If you’re considering becoming an insurance broker while living in New York, there are a few key requirements to consider. These include education, experience and training requirements. Learning about the steps you can take to become an insurance broker in New York may help you during your career development and job application processes. In this article, we discuss what an insurance broker is, describe how to become one in New York, provide average salary information and give tips for the process of becoming one.
What is an insurance broker?
An insurance broker is a professional hired by individuals and businesses to help them find the right insurance coverage for their needs. Brokers work with an insurance company to help clients learn about and sign up for policies and handle claims when they occur. They may market specific types of policies and make a commission based on their sales. They may also earn a base salary in addition to or instead of commission. Insurance brokers can sell any type of insurance, including health, dental, vision, life or property insurance.
How to become an insurance broker in New York
You can follow these steps to become an insurance broker in New York:
1. Complete high school or university
Though not a requirement to become an insurance broker in New York, formal education can help develop important skills necessary to succeed in any career. Courses in communication, business, finance and accounting can all be helpful for this profession. Degrees in business administration, marketing and finance are great options to consider for this career.
2. Complete a pre-licensing course
Next, you can complete a course to prepare you for the insurance agent licensing examination. This can help give you exposure to the kinds of questions and topics you’ll see on the exam, which can help you feel more confident when taking it. It is also a requirement in New York to complete this type of course before applying. Pre-licensing courses may include practice tests, presentations on exam materials and private tutoring sessions.
3. Gain entry-level work experience
After deciding on this career path, you can work in an entry-level insurance position, such as an assistant insurance agent. In such positions, you may observe agents and brokers giving customers guidance on the types of policies they can purchase to protect themselves and their assets. If you find that this is enjoyable and exposes you to opportunities for advancement, consider continuing on the path to becoming an insurance broker.
4. Pass the licensing exam
Then, you can schedule a time to take the exam. If you pass the examination set by the New York Department of Financial Services, you are eligible to apply for a state license. To pass the exam, it is a requirement to score above a 70%. If you have already passed a similar exam in another state, you may be able to skip this step and apply directly for a broker’s license in New York after completing your pre-licensing coursework.
5. Apply for a New York insurance license
Now, you can apply for an insurance license, which allows you to work as an insurance broker in the state of New York. It is a requirement to apply for a license within two years of passing the examination. It is also a requirement to be at least 18 years old when submitting an application. After receiving the license, you can resume your education through continuing education courses, which are a requirement for renewing your license each year.
6. Look for insurance broker positions
Finally, you can look for broker positions in both large and small insurance agencies. When starting your search, it is important to find out how much experience is a requirement to qualify for the position. Some companies may hire insurance brokers with limited insurance experience if they possess relevant skills and some sales or customer service experience.
Tips for becoming an insurance broker in New York
Here are some additional tips you can use to help you become an insurance broker in New York and find a great job:
If you’re seeking employment at a large agency with many branches, consider researching the largest firms and visiting their websites to look for open positions for insurance brokers in your area.
Consider additional certifications in insurance sales and marketing. This may help build knowledge and experience that prepare you for more senior roles in the industry.
Showcase your interpersonal skills by attending networking and industry events, like conferences for insurance professionals. It may impress companies to see job-seeking professionals at such events networking with industry members.
If you’re involved in activities that require leadership roles, such as serving on committees for professional associations, volunteer work or charitable organizations, this can help you demonstrate your ability to manage and lead a team. Include this information on your resume.
Some firms offer job training programs that introduce new insurance agents to the firm’s products and policies. This is a great way to get a broad introduction to an agency’s offerings without having to take care of customers directly.
Read online reviews from current and past employees on various websites to determine if an insurance firm is likely to be a good fit for you as an employer. Companies with great pay, culture and missions are likely to have several positive reviews from current and past employees.
Insurance broker salary in New York
The average salary for an insurance broker in New York is $85,878 per year. This is 10% higher than the national average for insurance broker salaries. Your exact salary may differ based on your experience in the industry, your unique skills and your employer.