An insurance agent must master the art of sales, clearly explaining different policy options to clients. If you have strong communication skills and an interest in risk management, consider a major in insurance. Students will learn about providing insurance services to people, businesses, and organizations. Classes will cover the various types of insurance, including life, health, disability, property, and liability insurance.
An insurance agent’s work involves determining client coverage, ensuring customer satisfaction, and obtaining referrals. Students will learn how to navigate the industry, from finding and meeting potential clients to processing their claims. Most importantly, they will learn the importance of networking in a field where they must often seek new clients and maintain relationships with old ones.
Classes and Assignments of an Insurance Major
In classes, insurance majors will learn the many laws and rules that apply to the insurance industry. Classes will cover topics such as property insurance, social and health insurance, loss adjustment, underwriting, risk theory, and pension planning. Students will also learn about different types of property and liability policies, such as workers’ compensation, and how insurance companies decide how much to charge for various policies.
Classes will require reading and memorization, and students should develop critical thinking skills. Some programs may also require that students complete an internship and an insurance agency or another company. Regardless, students should pursue opportunities to gain real-world experience in the industry.
Degree Levels for an Insurance Major
- Associate. Online associate insurance degrees may require students to take classes in banking, computers, insurance, investments, and the fundamentals of management. A high school diploma may be sufficient to get a position as an insurance agent, but insurance agencies are increasingly seeking applicants who have college degrees. Life and health insurance agents and brokers must be licensed by their state, which requires passing an insurance exam.
- Bachelor’s. Insurance agencies prefer college graduates for sales, managerial, and professional positions within an insurance company. Specialized training, if required, is often obtained on the job or through training programs. Consider pursing online bachelors insurance degrees.
- Master’s. While online masters insurance degrees are not offered, employees who seek managerial positions can pursue a master’s degree in business administration or a related field. An individual may also seek further education if he or she would like to transition to another occupation in the insurance industry, as an insurance appraiser, examiner, investigator, or underwriter.
A Future as an Insurance Major
Students who majored in insurance often enter the industry as insurance agents or brokers. Agents work for one insurance agency, whereas brokers work independently and sell policies for several companies. The medical services and health insurance sectors of the industry are growing, and insurance is also expanding to include financial services such as securities and mutual funds. However, industry growth will be limited by corporate downsizing, new technology, and increasing mail, telephone, and Internet sales.
The salaries and wages of insurance sales agents vary greatly. Sales agents who work for insurance companies may earn a salary, a salary plus commission, or a salary plus a bonus. An agent’s earnings usually increase significantly with experience, and earnings also depend on factors such as skill, experience, and the level of educational attainment.