Job Title: Insurance Agency Representative
Type of Company: We provide property and casualty insurance as well as some commercial insurance, including workers compensation and business owners' policies.
Education: High School grad, one year of community college
Previous Experience: Over the past dozen years I've worked at a couple of insurance agencies.
Job Tasks: We open the office in the morning and get the mail ready to go out, do the daily billing, answer the phone, help customers and write homeowners and auto insurance policies. We also have to write letters to customers regarding different issues. We file insurance policies and corresponding paperwork in customers folders. We also have to review policies on renewal to make sure the coverage we're providing is adequate and that the applicable discounts have deducted.
We also do a lot of data entry, processing policies in the computer for new business and making changes to existing policies. We deal a lot with the insurance companies regarding claims issues or billing. We have to provide proof of insurance for people who are getting new cars or buying new homes. We also have to give people quotes who are looking to get homeowners or auto insurance. When someone needs to obtain homeowners insurance, we need to estimate the amount of coverage that will be needed for the house. This is called the replacement cost. In order to determine the replacement cost there are certain criteria that have to be entered into a program that is specially designed for this purpose. Once the correct information is entered, then a replacement value is calculated and that is what we use to determine the cost of the insurance coverage. There is also a program to provide auto insurance quotes that we have to use. Again, once the correct information is provided an annual premium is calculated.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is dealing with customers who are truly appreciative of the service that we provide. We have people who come in regularly just to see how we are and to say hello! The worst part of the job is having to tell people when they don't have coverage for a claim or that a claim is being denied for some reason. It's also difficult to explain to someone why the insurance company made the decision they made when the decision seems unfair.
Job Tips: You would definitely need a background in insurance because this job is too difficult to learn from square one. You would need experience answering phones and taking questions from people. An ability to multi-task would come in handy as well, since in the course of a day, you may have to juggle many different things at once.
Additional Thoughts: This can be a very demanding job at times. You may have to take phone calls while you are helping someone, and it can be stressful at times when it's busy. You also may have to deal with angry customers in person, so you would need to be prepared for that.
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