many companies pay their agents based off of commission thiese commissions are not limited to the point of sale only, they are payed out every year that a client renews their policy.
now many insurance companies make their money off of investment accounts IRA's, life insurance plans, mutual funds etc. they take that money and they invest it themselves to gain a higher profit.
other ways these companies make money is buy charging premiums to the customer they have a very watchful eye on the amount coming in and the amount being paid out. if there is any fluctuation they can raise the premiums or the can lower the premiums.
now being that their is always a risk that people will shop around for other insurance prices companies will always reward clients for their continuous coverage with a company.
now the things to look out for I'm a little confused but I'll answer to my best understanding. when signing a client every policy has things that need to be checked.
auto- miles vin driver(s) is it garaged does it have any previous damage. also some companies require agents to take photos for proof and fraud reasons.
home- some companies require photos others send inspectors, discounts for homes are alarm systems, cameras systems, 2 or more adults, no dangerous pets, sprinkler system, central heating.
life- most companies have different types of polices 2 major types being term and whole life
term- 10yr 20yr 30yr can chose amount of time you want. can be a simple policy or universal policy. a simple policy is what it sounds like only have about 10 questions to fill out and your the owner of a life insurance policy a universal policy requires a doctors visit and blood test and urine sample.
whole life- self explanatory policy that you keep for your whole life or if you life until you reach 100 the company will cut you a check for the amount of your policy (happy 100th birthday) generally more expensive then a term policy because they have higher payouts. also have the options of simple of universal.
i think that answers your questions
california state licensed insurance expert. used to work for (Farmers)