Whole Time Agents for Life Insurance

Edmund Strudwick
1917 The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science  
In point of assets employed life insurance is the fourth largest business in the United States; and in amount of its contractural obligations it far exceeds any other business. In point of importance and beneficence to the country's population, it affects more individuals and a greater number of families than any other business. The spirit of altruism enters into it more largely than any other business, and yet it is the safest and its contracts are the soundest. Life insurance is established
more » ... on fundamental principles expressed in mathematical formulae as intricate and exact as those used in scientific engineering. Although its product is standardized and competition as to price is almost eliminated, the demand for it must be created. For this purpose a field force of solicitors, men who go to other men to sell them insurance, is indispensable. The figures for 1916 are not available, but 185,750 life insurance salesmen were licensed in 1915. Is it not of vital importance that the biggest and best business in the country should be represented by men of the highest character? And is it not an impelling duty of those who direct that business to do all in their power to elevate the character and develop the efficiency of its representatives in the field? What type of men then should these solicitors be? And how should they conduct their work? CHARACTERISTICS OF AN IDEAL SALESMAN The character of a salesman is largely determined by the character of the business he represents. No argument is necessary to establish that life insurance is a science and that work in life insurance, whether in the office or field, is the practice of a profession. Evidently in the pursuit of a science and the practice of a profession a high class of man is necessary; and if in either office or field a higher type is needed, more in the one place than in the other, preference in the assignment should be given the field. The most apparent reason for this distinction is that the field man comes in contact with the public, personifies the company to them, and at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIV on June 28, 2015 ann.sagepub.com Downloaded from
doi:10.1177/000271621707000111 fatcat:u644umvajndpdcsrd4foygakpe