Insurance agents advise on insurance and sell insurance to clients.
New insurance agents usually earn
$40K-$65K per year
Experienced insurance agents usually earn
$60K-$130K per year
Source: FY 18/19 Hays Salary Guide, 2018.
Pay for insurance agents varies depending on the type of work they do and the type of clients they have.
- Entry level insurance agents usually earn between $40,000 and $65,000 a year.
- Brokers and account executives usually earn between $60,000 and $100,000.
- Senior account brokers usually earn between $80,000 and $130,000.
Insurance brokers may earn bonuses on top of their base salary.
Source: Hays, 'FY 18/19 Hays Salary Guide', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Insurance agents may do some or all of the following:
- interview clients to identify their insurance needs
- explain to clients details of insurance and conditions, risk coverage, premiums and benefits
- calculate premiums
- record information about clients and their policies
- draw up lists of potential clients and contact them to arrange interviews.
Skills and knowledge
Insurance agents need to have knowledge of:
- the insurance industry
- insurance policies, including what each policy covers
- relevant government policies such as tax requirements, benefit allowances and accident compensation
- relevant laws such as the Privacy Act and the Human Rights Act.
- usually work regular business hours, but may work weekends or evenings to meet deadlines
- work in insurance branches, contact centres, or offices, but may travel locally to visit clients.
There are no specific requirements to become an insurance agent as training is usually done in-house.
Insurance agents can also get qualifications on the job through the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF), which offers certificates and diplomas in general and life insurance that focus on developing technical insurance skills.
There are no specific secondary education requirements for this job, but accounting, business studies, English and maths to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.
Additional requirements for specialist roles:
To become an insurance broker, it is recommended you have a New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Insurance) (Level 5).
Industry training organisation Skills oversees workplace training.
Insurance agents need to be:
- skilled at negotiating with and interviewing people
- good at communicating
- able to relate to a wide range of people
- good at making sales
- patient and helpful
- competitive and persistent
Useful experience for insurance agents includes:
- insurance work such as working in claims or customer service
- medical industry work
- survey or inspection work
- legal or research work
- banking, accounting or investment work
- call centre work
- work involving analysis.
Insurance agents and insurance brokers may need to register on the Financial Services Providers Register, depending on the type of service they provide and the company they work for.
- Financial Markets Authority website - information about who must register on the Financial Services Provider Register
Find out more about training
- Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF)
- 0800 103 675 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.anziif.com
- Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand (IBANZ)
- 09 306 1732 – www.ibanz.co.nz
- The Skills Organisation
- 0508 754 557 – email@example.com – www.skills.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Range of factors contribute to demand for insurance agents
Your chances of securing a job are best if you:
- wish to be an insurance agent in a contact centre
- have experience in sales and can develop your own leads and contacts
- are a broker who can specialise, for example, in cybersecurity risks or commercial insurance.
Automation is expected to affect some insurance agent jobs, in particular tasks involving data input and simple calculations.
According to the Census, 2,136 insurance agents worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Types of employers varied
Insurance agents can work for:
- insurance companies
- financial institutions
- brokerage firms.
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
- Young, C, chief executive, Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand, careers.govt.nz interview, December 2018.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Insurance agents may progress to insurance broker, financial adviser or management roles, or move into other insurance industry roles, such as:
- loss adjuster
Insurance agents may specialise in different types of insurance, such as:
Last updated 16 September 2020