To become an insurance account manager, one must have certain skills and attributes. An insurance account manager needs to be detail oriented and committed to customer service. Insurance account managers are team players who are required to frequently interact with co-workers, clients and insurance carriers. In addition, most insurance companies require special licensing to become an insurance account manager.
There are several types of licensing that might be required to become an insurance account manager. The most common type of license is a Customer Service Representative designation. Many people who seek insurance account manager careers begin with this license. It signifies that the person has the minimum amount of knowledge necessary to service an account, but it does not give the insurance account manager the legal authority to sell or bind insurance coverage.
Most insurance brokers require licenses that allow account managers to sell property and casualty insurance and life and health insurance in order to become insurance account managers. Account managers might primarily service a book of property and casualty, or life and health products, but there is often a crossover of products, and many insurance account managers are called on to sell both lines of coverage. Normally, candidates must complete a course of study and pass an exam to be become licensed.
In addition, many brokers require insurance account managers to take continuing education classes. Often, these classes are necessary for an account manager to maintain his or her license. In many instances, these classes count toward obtaining special industry designations that can help candidates become an insurance account manager. An example of a valued industry designation is the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.
Insurance account managers service the needs of the insurance broker’s clients. They issue certificates of insurance, reconcile billing problems and make requested changes to their clients’ policies. They are asked to identify needs for additional coverage and cross-sell or up-sell within the accounts they manage. This high level of interaction with clients, carriers and other team members is why excellent verbal, written and social skills are required to become an insurance account manager.
Being well versed in the latest business technology also is important for insurance account managers. They must be adept with word processors, spreadsheets and presentation software. Most brokers use industry-specific software to help them manage their books of business. In order to become an insurance account manager, one must be extensively trained in the operation of this agency-management software.
Insurance account managers also need to be able to learn to use the unique online client management tools for each of the insurance carriers whose products they offer. They must be able to deliver documents electronically by several different methods. Account managers must be able to effectively manage their communications with clients and vendors through the use of email, voice mail and traditional correspondence.
They are also deeply involved in client invoicing and the collection of premiums. As such, it is vital that they are able to handle basic bookkeeping and reconcile billing statements in order to become an insurance account manager. Most account managers work for brokers who offer products from multiple vendors, so it is important that the account manager is able to master the different programs and billing cycles used by the vendors.