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Career Story: Chief Insurance Broker At A Small Agency

Chief Insurance Broker At A Small Agency

Job Title: Insurance Broker

Type of Company: My company insures property in Massachusetts.

Education: attended, MassBay Community College (Framingham, MA) •• attended, Boston State College (Boston, MA) •• certificate, General Insurance,The Insurance Institute of America

Previous Experience: I worked as an salesman at four car dealerships and worked as a clerk and then broker at an insurance agency.

Job Tasks: I am currently responsible for hiring, training, and managing all the staff at a small insurance agency.

A typical day includes taking calls or meeting with clients to help them with coverage decisions, claims, or general information relating to their insurance needs. I give quotes to new prospects both via phone and email, maintain our office computer network, valuate advertising and update and create new ways to attract prospective clients. I oversee all payroll and other bookkeeping and I pay bills and submit local and federal tax forms and payments.

In addition I choose the classes we offer to train employees or give them continuing education and refresher courses. I often make visits to customers' homes to come up with reliable replacement cost estimates to be used in determining coverage. While there I usually make notes and give advice on safety or upkeep concerns: the lack of a railing, a worn-looking roof, loose or missing downspouts and gutters, trees too close or leaning toward the home or a neighboring home. I even check wiring, lighting and fencing (if any). If the customer has a pool, I make sure there's no diving board present.

I also organize, oversee, and help implement our strategy for going paperless and the security needed to assure our clients information is kept as private as possible and meets state and federal requirements.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Training employees can be difficult. Organizing a useful work flow has proven more difficult than I ever would have imagined. There are so many variables in so many things that every time we think we have a good system in place and have it well documented, something comes up that we hadn't considered.

Job Tips: I would suggest you take at least 3 courses in fundamental accounting. Take a management course or two. Never take what's taught as the gospel. Use it to look for pitfalls in your plan but don't let it stop you from thinking outside the box. I'd also recommend you work for at least 5 years in other insurance agencies -- at least two others. Learn how to sell and service all kinds of insurance. Always keep an eye on every aspect you can and learn from the success and failures of others. Think about what you'd change and what you'd keep.

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