For many people, the coronavirus is changing how and where they work. And also how much money they make. Those who are lucky work in the home office. For freelancers, however, jobs break down, they don't know how to pay their rent. Others hardly feel the effects of the crisis. In the "Account Statement" series, we introduce people who tell you exactly about it: What does Corona mean for my work - and for my account? The 32-year-old Konstantin, who works as a sales representative for insurance companies, reports here.
Job:I am a sales agent for insurance companies. The profession doesn't have the best reputation. Many people think that I am just horny for commission. They think I am trying to sell them overpriced, useless products and make money in the process. You are wrong. Basically, I only benefit from long and satisfied customer relationships; short-term, commission-oriented action doesn't help. Together with my four colleagues, I am responsible for over 6,500 customers and I always see what happens when people save on insurance. From regulated damage to household items to total loss of existence due to non-existent income security. I am self-employed, but only work for a large insurance company. This has the advantage that I get a kind of basic stock through what are known as maintenance commissions. In other words, the corporation pays me to keep in touch with customers, i.e. to call in between times, to make service visits, to process claims. Otherwise, I earn my money through commission that I receive for brokering new products. For example through health insurance: We refer customers to statutory and private health insurance. However, the statutory only pays around 90 euros commission and the private around 2,500 euros. If I sell more, I'll make more.
"I enjoy brokering insurance products." Konstantin, 32, insurance sales representative
Brokerage of insurance products is fun - I see myself as a solution provider. I sell products that take many worries away in everyday life. For example, I sell liability and health insurance, death insurance or disability insurance. It's my daily bread, but I keep coming across an interesting case. I was once contacted by a Scandinavian who wanted to move to Germany. I thought this was going to be a quick lunch - it turned out to be a six hour conversation. I sold him an entire insurance package. That was a five-figure commission. He's a good customer to this day. We go out for steak twice a year.
Working hours: What I love about my job is that I can organize my work freely. I work from home and can take my three-year-old daughter to daycare in the morning. I usually talk to customers and answer e-mails until noon, and I take care of things when customers want to report damage or a need to their insurance company. At lunchtime I meet customers for dinner and in the afternoons I make external appointments with large customers, such as company owners. That's why I'm on the road in Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Berlin and Saxony-Anhalt. Direct contact is the best way for me to find out how your situation has changed and which products you might still need. Then between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. I'll finish. But that varies a lot: Sometimes I work until late in the evening, sometimes I finish work on Friday at noon.
Education: I actually wanted to become a Bundeswehr officer. I even did a trial day. It wasn't as glamorous as I had imagined. The income was also manageable back then. When I was in the twelfth grade, a headhunter approached me: Wouldn't I be interested in a career in an insurance company? So I started doing it before I graduated from school. Because of the experience I gained, I was able to complete my training as an insurance clerk in one and a half instead of three years. I liked the training, but today it should focus even more on selling. That's why I recently set up a group with a colleague in the insurance company: every few weeks we meet with the youngsters and run through sales scenarios.
"My degrees are up 20 percent." Konstantin, 32, insurance sales representative
What worries me: Many of our customers are entrepreneurs - including restaurant owners and event organizers. If they go bankrupt, that would mean big losses for me too. For me, the so-called cancellation liability applies, i.e. if customers do not pay any contributions for a certain period of time, I have to repay my commission proportionately. With the first restrictions caused by the Corona containment, since some customers were initially unable to service their contracts, that would have been around 10,000 euros, which I would have had to repay. But the group has introduced a special regulation: Our customers could take six months' exemption from contributions and I was not negatively affected. That's why the customers stayed with us. That was a relief. Even so, I thought I would make less sales. Selling is a contact sport. And no one wanted to meet and the restaurants - the best place to meet customers - were closed. But I underestimated digitization. Customer contact also goes online, and many people underestimated the need to insure themselves in a crisis. Many were afraid of getting sick. My occupational disability and income protection policies have increased by 20 percent. So it's going pretty well.
Brutt oeinkommen: I verdienemonatlich about 13,000 euros gross. But I want to earn more. In the medium term, I am planning an annual income of 250,000 euros. With us you earn above average through good work, and I always aim to be good to very good. I took this attitude from my father, who taught me never to be satisfied with the average.
Net income: Of this, around 10,000 euros are left after taxes. Even the trade tax is included. The tax system works for me.