Learn About Being an Equine Insurance Agent
This Career Profile Provides Details on Duties, Salary, and More
Equine insurance agents sell a variety of insurance policies to horse owners.
Equine insurance agents offer a number of different insurance policies to protect the horses owned by their clients. Policies for these horses may include coverage for mortality, major medical/surgical, surgical only, liability, loss of use, or ASD (accident, sickness, and disease).
Equine insurance agents may also offer Care, Custody & Control (CCC) liability insurance coverage to farm or barn owners. This protects the facility owner in the event that they are sued after a horse is injured or killed while on their property. A growing number of facility owners are taking advantage of this coverage.
Insurance agents must be able to collect information from horse owners, process insurance forms, and give accurate rate quotes based on the horse’s age, use, and value. They must be well versed in all possible equine coverage options so that they can advise clients on the best protection plan for their equine interests.
Other duties for equine insurance agents include marketing to potential customers, maintaining a presence online through a website or newsletter, interacting with underwriters, and attending equine industry events to seek out prospects and keep apprised of industry developments.
Most equine insurance agents offer both equine insurance and other non-equine lines of insurance. Some agents are able to offer exclusively equine insurance, though these agents usually operate out of areas with dense horse populations (such as Kentucky and Florida). Some agents in these areas focus their insurance sales on a specific clientele within the equine industry, such as Thoroughbred racing and breeding farms.
After gaining experience as an agent, it is possible to advance to a position of greater responsibility in the insurance agency in a role such as sales manager. Some agents also go on to start their own insurance agency or brokerage firm.
Equine insurance agents can also include pet insurance as a part of their sales portfolio. Pet insurance is a rapidly growing market with excellent sales potential. Other agents also choose to offer various forms of property and liability insurance along with their specific equine options.
Education & Training
A four-year college degree is preferred by most insurance agencies, though a wide variety of majors are acceptable forms of preparation for this career path. Coursework in accounting, marketing, communications, technology, mathematics, and economics will prepare an equine insurance agent well for their duties. A background working with horses can also be particularly helpful as it will make the agent very familiar with the specialized equine terminology.
An aspiring equine insurance sales agent must first be licensed to sell property and casualty insurance in their state. Licensing requirements differ from one state to the next but may involve completion of training courses, passing a state licensing exam, and paying various licensing fees. Completion of continuing education credits is necessary to maintain a license in most states; this generally involves attending industry conferences and seminars.
Equine insurance representatives must constantly educate themselves about the insurance industry, advances in veterinary medicine, the equine industry, and their company’s specific plan options. The insurance company may offer a variety of training courses to their agents on a regular basis so that they can keep their industry knowledge current.
Compensation for equine insurance sales agents may come in the form of commissions, base salary, bonuses, or a combination of the three types of income. Commissions are a common form of compensation in the insurance and sales industries.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not separate out equine insurance agents from the more general category of insurance sales agents, the mean average wage for all insurance sales agents was $62,520 in 2010. The lowest 10% of all insurance agents earned less than $25,940 per year in the 2010 survey ($12.47 per hour). The highest 10% of all insurance agents earned more than $115,349 per year in the 2010 survey ($55.45 per hour).
Interest in equine insurance is growing as more owners seek to protect both the health of their horses and their financial investment in them. Equine insurance policies allow horse owners to seek the best possible veterinary treatment for their animals at an affordable rate.
According to the BLS, employment in the insurance industry is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations (at a rate of approximately 12% from 2008 to 2018). Equine insurance agent positions should continue to be profitable, stable jobs for the foreseeable future.