Which Insurance License Makes the Most Money?

If you’re considering getting into the insurance industry, one of the first questions you probably have is – which license offers the highest earning potential?

The insurance sector encompasses various lines of coverage, from auto and home to health and life. And different licenses are required to sell each type legally.

But not all insurance sales jobs are created equal when it comes to compensation. Certain sectors tend to be more lucrative than others.

Below, we’ll explore the insurance licenses that typically offer the highest incomes for motivated agents.

Overview of Major Insurance Licenses

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common insurance licenses and what they allow you to sell:

  • Life insurance license – Allows sale of life insurance policies like term life, whole life, and universal life. May also cover annuities and disability products.

  • Health insurance license – Needed to sell major medical insurance, supplemental Medicare policies, long-term care insurance. Allows sale of individual and group health plans.

  • Property and casualty (P&C) license – Covers sale of auto, home, renters, business, liability insurance, and other P&C insurance products.

  • Accident and health insurance license – Allows sale of limited health insurance like dental, vision, critical illness, and accident policies. Not major medical.

  • Series 6 and 63 licenses – Needed to sell mutual funds, stocks, bonds and other securities as a securities agent.

  • Mortgage loan originator (MLO) license – Required for mortgage brokers selling residential home loans.

Now let’s look at average pay across these different insurance sales roles.

Which Insurance Sales Jobs Pay the Most?

Insurance agents’ salaries largely come from commissions – a percentage of each policy’s premiums. So the product you sell and your sales volume greatly impact your earning ability.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the insurance sales occupations with the highest mean wages are:

  • Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents – $71,720 average annual pay
  • Life insurance agents – $70,080
  • Property and casualty insurance sales agents – $69,100
  • Health and medical insurance sales agents – $68,210

So selling securities as a registered representative or life and health insurance tend to be the most lucrative insurance career paths.

However, pay can vary substantially based on your experience level, sales ability, product specialties, and other factors.

Top performers can significantly outearn their peers. For example, a highly skilled life insurance agent could make over $100,000 in their first year, while others may only earn $30,000.

Let’s take a closer look at pay potential across major insurance licenses.

Life Insurance License

A life insurance license enables you to sell life insurance policies from multiple companies. This includes:

  • Term life insurance
  • Whole life insurance
  • Universal life insurance
  • Annuities
  • Disability insurance

These products pay some of the highest commissions to insurance agents.

For example, it’s common for a life insurance policy to pay a first-year commission of 60-100% of the premium. So on a $1,000 annual life insurance premium, the selling agent might earn $600-$1,000 just in the first year.

Renewal commissions may bring in another 2-5% each subsequent year that the client keeps the policy. Plus, agents can continue writing new policies each year.

It’s possible for skilled life insurance agents to earn six-figure incomes in their first couple years. In fact, New York Life reports that 22% of its new life insurance agents make $100,000+ in their first year.

And the top 10% of life insurance agents earn $208,000 on average, according to recruitment firm Gregory & Appel Insurance.

Health Insurance License

A health insurance license allows you to sell major medical insurance plans from private insurance carriers. This includes:

  • Individual and family health insurance
  • Small business group health insurance
  • Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans
  • Medicare Advantage plans
  • Prescription drug (Part D) plans
  • Some states also allow sale of dental, vision, disability, and long-term care coverage.

There is strong demand for health insurance agents due to the complex, ever-changing insurance landscape. And many earn lucrative incomes as a result.

According to Zippia data, the top 10% of health insurance agents make approximately $122,000 per year. The average annual income for a health insurance agent is around $60,000.

Health plans typically pay first-year commissions of 15-25% of the premium. And some carriers offer bonuses for hitting certain sales volumes.

Selling group or employee benefits plans also pays higher commissions than individual health insurance sales.

Overall, health insurance provides stable, rewarding pay for licensed agents.

Property & Casualty (P&C) License

A P&C license is required to sell many common insurance policies including:

  • Auto insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Condo/co-op insurance
  • Landlord insurance
  • Flood insurance
  • Business/commercial insurance
  • Workers’ compensation
  • E&O and professional liability insurance
  • Umbrella insurance

P&C insurance carriers typically pay 10-20% commissions on new policies. Auto insurance sales tend to bring lower commissions (10%), while home and business policies pay higher percentages.

According to BLS data, the average annual wage for insurance sales agents focusing on P&C insurance is around $69,100. Top earners make closer to $130,000 annually.

However, P&C insurance sales may involve more price comparison and competition than life and health insurance sales. This can make it harder to close sales at maximum policy values.

An independent insurance agent with a P&C license has good income potential selling to existing clients and new prospects. A captive P&C agent may be more limited based on their agency’s book of business.

Accident & Health Insurance License

An accident and health insurance license is a category of health insurance license required in some states.

It allows you to sell limited benefit insurance policies including:

  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Hospital indemnity plans
  • Short-term medical

These supplemental health products pay lower commissions than major medical insurance. You may earn 10-15% on dental plans but closer to 25-40% on critical illness coverage.

Income potential with an accident and health license really depends on the products you focus on. Selling mainly dental plans will bring lower earnings than specializing in things like critical illness insurance.

But an accident and health license can be a good stepping stone. Many agents start here and then go on to obtain a full health license later.

Series 6 and 63 Licenses

The Series 6 and 63 licenses qualify you to sell securities like:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds
  • Variable annuities
  • REITs

You must pass the FINRA Series 6 exam and complete the Series 63 to register as a securities agent.

This allows you to earn commissions by selling securities investments through a FINRA-registered broker-dealer.

Securities agents earn on average $215,000 in commissions within their first 3 years, according to Broker Sales Academy. While the failure rate is high, the earning potential is immense for successful brokers.

Experienced registered reps with an established book of business can make well into the six figures. The top 10% of securities agents make over $145,000 on average.

Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) License

A mortgage loan originator (MLO) license authorizes you to provide residential home loans on behalf of a lender.

As an MLO, you can offer services like:

  • Mortgage loans including purchases, refinances, reverse mortgages
  • Home equity loans and lines of credit

Mortgage brokers earn on average between $76,000 – $105,000 a year, according to Zippia. The top 10% make approximately $166,000 annually.

Most mortgage loan originators are paid based on a percentage of each funded loan. This commission varies by lender but may range from 0.5% to 2% of the loan amount.

So the more home buyers you can bring in, the higher your income on funded mortgages. Brokers who can close $20+ million a year in loan volume can earn over $200,000.

Which License Is Right for You?

As you can see, many insurance and financial services licenses offer strong earning potential for successful agents and brokers.

But you want to choose the field best aligned with your skills, interests, and values.

Here are some things to consider when deciding which license fits you:

  • Do you prefer selling complex policies or simpler ones? Some enjoy explaining every feature and detail of a whole life insurance policy or variable annuity. Others would rather focus on easy-to-understand auto or term life policies.

  • Are you comfortable dealing with prospects’ medical histories? Health insurance and certain life insurance sales require

What To Expect Your First 90 Days As An Insurance Agent!


Who is the highest paid insurance agent?

Gideon du Plessis failed in the 10th standard and never went to college. He is today the highest earning insurance agent in the world, with annual commissions amounting to Rs 7 crore (Rs 70 million) plus.

Which insurance makes the most money selling?

Car insurance
5% to 15%
2% to 5%
Home insurance
5% to 15%
2% to 5%
Health insurance
5% to 10%
1% to 2%
Life insurance
40% to 120%
1% to 2%, may end after the third year

What type of insurance pays the highest commissions?

Insurance agents receive the highest commission rates for whole life insurance plans, often more than 100% of the total premiums for the policy’s first year. The exact percentage depends on the age of the policyholder.

Can you make big money in insurance?

But like any other job, it takes time to be good at what you do and attain such income levels. Top agents earn anywhere between $100,000 to one million dollars. Others make more than that, so yes, it’s very much possible. Still, it depends on your commitment, strategies, the type of products you sell, and patience.

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