Well, friends…the time has come.

I am getting my 2-20 license. Yep…you heard me correctly…I will not only have my license this coming October, but I will also be able to identify with all of you as well.

You can either congratulate me…or console me. Either works.

So lately, I have been painstakingly studying via the online course, reading and highlighting the study manual, taking notes, reviewing the flash cards…and then, one-by-one, taking all 17 online quizzes.

More coffee. Check.

At some point this fall, I will participate in a three-day crash course followed by the 2-20 examination.

To-date, I am cross-eyed…and, quite bleary-eyed. Thanks for asking…time for another cup of coffee.

You see…the last time I had to study for a test…well, it was when my hair was much longer, my goatee was way darker, and my jeans had more holes than a golf course. Yep…over 30 years ago, while I was in college at the University of Florida….that was the last time I truly had to study, much less read this amount of material out of a book (and even then, I don’t think I actually ‘studied’…shhhh…don’t tell my mom).

So, for all you agents and producers out there…I have to ask you:

WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING?!!

“A car, driven by an employee, borrowed from his boss and towing a trailer was traveling at a high rate of speed and hits a plane bound for Europe that is parked in a hangar. The driver has minor injuries in the amount of $1500 with basic limits of 10/20/10; the hangar is damaged to the tune of $7500,the trailer came loose and plunged into the passenger lounge causing $20,000 in damage, and then the car causes a minor flood when it nosedives into the bathroom; the passenger in the car who also had minor injuries—was the driver’s out-of-town aunt (twice-removed); finally, the plane suffers a cracked wing, has a 5% deductible, and is out of service for the next month for repairs. How is this paid?”

Ohhhh…I see. TRICK QUESTIONS!

I just need to slow down and read each question carefully, and decipher just how each is worded. Once I break down the different aspects of the question and cross-check it with the make-up of the different policy limitations, I will be able to come to a final conclusion. There are complicated situations with complicated answers. But, as an agent who has obtained this license, it is your responsibility to help your clients understand these complications, right?

So, lucky me…I am reading the book, the online notes, the flash cards…and, I am a bit “confounded.” Yes, confounded…to the “nth” degree. But, I am pushing through, comprehending more as the days and weeks go by…and, will have my license this fall. Please cross your fingers for me and say a little prayer!

In the end, obtaining this license comes down to one word: certificate.

And, how you use that piece of paper comes down to one word: value.

Understanding the opportunities that this license creates is what helps guide me through each chapter. I consider obtaining this 2-20 license an honor. More importantly, it is an opportunity to become a better educator, a more detailed lecturer, and a Tower Hill employee that better understands your daily challenges. It provides me with value.

All of this studying got me to thinking…what if every one of your clients decided to go out and get their license as well? Every…single…client. Think about it.

They would have a better understanding of what they were buying.

Your clients would be better able to comprehend your ‘Greek-speak.’

Your clients would be in a better position to accept all of the coverages that you recommend.

And, more importantly, there would be less wrangling over price.

They’d ‘get it.’

So, when I talk about the word, value…just remember, the value is not only in obtaining the license you possess. It is much, much more than that.

You see, the value your clients cherish is in your ability to decipher and educate them on the information you’ve painstakingly studied for…without their having to go get their license to comprehend. If it were easy, everyone would do it. But it’s not…it’s 200 hours…it’s quizzes…tests…more tests…and, CE credits you must obtain throughout the year. And so on, and so on.

Furthermore, there are thousands of agents throughout the State of Florida who currently have their license…and more each day obtaining their first-ever license. They come out of the gate looking to make a difference with that certificate.

But, it’s more than just a piece of paper that entitles one to sell insurance.

It’s HOW you use the license…that information…that ‘Greek-speak’ that wins over your clients.

SO, we all know that my example of each of your clients going out and getting their license is basically an improbability. So, if that unlikelihood is the case, what is the cure for your client’s lack of insurance knowledge?

I personally relish the opportunity to study for and get my 2-20 license, for I will soon understand the codes, the coverages, the meanings, the idioms, the ins-outs, and the reasoning behind the challenges you all face as agents. And, if I were an agent, having just obtained my 2-20 license…I would start thinking about just how I could be different than any other agent in the market today. I’d have that education…that piece of paper…but how to create the value would be the key.

Start thinking about how you can take the time to help your clients decipher the knowledge you’ve gained through the process of obtaining your 2-20. You’ve ‘paid the price,’ so-to-speak…so put on your best education hat and go to work!

And, when you get that cross-eyed, bleary-eyed look from your clients, just understand one thing…you know how that ‘borrowed car-trailer-hanger-airplane-flood-injury’ is actually paid.

Getting your 2-20 is an accomplishment…knowing how to use that knowledge will be your value!

Steve Shepherd

About Steve Shepherd


Steve’s entire career has been focused on helping companies to increase sales. He has sold, managed, trained and coached sales and sales management with noteworthy results. Steve’s results-oriented, highly interactive style has the ability to increase sales for many companies statewide. He makes sure the workshops are productive, interactive, and, above all, fun.