Insurance Agents and Agencies

Becoming an insurance agent might not be on everyone’s job list, but it is a cool niche that has emerged in the past few decades. Although some people somewhat hate their persistence, their dedication to their work and helping people is commendable.

As someone who has been in this field for almost two decades, I am proud to say that we have accomplished so much during this time, with more than 40 Crore Indians being insured with health insurance alone.

But for those who don’t have a clear idea of what insurance is, what an insurance agent does, how to become one, and the benefits it offers, let us explore those details in this blog.

What is insurance?

Insurance is financial protection offered to people in the event of any loss, damage, or injury in exchange for a periodic fee. This fee is called a premium, and the span or scope of this protection is called coverage. Different insurance providers or companies offer different coverages and plans based on the type of insurance one seeks.

Typically, this ranges in life and non-life insurance, each with subdivisions. Over the past few years, I have shifted from a life advisor to a health insurance advisor. 

Who are insurance agents, and what are their roles?

Now that you know what insurance is let us delve into what insurance agents are. Insurance agents are the bridge between an insurance provider and the customer. They sell customers an individual or a custom plan based on their needs from single or multiple companies.

An agent brings new business to their affiliated companies by reaching out to potential customers and selling them one or more policies based on their needs. They are also responsible for explaining what the policy entails and guiding them throughout the process of selecting and buying the policy. As an agent, you might be working with a single company as a captive agent or with several different insurance providers as an independent agent.

And a collective of agents in an insurance agent company is typically called an insurance agency. They do the same thing as an insurance agent and can be used synonymously with each other.

What are the benefits of becoming an insurance agent?

The benefits vary based on the insurance provider or insurance agent company you are affiliated with. Depending on the insurance provider or agency you work for, you may be given a salary, commission based on sales, and even bonuses. The commission percentage varies from company to company, but it is typically between 10-20% of the premium paid.

These are some of the main advantages of being an insurance agent:

  • Independence in the form of flexibility in working hours
  • Job Security in the case of minimal qualification requirements
  • A second source of income to earn a little extra or make it the primary source of income
  • Opportunity to help others by providing them with the best plan based on their needs.
  • Passive skill development of communication skills and marketing and sales tactics.

How to become an insurance agent?

Whether you are looking to become an independent agent or a captive agent, there are a few eligibility requirements to become an agent. These criteria are based on age, educational qualification, and completing a test.

The requirements are to be at least 18 years old and completing 10th or 12th standard, based on where you live. You will also need to complete mandatory training and pass a simple exam to be certified by the IRDAI.

The following are the steps to follow to become an agent in 2023:

1. Decide on the insurer

You need first to find an insurer who provides good benefits and flexibility.

2. Register on the website

Once you have selected the insurer, log on to their website and fill out the insurance agent application form.

3. Training

After filling out the form with basic details, you must complete online or offline basic training as mandated by the IRDAI. This training usually takes around 100 hours and can be completed in 3-4 weeks.

4. Pre-licensing Exam

After completing the training and receiving a certificate, you must pass a pre-licensing exam called the IRDA exam or IC-38. The exam is conducted online, takes about an hour, and has 50 questions, out of which you need to get at least 17 right.

5. Post licensing

After completing the exam and scoring at least 17, you will be given a license and be eligible to work as an insurance agent.

I work for a health insurance company that deals with several insurance companies, but my preferred company is Niva Bupa. They offer a higher commission percentage and also allow for several other benefits. 


Now that you know what an agent is, how to become one in 2023, the role of an insurance agent, and the benefits offered to insurance agents. I hope this helped simplify your decision and brings you into this beautiful world of helping people and building yourself up along the way.

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