The newbie here

Mar 5, 2019

  1. Melina1993
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    Melina1993 New Member

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    hi everyone. My name is Melina and I’m interested in becoming a health/life insurance agent so I decided to research and make an account on here. How do I go about acquiring a license in Illinois? Do I have to go through an agency or take a class online? Do I meet with someone or what?

    Also, my friend started working for healthcare solutions team (HST) and she did alright but I think she lost motivation and stopped. I know it’s not for everyone and you really gotta build up and work hard the first few months. It is your own career after all. Somebody else told me that HST is a bad company and there’s hidden fees, (they threw the words Ponzi scheme in there) So I thought I’d ask the pros on here what it’s about?

    Are there other agencies like HST that have a better reputation and help train you to get started?

    As you can see I’m VERY new (like not even licensed new) and figured it wouldn’t hurt to stop in here and ask a few questions.
     
  2. Matthew King
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    Matthew King Guru

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    Hi there Melina,

    First the easy question first. To find out all the requirements and to prep for getting licensed in your state. I would go here: Illinois (IL) Prelicensing | Insurance Licensing Steps | A.D.Banker & Company and here: Illinois Insurance Resident Producer

    That should walk you through everything you need to do to become a licensed health and life insurance agent.

    After that, you'll be faced with the decision of what products and market interest you?

    (Obviously life and health but, there are many ways to go still). I don't know of any other companies like HST that I can recommend. Another alternative would be to find a local agency near you that could train you and you could shadow.

    Normally, I see @DHK recommend some additional reading, this is one of his that I find extremely valuable: https://insurance-forums.com/community/threads/guidance-for-new-life-agents.29999/
     
  3. rousemark
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    rousemark Still Here!

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    Melina, you may want to read this thread.. I picked up a couple of things that tell me I would never sign a contract under HST... One they have you assign commissions, the other is the double talk that was given about release policy.. You never want to assign comissions to an agency. Insist on being paid direct by the companies... Also, a company should be willing to grant you an immediate release upon request if you decide to leave them and go to another IMO/Agency..The third thing to look for is immediate vesting on commissions.. This means if you terminate your contract with a company ...death, disability, or just quit .. you or your heirs will continue to receive the renewal commissions on the policies you placed. ( These points apply to life and health products other than Medicare Advantage. I do not offer MA, so I do not know how those commissions are handled)
     
  4. shonceman
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    shonceman Guru

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    Louis, I think you forgot to post the thread for her.
     
  5. rousemark
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    rousemark Still Here!

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  6. Melina1993
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    Melina1993 New Member

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    Thanks Matthew. Your post was very informative. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while. So when I have my license, what options will I have? To work for a company or agency. Will I always be able to sell insurance to anyone anywhere? (In Illinois) without working for a company?
     
  7. Matthew King
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    Matthew King Guru

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    You have several different options:
    • work for an insurance company
    • work for a local small insurance agency (usually more hands-on training)
    • work with an IMO/FMO (normally more hands off and online training options)

    Let me state here, that I only know about the life and health industry, so, I don't know about other areas. There are also many different variations as to how companies and agencies run. Whether you would be captive, semi-captive, or independent.

    Captive, normally means, you sell only what the place you've been hired by sells and nothing more. It usually means that you get a little less in commissions but that's because you are getting something in return such as leads, a website, office, etc. Normally, the business you write is not your own and it can't move with you.

    A semi-captive type means the same thing as above, but the place you work for doesn't mind if you pick up other products outside of what they sell.

    Then lastly, is independent, you sell what you want, work when you want, pick up what carriers you want, etc. (this is a short version of everything).

    Again, usually, the captive type places have more hands-on training and shadowing (where you follow someone around).

    So at this point, you mainly just have to be honest with yourself and aware of what best fits you. What will cause you to thrive? What kind of training will you do well with? Can you do self-paced online training? Or, do you need someone pushing you forward and giving you structure?

    These are some of the questions that you will have to dig deep to answer. At this point, you should be able to sell to anyone where you are licensed and who you are appointed through, but will most likely have to work with someone (upline).
     
  8. Ken Bates
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    Ken Bates New Member

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    Failure to have any form of actual mentor-ship seems to be the undoing of a lot of new agents. To that end, I would only recommend that someone new to the industry work for a captive or a small agency to learn the industry. Jumping into a performance structure right away is demoralizing for most people, because they are promised the sky and the moon, but are not built up to the point that they can realistically reach for it. It takes most folks in the P&C (Property and Casualty) world 6 to 9 months just to have a good grip on personal lines, let alone L&H (Life and Health) or commercial lines.
     
  9. BADTROUT
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    BADTROUT Guru

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    Although there are anomalies, generally speaking it's best as stated above, and re-iterated to have a little guidance.
     
  10. FRJ
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    FRJ Super Genius

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    Melina, where in IL are you? It's a big state with very different markets. I work the Chicagoland area, primarily Medicare & individual/family health with a few life & annuity policies here and there. I've been looking to establish a small group of agents under my agency umbrella but haven't been actively pursuing this...yet.

    I may have a couple of other doors that I could open for you but it all depends on what exactly you want to focus on or the level of commitment that you are looking to put in, e.g. full-time, part-time, do you have marketing capital? would you rather work in a call-center environment? work from home? make face to face visits to clients? prefer just working over the phone? which markets do you want to work? etc.

    If you're in the area, I'd love to chat...lunch?
     
    FRJ, Mar 7, 2019
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