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Insurance Agent as a Career? Young Job Seekers Might Be Surprised.

  (June 11, 2018)

SAN DIEGO, June 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Not a lot of young people talk about a career as an insurance agent. Yet the ones that do choose this path are well paid and happy with their career choice.

What Young Agents Earn

More than 68 percent say their compensation is fair.  Eighty-seven percent are optimistic about their careers. And almost 80 percent would recommend their career to others.



That's according to Insurance Journal's annual Insurance Agency Salary Survey, which collects data on agency compensation for all positions and years of service, and its Young Agents Survey, which asks agents under the age of 40 for their opinions on the industry, the agencies where they work and their careers as independent agents.

"The surveys provide a candid look into the world of agents, a world that isn't often appreciated by young job seekers," says Andrea Wells, editor-in chief of Insurance Journal magazine, which publishes the two reports every year.

With just three to five years of experience, insurance agency managers/owners are paid more than $90,000 on average, while sales producers earn close to $70,000.

More than 40 percent of all insurance agents under age 40 earn above $75,000.

Benefits including group health, annual bonuses and 401(k)s are competitive as well. Eighty-percent of insurance agencies offer group health while 68 percent have a 401(k) plan.

It's not a perfect picture, of course. Like younger workers in other industries, insurance agents are impatient with some aspects. They want faster and better technology in their agencies and in the insurance companies they represent.

"Young agents are split on how they rate the property/casualty industry's use of technology overall," says Wells.

The survey revealed that slightly more than half of respondents (51.1 percent) rate the industry as "excellent" or "good" in terms of its use of technology while nearly the same number of young agents (48.9 percent) rated the P/C industry as "fair" or "poor" in this critical area.

They also want more diversity in the agency ranks.  Currently, the survey reveals that about 60 percent of agents are male and 40 percent female. The profession is overwhelmingly (85 percent) white.

"There is obviously opportunity and a need for more racial and gender diversity. I believe there is opportunity in the agency ranks for those who seek it," Wells said.

Most of all, today's young agents want to see more young professionals in the independent agency system, according to Wells.

"It's an industry that skews older right now, so there is definitely room for young talent," she says, noting that many older agents are retiring.

A number of the younger agents Wells spoke with in reporting on her survey acknowledged they first shied away from insurance as a career, but once they got into it, they liked it. They have come to appreciate the agency culture, according to Wells.

Young agents cite the flexibility, freedom and work/life balance they enjoy. According to the 2018 survey, a large majority of respondents rate their own agency's telecommuting, flexibility and work/life balance as either "excellent" (39.5 percent) or "good" (29.6 percent).

"One women agent, a former attorney, summarized her positive feelings by highlighting the work/life balance that her insurance career provides. She values the control she has over how much she can make and appreciates working in an industry that values her personal time," Wells said.

Agents also likes the challenge of the work. "No day is the same, no client's the same, so it's constantly challenging and really encourages me to grow," one agent told Wells.

Wells said another feature that appeals to younger job seekers is that most agencies are very involved in their local communities (65 percent) and community involvement is seen as part of the job.

The stability of the insurance industry is also a key factor in why young agents choose a career in insurance. Some 78.5 percent of survey respondents are "very optimistic" or "optimistic" about the agency business in general while they overwhelmingly (92.1 percent) view the outlook for their own agency as either "excellent" or "good."

For the research: Insurance Agency Salary Survey 2018   and Straight Talk from Young Agents: 2018 Young Agents Survey.   (Journalists interested in obtaining the full surveys may contact awells@insurancejournal.com.)

About Insurance Journal
San Diego, Calif.-based Insurance Journal is a member of Wells Media Group, which serves the property/casualty insurance industry. Insurance Journal products include magazines, and the P/C insurance industry's leading website, www.InsuranceJournal.com, as well as a media site featuring insurance industry videos and podcasts, www.InsuranceJournal.TV; Other Wells Media. brands include: Carrier Management website and magazine, for P/C executives and their boards of directors, www.ClaimsJournal.com, for P/C claims professionals; an online database of available P/C markets, www.MyNewMarkets.com; and the Academy of Insurance, an online learning center for P/C insurance professionals.

Media contact:

Andrea Wells, Editor in Chief, Insurance Journal
awells@insurancejournal.com
619-584-1100, ext. 152

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SOURCE Insurance Journal

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