Do I Need To Be an Insurance Agent to Launch an Insurance Franchise

Apr 13, 2021

An insurance agent interested in launching an insurance franchise has one main competitive advantage that others lack: professional experience. Depending on how long they’ve been in the field, they’re likely already familiar with the ins and outs of the insurance industry and current market trends. They understand the best products, services, and coverage options available to a wide swath of customers.

While having a professional background in this field helps, you don’t need to be an insurance agent to launch an insurance franchise.

If you’re ready to launch a new insurance franchise, like a Freeway Insurance branch office, all you need is a vision, capital, and the hustle and grit needed to get your venture off the ground. One of the ways to be successful with a franchise is by building a loyal customer base in your community.

What Professional Skills Do I Need to Launch an Insurance Franchise?

So, you’ve got the vision, the capital, and the entrepreneurial hustle and grit to be your own boss while devoting 100% of your attention to attracting prospective clients. You’ve evaluated all of the business options out there that match your skillset and business goals and now you’re inclined to open an insurance franchise in your community.

All you’re missing, however, is a professional background in insurance. You’ve never been an agent, but you know enough about it to pique your interest in entering the field as a franchise owner.

Opening an insurance franchise isn’t very different from opening any other business venture, but it does involve some unique considerations. This includes but is not limited to passing a state licensing exam, which is required if you plan on selling insurance anywhere in the United States. A license is also required to work on other insurance-specific matters, like gaining appointments from insurance companies to sell their products.

Although you don’t need to be an insurance agent to get started as a franchise owner, the more you immerse yourself in the field, the better off you’ll be. Here are a few professional skills you’ll need to develop to help your insurance office succeed.

A Sales-Oriented Personality

If you’ve never worked as an agent for a broker or an insurance company, you likely haven’t been exposed to the sales side of this industry. That could work against you because in the insurance business, having a sales-oriented personality can make or break your success.

Talking to potential customers so they understand the products and services that can benefit them is only part of an agent’s job. To be successful, you need to have the mindset of a commission-only salesperson — the kind that’s always ready to turn potential customers into full-fledged policyholders.

Accomplishing this mindset involves being personable all of the time. Whether you’re at a dinner party networking with potential customers, at the office, or discussing coverage options with an existing policyholder, you need to exhibit the same level of comfort with everyone you deal with. They need to feel like they can trust you along with the knowledge and advice you offer.

You can’t take rejection personally. If a policyholder rejects your pitch to upgrade their coverage options and decides to leave to a rival company, you have to brush that loss off immediately and be ready to talk up the next potential customer that comes along. To succeed, you have to know how to thrive and survive under that sort of pressure all of the time.

You also need the discipline to build your professional network. This can include making hundreds of cold calls every week to grow your contact list and build a book of business and establish yourself as a trustworthy, knowledgeable agent.

Enrolling in sales courses, particularly those that focus on commission-only selling, can help you cultivate the skills you need to succeed in this field.

Remember, in any sales job, it all boils down to one basic principle: if you don’t make a sale, you don’t eat. This is especially true in the insurance business.

Licensing: For You and Your New Insurance Franchise

As we mentioned earlier, before you can sell insurance to drivers and property owners in your community, you have to be a licensed agent in your state, as well as any other state you do business in. Some cities, like Charlotte, NC are close to cities in South Carolina. Therefore, it would probably be a good idea to be licensed in both states.

Every state requires that you enroll in and pass 20 to 40 hours of general insurance education courses and up to 12 hours of ethics courses before you’re allowed to take the licensing exam. Because state laws vary from state to state, you have to take these courses in every state you’re seeking licensing in.

Many state insurance licensing courses are available online as self-study, self-paced programs and typically cost somewhere between $300 and $500 each.

Be aware that most states require separate licenses for different types of insurance. Also, because state licensing exams are multi-part tests, failing one section will limit you from selling that specific type of insurance coverage. Therefore, after passing the health, life, and accident portion of the exam you will become a licensed agent. However, if you fail the property and casualty portion of the exam, you will not be licensed to sell auto or homeowners insurance until you retake and pass that section of the exam. You can typically retake a failed section at least once without the need for a new application fee.

To sell variable annuities or variable life insurance, you must also complete and pass the required coursework for a Series 6 license, which is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a non-government regulatory group authorized by Congress to protect American investors.

If you plan on staffing your insurance franchise with other agents, you may also need to acquire an agency license from the state or states where you plan to operate. Because you’re opening a franchise, your corporate partner or franchisor will likely help guide you through this process.

Business Know-How

In addition to having a sales-oriented personality and insurance licensing, you also need the right kind of business know-how to successfully run your new insurance franchise.

Having an MBA or other advanced business degree will help your business to succeed. But professional business experience is a big bonus, too — especially if it’s in sales. Many franchisors, like Freeway Insurance, offer ongoing, comprehensive training in business management, insurance trends, and sales, helping you cultivate the acumen you need to ensure success.

When You’re Ready to Launch an Insurance Franchise, Make Sure You’re Joining the #1 Team in the Industry

Before you launch any business, you should always determine whether or not you’ve got the skills necessary to succeed in your new venture. Even if you don’t have a professional background in the field of insurance, there are always opportunities to learn as you grow, especially as a franchisee at Freeway Insurance.

That’s our guarantee to you!

As the number one team in the insurance industry, we put you in the driver’s seat of your professional future, helping you build a customer-focused business that rewards hard work and dedication. To learn more about our franchising opportunities, contact us at (877) 822-3024 or contact@freewayfranchise.com.

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Ready to Open Your Own Freeway Insurance Office?

If you find the Freeway Insurance brand compelling and are looking for a flexible, well-supported business in a rewarding niche of the dynamic insurance industry, contact us.