How do I become an auto insurance agent?

Almost every state requires auto insurance agents to be licensed before becoming an auto insurance agent and doing business. Some states also require a business degree before you can even take the test to become an auto insurance agent. Once applicants become car insurance agents, most make an average of $50,940/yr, or $4,245/mo.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 21, 2021

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Overview of Auto Insurance Agents
Overview of Auto Insurance Agents Details Source
2019 Annual Median Pay of Insurance Sales Agents $50,940U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Typical Education for Entry Level High School Diploma U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Number of Jobs in 2019 501,300U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Do you want to become an auto insurance agent? Are you interested in finding out how to become an independent auto insurance agent?

A career in the insurance field is one that can be both rewarding and exciting for the right people.  If you’re considering a career in auto insurance, there are some important things you need to know about becoming a car insurance agent.

Although it’s not the most complicated job, there is absolutely a learning curve to becoming an auto insurance agent. There is at least a minimal amount of education required on auto insurance laws and coverages, if not some in-house training. There is also state licensing to deal with.

Use our free search tool to find auto insurance quotes near you before becoming an auto insurance agent. Enter your ZIP code above to get started.

Education Required to be an Auto Insurance Agent

You may be wondering, “Do I need a college degree to be an auto insurance agent?” Although it may depend on the situation, many larger and more prestigious auto insurance companies require a college education of some sort.

What kind of degree do you need to be an insurance agent? Some of the best companies require a four-year degree in any area having to do with business and/or finance. Some may require your college education to be specialized in the area of insurance. Thankfully, many community colleges and business schools have two-year insurance-centered programs.

On the other hand, there is an equal number of insurance companies who either don’t require education or would prefer you not to have it.

Companies like these would rather do their own auto insurance agent training so that these individuals think and approach the insurance business the same way the company does. In such cases, the company will put the new agent through extensive insurance agent courses, which could last several months, to prepare them for licensing.

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Auto Insurance Agent License Requirements

“How does getting a license to relate to me becoming an auto insurance agent?” Just about every state in the union has auto insurance-related laws that require all agents to be licensed; this is true for all areas of insurance, not just auto.

According to FindLaw, the insurance license requirements in most states are taking licensing training courses, successfully passing an exam, and getting fingerprinted.

However, some states have different requirements for car insurance agent licenses.

Some states’ insurance agent license requirements require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in addition to passing the insurance agent exam. Regardless, you won’t be allowed to sell insurance of any type until you have an insurance agency license.

For states that don’t require the associate’s or bachelor’s degree, candidates can simply study up on insurance law using information the state insurance department provides.

Are there any advantages to on-the-job training?

As much as our American culture emphasizes college education, there are some distinct advantages of becoming an auto insurance agent through a company’s on-the-job training program.

First and foremost is the ability to “earn while you learn.” Many insurance companies that provide such training will pay candidates at least a minimum wage in exchange for them investing their time in the training classes.

Second, you have the ability to learn the information and take the licensing exam in a process that usually takes no more than a month or so. Even in longer training programs that are extended out six or eight months, the time you spend being educated is still significantly less than if you were going to college. This means you’re out in the field that much sooner.

Finally, it is advantageous to be trained in this manner if you’re the type of person who wants to work for a single company for the rest of your life. While auto insurance products are very similar from one company to the next, each individual employer is going to have a particular way of doing things – which you will learn during the training process.

If you can master the way your company does business, and you are successful in your sales, you will be more likely to be able to retain a position with your employer throughout your entire career.

How Auto Insurance Agents Get Paid

How much does a car insurance agent make a year? According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an insurance sales agent is $50,940 a year.

However, generally speaking, auto insurance agents get paid on a commission basis. How much can you make as an insurance agent depends on the number of policies you sell and the value of those policies.

Do insurance agents make a base salary? To ease the pressure on sales agents, some insurance companies provide a base salary in addition to the commission. However, this base salary tends to be small; agents who depend on it rather than their commissions often don’t last very long.


Frequently Asked Questions: Becoming an Auto Insurance Agent

#1 – How do insurance agents get clients?

If you are working for an insurance company, the clients will come to you. However, if you are an independent insurance agent or working on commission, then you need to advertise yourself to get clients.

Learning basic business strategies can help you with attracting clients, such as using referrals, partnering with companies, and other tricks.

#2 – Is being an insurance agent stressful?

If you are working on commission, it can be very stressful if you are just starting out. You will need to attract clients (see above) to make decent money. Even if your company offers a base salary, it is usually not enough to live on.

However, once you’ve established a steady customer base and are confident at your job, your stress levels should go down.

#3 – Why do insurance agents fail?

One of the most common reasons insurance agents fail in their careers is because they don’t have a business plan in place before trying to sell on their own. They may also try to depend too much on commission, which lowers the quality of their service and ends up backfiring.

As we mentioned earlier, this is where insurance agent training will come in handy.  With training often comes planning, and with planning comes a greater chance of success.

#4 – What is the most profitable insurance to sell?

One of the more profitable kinds of insurance is auto insurance. While life insurance agents earn higher commissions, there are fewer people buying life insurance than auto insurance. Considering how many cars are on the road, you can see how auto insurance is a lucrative area for sales.

#5 – What is the best insurance company to work for?

To find out who the best insurance company to work for is in your area, we recommend looking at sites like Glassdoor, Fortune, or GreatPlaceToWork for company and employee reviews.

Now you should know all you need about how to become a licensed insurance agent.

If you are ready to be an insurance agent and want to learn more about rates, entering your ZIP code below gives you access to auto insurance quotes from America’s top providers.

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