Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • An insurance agent helps a customer to purchase insurance coverages from a carrier. These professionals act as intermediaries between the consumer and the insurance company
  • A career as an auto insurance agent can be lucrative, offers many employment opportunities, and comes with substantial remuneration
  • Though they both help customers purchase coverage and are paid on a commission basis, insurance agents and insurance brokers should not be confused as the same profession


The average U.S. household owns at least one automobile. To legally drive your car on U.S. roads, you are required to have some level of auto insurance coverage in all states except New Hampshire.

As a driver, make sure that you meet your state’s auto insurance liability requirements to avoid problems with the authorities.

When shopping for auto insurance products, it helps to compare quotes from multiple providers before purchasing from one of them; it’s the best way to get favorable rates.

The move by state governments to make auto insurance mandatory has made the field appealing to professionals such as car insurance agents.

Whether you choose to become an independent agent or work for an insurance company, you can have a very successful career as an auto insurance agent.

Learn more about auto insurance below and make sure to use our free insurance comparison tool above!

What does an auto insurance agent do?

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An insurance agent is a professional who sells insurance policies to consumers on behalf of the carrier. An auto insurance agent sells car insurance products to drivers on behalf of the insurance company.

An auto insurance agent helps the customer choose auto insurance products that are best suited for their needs, and he/she must be familiar with all the policies offered by the carrier.

To locate and potential customers, these individuals must have strong sales, marketing, and customer service skills.

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What’s the difference between an auto insurance agent and a broker?

Both insurance agents and insurance brokers sell insurance products to consumers on behalf of the insurance company. Usually, both work on a commission basis and must stick to the regulations imposed by the state’s insurance department.

An agent or broker is required to have a license to mete out the type of insurance they are offering. They are both legally obliged to help you get suitable coverage at a favorable rate.

The major difference between an insurance agent and a broker has everything to do with whom they are representing. An insurance agent is an extension of the insurer.

Insurance agents represent a carrier or a number of carriers. A broker, on the other hand, represents the customer.

Brokers are not aligned with a particular insurance company and will consider numerous carriers to ensure the best prices for the client. An auto insurance broker helps shoppers get and compare quotes from different insurers to get the best rates.

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Becoming an Auto Insurance Agent

Taking up a career as an insurance agent is a good way to make a living.

Every driver out there needs insurance and despite the numerous insurance buying options brought about by the digital age, a good number of people out there could use the kind of assistance provided by these professionals.

Here are some of the steps you must take if you want to become an insurance agent in the United States.

Achieve the Necessary Academic Qualifications

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There is no definitive answer to the question of whether you need a college degree to become an insurance agent or not. Typically, having a college degree is not a requirement to becoming an insurance agent, but some insurers require their agents to have one of those; others don’t.

In any case, having a college degree can never hurt so if you have the time and can afford to pay for it, go to college and get a degree. Many auto insurance companies will still consider applicants without a college degree.

Get State Certification

To get certification, you will still need to take additional courses on top of your degree. You can verify with your state’s insurance department website on which courses you are required to take and where you can find them.

Most of the courses are two to three weeks long, and the classes are flexible. You can take the course and go to work with minimum effort.

Upon completion, the state will conduct a background check (only after you consent to one) and if you pass, you will be allowed to take the certification exams.

The purpose of the exam is to test your knowledge of basic auto insurance concepts and specific auto insurance laws in the state.

Obtain a License

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Refer to your state’s department of insurance to find out the auto insurance licensing requirements in the state. Just make sure that you have met all the pre-licensing educational requirements described above.

State authorities in different parts of the country require some level of coursework before issuing a license.

Note that auto insurance licensure requirements vary from one state to another.

In some states, you will be required to have a bachelor’s degree to obtain the license. In others, you will only be required to read up on the different laws and information provided by the state’s department of insurance to get a license.

In any case, you won’t be able to sell car insurance without a license.

Finding a Job as an Auto Insurance Agent

Make sure that you participate in an internship program as part of your education. Many bachelor’s degree programs offer internship opportunities for students.

Being an intern will arm you with the relevant knowledge and experience to become a good auto insurance agent. It will also make the job hunting experience easier for you.

Remember that your job as an agent is to help the customer get the best auto insurance deals.

Compare quotes from the different insurers you represent and choose the one offering the best rates for the client. Always be prepared to answer your clients’ questions comprehensively, there will be plenty of them.

Don’t miss out on our free insurance comparison tool below! Just enter your zip code and start comparing rates now!