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Insurance Agent Vs. Loan Officer

Although insurance agents and loan officers often work through similar processes, there are significant differences in their roles. Discover the key similarities and distinctions between these positions.

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Comparing Insurance Agents vs. Loan Officers

While insurance agents and loan officers have many similar duties, there are notable differences in these careers. Educational requirements, the level of industry knowledge, and the time spent working with clients are unique to each position. To assist in the decision making process, explore the key aspects of both roles.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Insurance Agent High school diploma or equivalent $49,990 10%
Loan Officer Bachelor's degree $63,650 11%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Insurance Agents vs. Loan Officers

Individuals who enjoy regularly engaging with customers outside of a retail setting should definitely consider working as either an insurance agent or loan officer. Both insurance agents and loan officers begin client interactions by evaluating the needs of each person. Insurance agents must ask the right questions to assess what level of insurance is appropriate for their customers, while loan officers must know how to determine what loan options are right for their clients. Once this initial step is completed, there are noticeable differences in the duties of insurance agents and loan officers. Insurance agents work to customize new and existing policies before approval, while loan officers must work through many more steps before an official loan approval is granted.

Insurance Agent

Insurance agents work to acquire new clients to help connect them with the insurance policies they need most. An individual can deal with a variety of policy types or work as a life insurance agent, health insurance agent, or as a property and casualty insurance agent. When working with clients for the first time, insurance agents complete a brief interview to better understand what kind of coverage is needed. From there, they review policy coverage options and costs with their clients. After an option is selected and approved by a client, insurance agents process all required paperwork to finalize the policy.

Explore additional daily duties of insurance agents:

  • Reach out to individuals in the community in hopes of expanding their current number of clients
  • Manage policy renewals for all existing clients
  • Answer questions about policy details
  • Make suggestions for upgrading or downgrading current coverage

Loan Officer

With the many types of major purchases that can be made by individual consumers and businesses, alike, loan officers are currently in demand. Those who choose to enter this field after earning a relevant bachelor's degree can work as a consumer loan officer, mortgage loan officer, commercial loan officer, or loan collection officer. Loan applicants often work directly with loan officers in hopes of obtaining a loan for big purchases (such as a home or car). Once a loan officer begins to work with a customer, he or she collects relevant personal data to determine whether or not a loan can be issued. Details collected include an individual's credit score, income, and other required financial details.

Discover some of the added responsibilities of most loan officers:

  • Reach out to local businesses and individuals to find new loan customers
  • Confirm that all details provided on a loan application are truthful and accurate
  • Use underwriting software to determine whether or not requested loans can be approved
  • Answer customer loan questions prior to and during the application review process

Related Careers

Those who enjoy the sales related duties of an insurance agent could also consider working as a sales manager. Alternatively, individuals who feel compelled toward the duties of a loan officer may enjoy the similar duties of mortgage brokers.

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