Insurance Agent

Insurance agents sell policies to individuals and businesses to provide protection against future losses and/or financial pressures. Agents must analyse the needs of their clients and help them plan appropriate protection.

Insurance protection may be for a motorcar, home, business or other property for protection of a family if the breadwinner dies, or for protection against hospital and medical costs. Insurance agents also help their clients to obtain claim settlements.

Areas of specialisation include:

  • Life Insurance
  • Property (fire and damage) insurance
  • Motor and liability (theft, personal, casualty and third party) insurance
In addition, they provide follow-up services to keep their clients’ insurance programmes up-to-date. They give advice on adding to or amending existing policies.

Insurance agents work indoors, usually in their own offices. Agents also travel to the offices or homes of their clients.

Personal Requirements

  • mature and balanced personality
  • ambitious, enthusiastic and motivated
  • initiative
  • a real interest in people and get along well with others
  • convincing and self-disciplined and work well without supervision
  • good health and physical stamina 
  • neat, well-groomed appearance
  • good communication skills

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Degree: Insurance and Actuarial Science - UP, BCom Insurance - UZ, or general BCom - most universities.

No specific training is needed for entering this occupation as all insurance companies offer in-service training. The minimum entry requirement is matriculation, while excellent opportunities also exist for graduates.

In addition to in-service training employees may take the examination of the Insurance Institute of South Africa that provides correspondence courses. Two levels of examination lead to two diplomas, namely the qualifying examination for the Associateship Diploma and the Fellowship Diploma. As insurance agents may also be looked upon as financial advisers, they are selected and examined carefully by their companies and given a thorough training to fulfil their tasks.


  • insurance companies and brokers
  • self-employed, as freelance agent or insurance broker

Further Information

Any of the above potential employers.

Getting Started

  • try to secure holiday work in an insurance company to gain sales experience
  • arrange to speak to insurance agents to find out about this type of career

Programmes by Study Institutions

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