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Disability Insurance Career

What is Disability Insurance?

disability insurance careerBefore an agent starts an insurance career in disability insurance they must understand what it is and how it works. Disability insurance is an insurance policy that replaces the income of the insured in the event that he or she is not able to work due to a disability. Disability insurance jobs usually combine two categories: short-term and long-term. Short-term disability insurance takes affect after the insured uses all of his or her sick leave and can last between two-weeks and two years. Long-term disability insurance usually starts after the short-term disability insurance ends and can stay in effect up until age 65.

There is an underwriting process that takes place when an individual wants to obtain disability insurance. Underwriters take the individual’s health and risk of getting a disability into consideration when deciding whether or not to issue a policy. People who are not healthy or who have dangerous jobs may have to pay more for a policy because they have higher risk of becoming disabled. Disability insurance usually pays out a portion of the insured’s income and may start as a high percentage and decrease throughout the life of the policy.

Why Choose an Insurance Career in Disability Insurance?

One of the biggest reasons to start an insurance career in disability insurance is that there is a large market for it. Approximately 375,000 people become disabled every year and roughly 110 million people do not carry any kind of long-term disability insurance. Disability insurance is not only for physical injuries, but also illness and mental disabilities that can cause the insured to miss work or lose their job; therefore, everyone who makes an income should carry some type of disability insurance. Many people who purchase disability insurance also purchase life insurance, so there is a major opportunity in this insurance career to cross-sell policies to clients. Also, once the client’s long-term disability ends at age 65, there is an opportunity with this insurance career to sell them a Medicare Insurance Policy. Therefore, getting licensed to sell Medicare Insurance and getting contracted through a National Marketing Organization is also a good addition to an agent’s job portfolio.

Yet another reason to choose an insurance career in disability insurance is the compensation. Most disability insurance agents choose to be paid on an up-front, per sale, model instead of on a residual model. According to, the average Life and Disability Insurance Agent makes over $50,000 per year; however, there is no limit on how much commission you can make in this industry.

Who Would Excel at a Disability Insurance Career?

Those interested in an insurance career need to be self-motivated and thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. To be successful in an insurance job selling disability insurance, an agent needs to learn the ins and outs of the policies they are selling and work to understand and listen to the specific needs of their clients.

Having a job in disability insurance requires agents to be sales and marketing oriented to acquire clients and sell policies, but once the policy is sold, this insurance career does not require a lot of service.

There is usually no requirement that those looking for an insurance career in disability insurance hold a college degree to obtain a license. However, an agent must prepare for and pass a state exam to obtain a license to sell insurance before he or she can start writing business. In some states you may need to register your fingerprints. The section below outlines how to get started in an insurance career selling disability insurance.

How to Start an Insurance Career as a Disability Insurance Agent (varies by state)

  1. Complete Pre- Licensing Education: Learn the rules and regulations of your state’s insurance industry. You may be required to attend classes, but some states allow you to study at your own convenience. You will be issued a certificate for completing these state certifications and at that point you are permitted to take the state exam to become licensed as a disability insurance agent.
  2. Take the State Health Insurance Exam: Contact your state’s insurance department to find information on your state’s requirements and local testing centers.  In addition to the self-study option, there are in-person and online schools/courses that you can attend. Once you have completed the course, bring the course completion certificate to the testing center on the day of your exam. After you have successfully completed the state exam and paid the licensing fees, you are then issued a health insurance producer’s license.
  3. Buy Errors and Omissions Coverage:  As a disability insurance agent, you are required to have Errors & Omissions insurance. This liability policy protects you and your career against financial loss related to your involvement in the sale or service of a disability insurance policy.
  4. Get Established:  To start your insurance career and begin selling disability insurance you can either decide to work for a company as a captive agent or choose to work through a broker in order to get appointed with carriers. Many agents find that working through a brokerage firm such as a National Marketing Organization typically provides greater opportunities for success because they offer sales, marketing and compliance support.
  5. Get started: Your insurance career starts NOW! Contact us to launch your career as a Disability Insurance agent today.

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