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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 6231 Occupation: Insurance Agents and Brokers
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Insurance agents and brokers sell life, automobile, property, health and other types of insurance to individuals, businesses and public institutions. Insurance agents are employed by individual insurance companies or are independent representatives of specific insurance companies. Insurance brokers are employed by brokerage firms, or may work in partnerships or hold sole proprietorship. Insurance agents and brokers sell life, automobile, property, health and other types of insurance to individuals, businesses and public institutions. Insurance agents are employed by individual insurance companies or are independent representatives of specific insurance companies. Insurance brokers are employed by brokerage firms, or may work in partnerships or hold sole proprietorship.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read reminders and notes from co-workers, colleagues and clients. For example, general insurance brokers read notes in files to be reminded of clients' insurance requirements. (1)
  • Read memos, letters and notices. For example, general insurance brokers read notices from insurance providers and industry associations to learn about upcoming continuing education opportunities. Insurance agents in larger offices read memos which outline changes in industry standards and work procedures. They read these memos to learn about the steps needed to implement new work procedures and the targets for implementing the changes. (2)
  • Read text entries in forms. For example, life insurance agents read short comments and explanations which clients have entered into background questionnaires. They read comments in sections such as medical history to identify matters which may affect the acceptance of clients' applications. (2)
  • Read short email and faxes from co-workers, colleagues and clients. For example, automobile insurance agents read claim adjusters' email about car repairs. General insurance brokers read requests for clarifications in faxes from clients. (2)
  • Read articles in newspapers and trade publications. For example, read articles in insurance companies' newsletters to learn about changes that may affect clients. (3)
  • Read insurance policies. For example, general insurance brokers read policies to ascertain terms and conditions, changes and exclusions. (4)
  • Read legislation and regulations. For example, read legislation such as the Insurance Act and Regulations to make sure that the organization complies with the law. (4)
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Writing
  • Write reminders and meeting notes. For example, write notes in daytimers to be reminded of appointments and follow-up calls. Write notes to summarize discussions with clients and to create records for future reference. (1)
  • Write short text entries in forms. For example, write descriptive paragraphs about clients' medical conditions and past medical and employment histories in applications for insurance coverage. (1)
  • Write email to co-workers, colleagues and clients. For example, write email to answer clients' questions about policies and to respond to requests for information. Write email to insurance providers' representatives in order to provide details of clients' files. Write to prospective clients to convince them that you can provide the best insurance coverage. (2)
  • Write memos and letters to co-workers, colleagues and clients. For example, write memos to justify requests for insurance coverage. Write letters to clarify the status of clients' claims and changes to their insurance coverage. (3)
  • Write insurance benefit overviews. For example, general insurance brokers write benefit overviews to describe the benefits of accident and disability insurance policies for clients' employees. They write the overviews in plain language so that clients can distribute them directly to their employees. (3)
  • Write quarterly and annual reports. General insurance brokers write reports for clients in which they analyze the development of their insurance plans and recommend changes. (4)
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Document Use
  • Locate data in lists and tables. For example, general insurance brokers obtain insurance providers' prices from on-line rate tables. General insurance brokers review comparison tables to determine differences in insurance providers' product offerings. (1)
  • Complete entry forms. For example, complete applications and request for quotation forms. (2)
  • Enter data into tables. For example, general insurance brokers complete tables to allow quick comparisons of insurance policy options available for their clients. They also enter data to illustrate price and coverage differences. (2)
  • Locate data in graphs. For example, general insurance brokers scan bar graphs to identify industry trends such as increases in residential break-ins and heart attacks. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use graphics software. For example, general insurance brokers may use presentation software such as PowerPoint to create slide presentations for groups of prospective clients. They insert graphs to illustrate key concepts. (1)
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, general insurance brokers use industry-specific software such as quotation calculators and replacement value calculators. They enter the required information and the program generates price quotations or replacement values. (1)
  • Use financial software. For example, general insurance brokers use accounting software such as QuickBooks to track their income and expenses and to generate invoices. (1)
  • Use communications software. For example, use email programs to exchange email and attachments with co-workers, colleagues and clients. (2)
  • Use databases. For example, use insurance providers' databases to retrieve policy holders' contact information and details of their policies and claim histories. Enter data on new clients and generate reports and queries. (2)
  • Use word processing programs such as Word to write, edit and format letters, proposals, reports, labels, flyers, memos and faxes. Use tools such as spell-check, and thesaurus, and also employ a variety of formatting options. Insert logos, tables or images. (2)
  • Use the Internet and local intranets. For example, use browsers such as Internet Explorer to locate articles in on-line journals and newsletters, to learn about potential and current clients by visiting their websites and to participate in on-line continuing education courses. Use on-line calculation tools and download application forms from insurance providers' websites. (2)
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, create spreadsheets to collect and organize data on sales, appointment schedules and clients. Insert formulas, merge cells, create graphs and import and export data. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers. For example, explain appointment schedules to receptionists and secretaries. Discuss office improvement suggestions with co-workers during staff meetings. (1)
  • Instruct junior staff on policies and procedures. For example, explain the how rates manuals are organized to new staff members. (2)
  • Discuss technical aspects of insurance products with co-workers, colleagues and representatives of insurance providers. For example, seek advice about handling unusual client requests from more experienced co-workers. Discuss ambiguous policy wordings with insurance providers' representatives. (2)
  • Present information on insurance products to large groups. For example, general insurance brokers present overviews of benefit packages to clients' employees. They explain insurance coverage and benefits in plain language. They facilitate question and answer sessions after their presentations. (3)
  • Discuss insurance coverage and policies with clients. For example, explain coverage options and recommend products to meet clients' needs. Discuss claims and claim processes, and advise clients before connecting them with claims departments. (3)
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Money Math
  • Count cash and make change. For example, automobile insurance agents accept cash payments for insurance products and make change. (1)
  • Calculate policy rebates. For example, general insurance brokers calculate rebates when changes occur within policies and apply the rebates to their clients' payments. (2)
  • Prepare invoices and insurance policy quotations for clients. For example, general insurance brokers use insurance providers' rates manuals to calculate premiums. They calculate amounts for discounts and taxes before sending quotations and invoices to their clients. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Create schedules for other workers. For example, general insurance brokers in small offices determine staffing requirements and create weekly schedules. (1)
  • Calculate commissions. For example, general insurance brokers calculate monthly and annual commissions on sales. (2)
  • Reconcile cash floats. For example, automobile insurance agents summarize daily sales, compare cash and credit card receipts to sales records and identify variances. (2)
  • Analyze financial differences between insurance policies. For example, compare deductibles, benefits and premiums from multiple insurance providers when preparing quotations for clients. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure physical properties using common measuring tools. For example, use scales to weigh letters and parcels. Agents who sell home insurance use measuring tapes to measure room sizes. (1)
  • Calculate areas. For example, home insurance agents calculate areas of rooms, decks and outbuildings. (2)
  • Calculate distances driven for business purposes. For example, general insurance brokers calculate distances driven in order to claim tax deductions for the use of personal vehicles for business purposes. (2)
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Data Analysis
  • Collect and analyze sales data. For example, general insurance brokers utilize sales data to generate statistics such as total and average monthly sales. They analyze these statistics by comparing sales differences from month-to-month and year-to-year to measure levels of success. (2)
  • Assess clients' insurance requirements and coverage. For example, when recommending insurance products to clients, consider a variety of factors such as clients' budgets and claims histories. Analyze the dollar values of clients' past claims to determine the probability of the clients' applications' acceptance or rejection. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times needed to complete job tasks. For example, estimate times needed to prepare quotations for clients. General insurance brokers estimate travel times for out-of-office appointments with clients. (1)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Insurance agents and brokers plan the sequence of their own job tasks. Their first priority is serving clients. When they are not engaged with clients, they carry out administrative tasks, such as filing. Their job task plans are often disrupted by unexpected visits by clients and by matters such as emergency claims. Insurance agents and brokers in larger offices assign administrative tasks such as filing to support staff. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide to seek advice on technical and business matters. For example, automobile insurance agents seek advice from their co-workers when they are unsure about rules and precedents for insurance policies. (1)
  • Choose adult education opportunities to pursue. For example, general insurance brokers and life insurance agents choose courses to satisfy certification requirements. (1)
  • Make decisions about the management of clients' affairs and accounts. For example, general insurance brokers decide to call insurance representatives to request leniency on their clients' claims. They decide to apply loyalty discounts. (2)
  • Choose clients to represent. For example, general insurance brokers pursue applicants with high potentials for sales. They decide not to sell to high-risk applicants. (3)
  • Choose marketing approaches and methods. For example, general insurance agents mail sales brochures to tenants of new apartment buildings to promote sales of insurance to renters. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Find that you have failed to sufficiently explain insurance products to clients. For example, when a client's boat is stolen, an agent learns that the client expects the boat to be replaced with a new one. The agent reads the client's policy and determines that the client's insurance pays current market value for the stolen boat rather than its replacement cost. The agent informs the client that the insurance provider is correct in issuing cash for the value of the boat stolen. The agent reminds the client that he chose this coverage when the policy was purchased and apologizes for not explaining the provisions of the policy more clearly. (1)
  • Discover billing errors that complicate relationships with clients. For example, life insurance agents discover that discounts have not been applied to their clients' policies. They discuss the overpayments with insurance company representatives and arrange for credits to clients' accounts. (1)
  • Find that clients' insurance claims are being neglected. For example, automobile insurance agents may discover that insurance adjusters are not returning clients' phone calls. They inform the clients they will look into the situation and then call the insurance adjusters directly. (2)
  • Find that sales have dropped significantly. For example, general insurance brokers and life insurance agents find that they are spending more time on administrative tasks than on selling. They allot more time for cold-calling and asking current clients for referrals. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Locate information about current clients. For example, seek contact details of clients and information about the policies they hold from insurance companies' databases. (1)
  • Locate information about insurance products. Consult colleagues, search websites and policy manuals, and speak to insurance providers' representatives to locate the required information. (2)
  • Seek information about prospective clients. For example, general insurance brokers review prospective clients' websites to learn about their businesses before cold-calling them or meeting for the first time. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the suitability of potential clients. For example, commercial insurance agents evaluate prospects for sales calls. They identify property owners within their sales territories and gather information about the sizes of prospective clients' property portfolios and the tenants of those properties. (2)
  • Assess the quality of insurance providers. For example, general insurance brokers consider quantitative criteria such as cost, and qualitative criteria such as the ease of dealing with providers. They consider their own experiences with insurance providers as well as the providers' reputations within the industry. (3)
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