monthly expenses, projected future commissions and profits. Finance is the lifeblood of any business. So ensure that you accumulate more that what is generally required. If your business runs into rough spots during the initial stages, lack of finance will cripple you. Common sources of finance are banks, financial institutions and investors from the industry. Some of the expenses you have to provide for include advertising, commissions, salaries, professional fees, rent, taxes, conveyance, office supplies etc.
The survival of an insurance business depends on a smart advertising and marketing strategy. Hard-selling skills are the hallmark o good insurance salesman. A smart salesman never misses an opportunity. So, whether you’re at a social occasion or a formal business meet, never pass up an opening to make a good sales pitch. But avoid offending and pushing people into a corner. Ask for leads from existing customers and advertise extensively over the internet, in the yellow pages and also in your local newspaper. The bulk of your expenses will be on advertising. So be prepared.
When planning how to start an insurance company, you can recruit people to work for you on salary. Alternatively, you can network and split percentages with freelancers who send business your way. If you’re still asking yourself, “Should I start my own insurance agency? – make sure that you do a proper risk analysis, keep track of the pros and figure out ways to sail over the cons. This should get your insurance business off the ground and keep it soaring.