Becoming a life insurance agent is a very lucrative career, which is why many choose to enter the industry and become a life insurance agent. With the average life insurance salesman holding a salary of $49,990, it is a great career. Can a felon become a life insurance agent? This article will answer this question, as well as answer similar questions pertaining to the life insurance industry.
What Is Life Insurance and What Do Life Insurance Agents Do?
Life insurance, at its essence, is death insurance. When an individual purchase life insurance, they are purchasing a policy that states when the individual dies, an allotted amount of money will be paid out to the policy holder’s benefactors.
For example, Jim, who is 40 years of age, married, and has two children decides to purchase life insurance. Jim decides that in the event of his death, his family will need at least $500,000.00 to survive without him for at least two years, so Jim decides to purchase a life insurance policy that states that when he dies, $500,000.00 will be paid out to his primary benefactors.
Now, obviously Jim nor his family do not plan on Jim passing away, but in the event that he does, his family will be granted $500,000.00 to help replace the earnings he brought into their household and to give time for Jim’s wife to find employment.
Life insurance offers peace of mind to any primary household earners. It gives them the ability to know that in the event of their death, that their loved ones will be able to continue on with their current standard of living. Life insurance varies in price, an individual’s health is a great factor in the price of life insurance. If the individual smokes, has a chronic disease, or any damaging medical conditions, life insurance agencies will charge that individual more for life insurance. The price also depends on how much the individual wants the policy to be worth. A policy worth $250,000.00 will be far cheaper than a policy that has a value of $5,000.000.00. Determine what your family will need and go with that option.
In order to purchase life insurance, you must purchase it from a life insurance agent. Before the internet, life insurance agencies conducted most of their business within their branch offices all across the country. Now, life insurance can be purchased on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Just because you are not directly meeting with a life insurance agent, you are still dealing with one online.
Life insurance agents are professional salesmen who sell life insurance to others. Life insurance agents must be licensed to sell life insurance. The license can be obtained through online accredited courses, or through local classes in your area. Life insurance agents act as the middleman by selling the product the insurance company is offering to the end buyer. Contrary to popular belief, the demand for life insurance agents has been on the rise recently. In fact, many life insurance agencies will pay for your training and your license if you go on to work for them. The internet may have changed how life insurance sales take place, but they have not changed the demand for them.
Qualifications to Be a Life Insurance Agent.
If becoming a life insurance agent is your end goal, consider the follow requirements and qualifications to determine if you are eligible to work as one. Below are some of the basic requirements in order to be a life insurance agent but be aware that the requirements may vary per agency.
- Be a U.S. Citizen.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Hold a strong moral character.
- Have at least a High School Diploma or Equivalent.
- Complete pre-licensing requirements and obtain an insurance license.
- Have not been convicted of any capital crimes such as murder, rape, money laundering, or fraud (or similar related crimes).
These are the very basic qualifications to work as a licensed life insurance agent. In the next section of the article we will discuss how felons with a criminal record can find work as a life insurance agent and the opportunities that exist for them.
Can Felons Be Life Insurance Agents?
Answer: Sometimes. Every felon is different, so from a legal point of view, it is impossible to just say “Yes” or “No”. The truth is that it depends on the felony convicted and how much time has elapsed since the felon has been released from prison. If the felon was convicted for murder, rape, robbery with a deadly weapon etc. then the chances of becoming a life insurance agent are slim to none. Some states will simply not issue felons guilty of these crimes their insurance license, making it impossible for them to work as a life insurance agent.
If the crime the felon committed was a white-collar crime such as fraud, tax evasion, insider trading, or embezzlement just to name a few, they are not entirely disqualified to work as a life insurance agent. Since these crimes are classified as “non-violent felonies”, then it is possible for the felon to obtain the insurance license from there state on certain conditions. The most common condition felons must abide by before applying to sell insurance is to wait for a certain period of time.
After a felon is released from prison, they may have to wait anywhere from six months to fifteen years before they are eligible to receive an insurance license. The waiting time varies per felon, but do not plan on becoming a life insurance agent right after your release. The reason for this waiting time is simple, it allows the courts to monitor your activity and determine if you are “reformed”. If the felon is classified as “reformed” then the courts may authorize the felon to receive their insurance license.
How Felons Can Become Life Insurance Agents.
The first step is to determine if you qualify. Refer back to the previous sections to determine if you meet the minimum standards to be a life insurance agent. If you do meet the minimum requirements, it is time to start looking for employers. Finding a job is already a difficult task for felons, so getting a job in a competitive market is even harder. A felon can improve their chances of getting hired if they go to college and receive a four-year degree in any STEM subject. Here is a list of great college majors for prospective life insurance agents.
- Finance and Business Administration.
- Risk Management and Economics.
- Sales and Marketing.
Some schools across the United States offer special degrees on insurance, so if becoming a life insurance agent is your end goal, consider applying to one of those universities.
If college is not an option, apply for a job inside the insurance agency that is not related to insurance sales. This gives your employer a chance to see your work abilities and how you perform in the insurance industry. After some time, talk to your boss or hiring manager and ask to apply to be an insurance agent. Many successful agents got their start this way, why not you?
Lastly, consider applying for an internship. It is common for employers to hire interns if they did a good job during their internship, so do the best you can. Even if you complete an internship and you do not receive a job offer, you now have experience within the insurance industry, great for your resume.
In conclusion, there are many ways for felons to advance their careers and become life insurance agents. Life insurance agents operate on commission, so if you can sell, chances are that you will get the job.
Can a felon become an insurance investigator?
Insurance investigators look into insurance fraud, which is a very large problem in the United States. Insurance investigators are of high demand; therefore, felons are able to work as an insurance investigator so long as they meet the same requirements (excluding the licensing) that are required to become an insurance agent.
Can felons work as independent insurance agents?
If the felon meets all of the requirements to obtain their insurance license and gets their insurance license, then yes, felons can work as independent insurance agents. Working as an independent insurance agent is very popular among felons who are unable to get hired as an entry-level insurance salesman. Being an independent insurance agent allows you to build up valuable experience, experience that can go on your resume and help you land a job at one of the larger insurance firms in the country.
How many hours do life insurance agents work?
Life insurance agents typically work around 40 hours a week, which is the average for a full-time job. Some agents will choose to work more hours in order to close pending deals or contracts, but this is not a requirement.
Thank You for reading! Do you want to become a life insurance agent? Tell us why in the comments below!