Life Insurance Agents

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Part
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Life Insurance Agents

Key Takeaways:

  • The number of U.S. life insurance agents aged over 65 years would be approximately = 15,748.
  • In 2016 McKinsey reported that over 20% of life insurance brokers were to retire by 2026.
  • The employment in the industry has begun to shift towards the younger generation.

Introduction:

  • This report provides the estimated number of U.S. life insurance agents. The estimate is based on the calculations and assumptions explained below. The research team was forced to triangulate the required information since data was limited in the public domain.

Findings

  • Best Life Rates provides the number of life/health insurance underwriters as 923,000. But this information would not be directly useful to this research since underwriters are different for agents.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates place the total number of insurance agents at 409,950. Also, this statistic was not useful to the research since BLS fails to provide any relevant breakdowns by insurance categories.
  • According to a 2020 report by 360 Coverage Pros, the aging of insurance agents is becoming a problem for the insurance industry. And even more worrisome is the lack of perpetuation planning among some insurance agencies. Notably, the employment in the industry has begun to shift towards the younger generation.
  • Zippia was the most reliable resource found that provides an estimate for the number of life insurance agents in the United States. Zippia's estimates place the number of life insurance agents at 104,985. It also reports that about 66% of life insurance agents are aged 40 years and above. Below are two possible scenarios. All calculations would be based on the figure provided by Zippia.

Calculation

  • According to the 2018 Agency Universe Study, the latest publicly available, 15% of insurance principals are aged 66 years and over. If the ratio of life/insurance underwriters to the total number of underwriters is taken as a proxy for the ratio of life insurance agents to the total number of agents, then the number of U.S. life insurance agents would be approximately = 104,985 X 15% = 15,747.75 = 15,748.

Supporting Scenario

  • According to a 2016 McKinsey report, over 20% of life insurance brokers were to retire by 2026. This means that some of them have already retired by 2021, which would bring the percentage of those within retirement age closer to that from the 2018 Agency Universe Study (15%).

Research Strategy

The research team confirmed that publicly-available data on the number of life insurance agents aged over 65 years by searching through the public domain for any data from media resources, insurance-focused resources, labor/employment-focused resources and authorities, and market research reports, among others. Finding no data, we decided to triangulate an estimate based on the data points found during our research, as explained above. Due to data unavailability, some sources used are older than 24 months.

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